Your bond with your tortoise or box turtle will last forever, and we are so excited to be a part of it! Once we have you matched with an animal, we’ll schedule an appointment to meet you and have you take your new shell baby home.

If you are interested in adopting, simply follow the instructions below and we’ll walk you through the process. Thanks!

What should I know before filling out an adoption application?

Read. Consume every piece of information you possibly can about the species you are interested in – and I’m not talking about information from pet stores or pet books; I mean real information about their habits and ecology. We know that you will love your new little family member, and we want to help you take steps to show that love in a way that is the absolute healthiest and most stress free for your new chelonian.

Things to think about are: How do they live in the wild? What is their habitat like (humid? dry? warm? cool? desert? grassland? forest?)? What do they eat in the wild? Before you fill out an adoption application, make sure that you are prepared to replicate (as closely as possible, of course) the natural habitat and diet for the animal you choose. The Tortoise Table might be able to help you identify some plants to plant in the habitat you’re building – many you can find on clearance at your local home improvement shop. Don’t forget about water, it’s pretty easy to dig a shallow pond and toss a pond liner over it, held with rocks at the edges to keep the liner from slipping in. Even desert species should have access to a water source. Check out the Tortoise Care Tips that we’ve compiled to help you!

Know what kind of species you are interested in, and build a secure, appropriate outdoor enclosure where your tortoise or box turtle will live full time. Some species (sulcata, red-footed tortoise, leopard tortoise) will need an enclosure that has access to electricity for their heated winter house. Adopting from CTTR requires a naturalistic outdoor enclosure with tortoise-safe vegetation, housing or hiding places, and access to water.

A note to sulcata owners. Your tortoise is not “lonely.” Your tortoise does not need a “companion.” Two males will fight, a male and a female will breed. If you already have a sulcata tortoise, please do not fill out an adoption application for another sulcata. Thanks for your understanding.

What are the steps for adopting through CTTR?

  1. Familiarize yourself with the ecology of the species you are interested in.

  2. Click here to fill out an application

    You will be taken to a separate page. Please be as thorough as you can while filling out your application. The more information we have, the better we can match you to the perfect shell-baby! Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to respond to incomplete applications (those that lack references, veterinary information, or photos [see next step]). Thank you for understanding!

  3. E-mail enclosure photos. 

    Acceptable enclosure photos show a current dated newspaper or a piece of mail with your name on it – in the same frame as the enclosure (not sent as two separate pictures). Unfortunately, we’ve had people copy photos from the internet and try to pass them off as their own, so we require photos in this manner to prove that they are authentic and current.

  4. Set an appointment. 

    Once your adoption application is approved, we will send you a link to our calendar of availability. You can choose a date and time that work for you, and you will be presented with our address at that time (for your planning purposes, we are in San Marcos, Texas). It is very important that you keep this appointment, or contact me to reschedule as soon as you know you will not make it. If you no-show without notice your adoption application will be cancelled and you will be removed from our system. (Why?)

We have a $75 adoption fee for most animals. Your adoption fee goes toward caring for all of the tortoises and box turtles here at CTTR. Read this post for a breakdown of how your adoption fee is applied.

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