recently published an article entitled: Families advised not to keep turtles as pets.

The article has many good points such as:

  • Red eared sliders are illegal to own in the state of Tennesse
  • Pet turtles (RES in particular) should never be released in the wild
  • Many people that buy them don’t know what they’re getting themselves into

The article goes on to mention that many people buy pet turtles on vacation spots (without any prior research or knowledge about them) and later want to give them up or release them when they find out that turtles get as large as they get and live as long as they do. Many people call the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Ijams Nature Center, or the Knoxville Zoo to try to donate their unwanted pet turtles – but these places cannot accept them as they have no room and cannot care for them.

The article gives the tone that turtles are difficult pets to care for. They generally advise that people shouldn’t buy pet turtles.

Here’s a short video that accompanies the article:

The video and article does make some very good points, but it fails to clearly make the most important one, the one that comes before people even buy a pet turtle: No pet should ever be purchased without first thoroughly researching the animal. That stands for every kind of pet, be it a turtle, a dog, a cat, a hamster – whatever. Everything about the pet should be researched: how much the pet is, how much will it cost a year, what time demands they require, how much attention they need, etc…

Countless such “mistakes” could be avoided if only people had first performed adequate research before making a purchase. Uneducated impulse purchases, especially of animals, is something we advise families to avoid.

Turtles make great pets. Just not for everyone. Be smart. Make educated, researched purchases.


  1. “No pet should ever be purchased without first thoroughly researching the animal.” – Well said. Turtles can make terrific pets, as long as you know what you’re getting into. Thanks.