Box Turtle and Tortoise Discussion :: Help convincing someone to surrender

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:16 pm   Help convincing someone to surrender

Last night I was googling for ornate box turtles available, and I found an ad for one available in Dayton, OH. The turtle is being offered on Craig's and the seller wants $40 for the turtle and a glass tank full of crap.

The ad says the turtle is six years old, but she is TINY and deformed, has obviously not been fed or housed properly. The ad also describes the turtle as a "low maintenance pet". Isn't that sad?

I wrote to the seller and she says the turtle is still available. Here's the thing: I want to convince this seller to give her turtle to one of her local reptile rescue orgs. How can I do this? I don't want to be off-putting, or to put her on the defensive. I need to be able to reach her in a non-confrontational, kind way, to get her to give this turtle up.

I would buy it myself in a heartbeat, actually, just to get it out of there, but I don't think it's safe to ship it here this time of year in the heat, and also, it would not be safe to house this turtle with Rex: this turtle is in no shape to be bred, ever.

Help. I need to do this right.
I used to be a reptile expert. Now I'm just an old turtle lover.
reptilegrrl
 
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:59 pm   

Maybe contact herp organizations in her area yourself, and see if they have a member willing to get in touch with her and buy/adopt it?
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:35 pm   

You need to make the person think she was a good keeper and will be doing a very moral thing. Direct her to a good care sheet about ornate box turtles to show her that the supplies are inadequate (hint: useless.. maybe she can keep the tank for fish or something) and they need a great deal of care from experienced keepers. This should be especially true since the turtle needs to be under specialized care for the immediate future.

Basically, don't make her feel bad and emphasize that the turtle should be in experienced care for awhile until a suitable home can be found.
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:42 pm   

I sent the email. I used phrases like "I am sure you have done the best you can for her" and "I can tell you want the best home for her", etc. I also sent her links to two local rescue orgs and to her local herp society. I also emailed the herp society to let them know about the ad and see if a member would be willing to take in the turtle.

I told her that the rescue/rehab orgs will be able to find the turtle a very good home.

I also told her that I am willing to help her with finding its new home and can answer any questions about care she may have. I hope, hope, hope, this helps.
I used to be a reptile expert. Now I'm just an old turtle lover.
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 12:57 pm   

Did you receive any response from her?
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:37 pm   

Yes, and it was a nightmare!

One of the things I did was email the local rescues that I had linked her to, telling them that they might hear from her, and also sending them a link to the ad in case one of their members could get the turtle.

The director of Arrowhead Rescue in Cincinatti, a man named Damien, sent her a long, vituperous email telling her how awful she was and etc, etc, which essentially guaranteed that she would get defensive and not surrender the email. He was quite proud of himself, and forwarded it to me. I told him that it was too bad, because she would probably get defensive and that wouldn't help the turtle. He responded that it didn't matter, because he is SURE that his org will get the turtle eventually when she can find no one to take it.

I have seen too many people throw their pets in the trash, or "set them free" to be so sure she will give it to rescue.

After he wrote to her, she wrote me saying "So you're the expert who can tell from a picture, tell me what's wrong with her." I replied saying that again, it was not my intention to offend her, and that I am sorry if I did, etc, etc. I told her that yes, because of my long experience in turtle rescue I can indeed see some things wrong, and I gave her a list of them, pointing out symptoms and causes. I sent her a picture of Rex for comparison, and I told her that I would be glad to help her improve the turtle's situation or place it with a rescue. I also sent her care sheets. She never wrote back, and deleted her ad.

Needless to say, I cannot recommend Arrowhead Reptile Rescue to ANYONE, as long as this guy Damien is the director. His behavior was thoughtless and irresponsible and probably meant the death of that turtle. I have cried many tears over that poor little thing since then. :(
I used to be a reptile expert. Now I'm just an old turtle lover.
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:04 pm   

How unfortunate. It sounds like Damien (all I can think of is Damien in the horror movie The Omen) needs some lessons in human relations, especially in his line of work.
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." -Antoine de Saint Exupery-
marisa
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 1:11 pm   

Yeah, the whole thing was very frustrating. Sending someone a two or three page email repeating that they are stupid, evil, idiotic, irresponsible, mean, dumb, cruel, uneducated, terrible, stupid, stupid, and stupid is NOT going to help the animal in their "care".

I know that working in rescue can be very frustrating and cause burnout. That is why I had to stop doing rescue in 2000. It just got too exhausting and draining financially. When you get burned out, that's when you need to step back. And yes, I think the woman WAS irresponsible and ignorant and her treatment of the turtle was cruel. But saying that to her would not have helped that turtle.
I used to be a reptile expert. Now I'm just an old turtle lover.
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