Tortoises and box turtles can outlive their keeper's ability to care for them. Too often they are found misunderstood, malnourished, deformed, or abandoned. Central Texas Tortoise Rescue's mission is to adequately house, care for, rescue and rehabilitate land turtles who need a helping hand and to place them into loving forever homes..
Impact StatementOur mission is to house, care for, rescue and rehabilitate land turtles (tortoises and box turtles) who need a helping hand either because they have been injured or lost or because their owners can no longer care for them. Our primary goals include providing the necessary veterinary and on-site care to rehabilitate, socialize, and care for each animal in as stress free and natural of an environment as possible. Our goal for adoptable animals is to find each animal a forever home that can provide a large, secure, outdoor enclosure and provide an environment similar to that from which each species is found naturally. Our goal for each person who contacts us is to educate them about the harm of collecting animals from the wild and housing tortoises indoors (except in cases of ongoing rehabilitative care, extreme weather events, or species with extremely narrow temperature and humidity range tolerances), and the benefits of providing large outdoor enclosures planted with tortoise-safe food items to encourage natural grazing. There is a surprising need for this service in the local community: we take in between 75 and 100 rescued animals each year, and have successfully re-homed almost all of them. We take in all species of tortoise and box turtle, and the occasional injured or displaced wildlife.
Needs StatementOur current infrastructure can support only a limited number of animals and a limited number of species. The best available science and advisements from zoological organizations and veterinarians advises against maintaining mixed-species habitats. In addition, our current habitats for smaller residents are vulnerable to predators (raccoons, foxes, coyotes), and two of our animals were the victims of predation events by raccoons in 2015. Finally, there is currently no security at our facility, although members of the public are often granted access to surrender animals, adopt animals, or for educational tours. Through this access they can learn where each animal is housed, and because our open air enclosures are not lockable (most are low brick walls appropriate for tortoises) the animals may become vulnerable to theft, harm, or vandalism (vandals occasionally paint tortoise shells). A few of the animals that we rescue are large land tortoises that are valuable to the pet trade. Funds from Amplify Austin would be prioritized to (1) secure enclosures to prevent predation, (2) add infrastructure in order to prevent the mixing of species, and finally (3) to enhance security for the animals housed on premises.
Most often we need folks who believe in and will take up our cause to help us to raise community awareness about this very special need that we are able to fill in our community. And of course...we're always looking for folks to help fundraise!