Any interesting stories/places of how/where you got your pet turtle/s?
Acquired your pet turtle/s from another source?

Please share them in the comments below.

Based on 54 votes at the time of this writing, the following are the survey results of where readers of this website got their pet turtles:

    19% from a Chinatown type tourist/souvenir store
    17% were found in the wild (road, pond, etc)
    17% came from a small, local pet store
    17% from another source not listed
    9% from a large national pet store (Petco, Petland, etc)
    9% were rescued from a friend
    7% from a breeder online
    2% from a reptile show
    4% don’t have pet turtles turtle

It’s both sad and not surprising to see that most pet turtles came from a Chinatown type tourist/souvenir store (my pet red ear slider turtles came from that kind of store in Philadelphia). It’s sad because it means that many of these pet turtles are purchased while the owners are (most likely) away on vacation and are captivated only by how cute and small the little hatchling turtles are and don’t have the proper information about caring for them or how big they get. The information vacationers then receive from shopkeepers are also often inaccurate.

Also surprising is the large percent (17%) of owners that obtained their pet turtles from another source not listed. I thought most of the pet turtle sources were represented in the survey. So where did all those pet turtles come from? Let me know where you got your pet turtles from – please share them in the comments 🙂

Do you disagree with the survey results? Want to put your vote in? What’s your story?


  1. I have a Sulcata and a Leopard gecko who just didn’t get any love in their old home. They weren’t on the verge of death or anything … but you should’ve seen the look on that tortoise’s face when she saw grass for the first time.
    Priceless. 🙂

  2. i live on eastern shore of maryland and found a baby terrapin 2 years ago he is doing well but i have been told that it is illegal to keep him is this true ?

    1. that really depends on what the turtle species it is. Endangered species are definitely illegal, other species will require a license, and others don’t have any requirements at all. The size of the turtle has nothing to do with whether owning a turtle is legal.

      Here’s a list of possible turtle species you may have obtained:

      You need to find out what kind of pet turtle you have, then look at this list of requirements in Maryland for owning reptiles and turtles:

      let me know how it goes

  3. I wasn’t sure how to answer…. Kind of “Rescued…”, but not from a friend. I actually stole the turtle off of someone’s, whom I do not know, porch last weekend while visiting a friend. So, as I am walking up to my friend’s house, I see this turtle in one of those plastic box things… a little transporter type thing with a handle on top. The box was very dusty and dirty, and covered with Dora Explorer stickers. Inside, there was about 2 inches of icky water and a tiny lil turtle.
    I have previously researched RES care and maintenance which resulted with me NOT being a turtle owner… You know? Because they live a really long time, require a big tank and lots of cleaning and I have a cat so I was good with-out a turtle.
    So, the next day when I pass by this house, I see the lil turtle again. The Dora Explorer box had moved to a table in the corner. The turtle still sitting in nasty water. I tell my friend how sad that turtle must be and, jokingly, say that I am going to take turtle home with me if it’s still sitting there when I head back home.
    It was such a relief not to see the turtle on the third day. Relief for turtle and for me cz RES live a really long time are a lot of work. Later in the day, I’m heading to my car and notice something on the porch of the turtle house. I notice the DOra Explorer box. The reason I hadn’t noticed it before was because it was now under a bunch of boxes, bags and just crap stuff. Turtle still in icky water. I felt so bad for the thing. It’s been cold during the nights lately and was probably freezing. Not to mention that he had, most likely, not even been out of water in 3 days. So, I grabbed that Dora Explorer box off the porch and I now have a RES.
    Seems I was correct with my first impression of RES. Its been WORK getting the turtle settled in at it’s new home. Fortunetly, I had a vacant 30 gal tank but it was previously filled with fish so some of the fish set-up is useful, but most not. What is up with turtle/reptile manufacturers, btw? One would think that the heat bulb from company A would work with the fixture marketed by same company, right? Of course not! And, then try to find the required clamp, stand, or bracket to make the thing functional!?
    But my efforts have been well worth it. I am just so in love with this lil turtle. He(or she) is a total spaz! And is way smarter than I expected a turtle to be. The guilt from turtle-nabbing him from the proch is still with me but, all in all, I am digging having a turtle.

  4. Knowing I’m an animal lover, the day after a little neighbor boy received a red-eared slider hatchling inside of a plastic hood-covered carrier as a birthday gift, he’d wanted to know if I would take care of it for him during his summer vacation. When summer ended, he managed asking if I was interested in keeping the turtle. I honestly wasn’t all that thrilled with the prospect, but since he obviously didn’t want it in the first place, I was concerned of its fate. She’s now 11 years old, gravid for the second time, and has always been in excellent health. I guess this would probably classify as a rescue, although I hadn’t thought of it that way before.

  5. the person you rescued the turtle from is a real bitch for not lettig it go because that turtle would’ve suffered if it wasn’t for you

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