What is required to adopt from CTTR?

  • Naturalistic outdoor enclosure
    • Hide spaces
    • Water source
    • Edible plants
    • Appropriate fence or barrier
    • Heated winter accommodations for some species (sulcata, red-footed tortoise, leopard tortoise, etc. Do your research on the species you are interested in)
  • Commitment to long-term care (with proper care, this animal will outlive you. Who will care for it next?)
  • Agreement with our no-breeding policy

What is the MINIMUM size outdoor enclosure you will consider?

Sulcata/Leopard tortoise (20 – 150 lbs): 6,000 square feet

Juvenile sulcata/leopard tortoise (< 20 lbs): 6,000 square feet (yes, you must show us that you can accommodate an ADULT tortoise, even if you are adopting a juvenile) with a separate section of the yard enclosed to keep the smaller tortoise safe and easy to find. While the size of this sub-enclosure can vary based on the size of the tortoise, we will never approve an adoption into a situation where the enclosure is smaller than 100 square feet.

Red-footed/Yellow-footed tortoise: 600 square feet

Russian tortoise, Greek tortoise, box turtle: 100 square feet

Some people tell us they do not feel like they should have to put effort into building an enclosure until their adoption application has been approved. Unfortunately, a pre-requisite for approval is an appropriate enclosure, and our Board of Directors will not consider an application from someone who doesn’t have housing set up for the tortoise. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

Considering a sulcata?

You’re interested in adopting a sulcata tortoise!? That’s amazing, and we’re glad you’re here because so many of these animals need your help. Adopting a sulcata tortoise is a lifetime commitment, and we want you to go into this with your eyes wide open, so READ THIS FIRST and then come back to complete this form if you’re feeling ready.

Seriously, READ THIS. You really can’t afford not to.

Apply to adopt a sulcata here, and if we approve your application we will reach out when we have an animal available for you.

Who is available for adoption right now?
Once you submit your application, we will review it once we have received photos of your enclosure(s) to krista “at” texastortoiserescue “dot” com. Instructions for submitting photos are also in the application. Please note that we will not hold animals without a scheduled appointment (sometimes people ask us to wait several weeks before they can pick up – we don’t have the resources to do that). An approved adoption application does not “claim” an animal, the only way to ensure you adopt the animal you are approved for is to schedule your appointment through the scheduling link that you will receive if your application is approved.

Apply to adopt a sulcata here, and if we approve your application we will reach out when we have an animal available for you.


Click on the animal you are interested in* below and then select the “Apply for Adoption” button.
*Please note that if you are approved to adopt a box turtle, you will be limited to the ones we can actually find when you arrive, which may or may not be the exact animal that you applied for. They live in a big enclosure where they can hide underground and are sometimes difficult to get hands on.

A final note: please do not apply to adopt if you are unable to make the trip to San Marcos, Texas to collect your new family member. We do not ship and it takes up precious resources that are already spread thin for us to coordinate with volunteers to try and find transport for animals. Thanks for your understanding.

This page is powered by Shelterluv. Learn more www.shelterluv.com

If you don’t want a real tortoise, virtual adoption is a fun and lower-maintenance alternative to adopting a real tortoise. We will mail you an adoption certificate as well as a beautiful hand made crocheted tortoise that is well suited to gift-giving for all the turtle lovers in your life!

Virtual Adoption

Your virtual adoption supports all of the real turtles and tortoises that CTTR takes care of!


A virtual adoption is a donation and does not guarantee or imply that you will be adopting a live animal, but you will get an adoption certificate and a crocheted tortoise in the mail.