We offer an adoptions program licensed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to find new homes for displaced, unwanted, or unreleasable pet native turtles. Our adoption program started in 1999, and since 2006 we've placed over 100 turtles and tortoises a year!
Turtles are given up for adoption for the same reasons as other pets. Often the turtle is an impulse purchase, given up when it grows too big and is too hard to care for. Turtles become victims of divorce, college, owners relocating, declining health/death of owners, marriage, and new babies. Some turtles are found in abandoned homes after tenant evictions.. Some come from humane confiscations.
Contact the Adoptions Coordinator
Please e-mail MATTS Adoptions to get an application.
- You must submit a completed application and once approved, submit photo of housing
- A veterinarian reference is required, even if your vet doesn't see turtles
- You'll sign an adoption contract agreeing to humane care, abidance to laws/ordinances, and agreeing not to sell, trade, release or give away the animal without written permission from MATTS,
Answers to Adoption FAQs
- MATTS does not have a central shelter. All animals are in foster homes until adopted.
- Most animals are fostered in MD near Baltimore, with occasional animals in PA, VA or DE.
- Shipping is available Apr.1-Oct. 30 on a case-by-case basis, if approved by MATTS.
- There is no adoption fee for Red-Eared Sliders.
- Sliders going outdoors may be adopted from mid-May to late-Sept. so they can acclimate.
- MD residents CAN own baby turtles with a DNR Captive Reptile and Amphibian Permit.
- We DO adopt to first time owners after verifying commitment and proper care planned.
- If you can't care for your animal for some reason, it can be returned to MATTS.
Selecting a hard-shelled friend
Consider your budget and available space, and get advice from MATTS on making the right choice. Will your pet live indoors or outdoors? You'll be expected to provide detailed information on the housing set-up you have available for your pet before adoption is approved.
Consider a "special needs" pet if your situation allows. Be sure to read the description of each animal to discover any specific requirements or considerations.
Copyright 2013. Mid-Atlantic Turtle & Tortoise Society. All Rights Reserved.
Sandy, adopted at age 47 years old!