July 21, 2009,
M.G. asks from Tyler, TX on July 17, 2009
Help with a Pet That I Don't Want Anymore!
First of all my sister is going to laugh when she reads this! In March my daughter's kindergarten teacher planned on releasing the class pets, 2 aqua turtles, into a pond, but my daughter begged her not to. Instead they were sent home with us the next day, with my permission of course. We keep them in a rubbermaid container. I priced a natural habitat and there is no way I'm spending close to $200 on 2 turtles.
My REAL PROBLEM is that she loves these turtles to pieces but I am sick of them. They smell bad and it is a task to keep their water clean. I can't wait to get rid of them but everytime we talk about it I feel so quilty. Last night I told her we need to let them go and her response was "I know". She understands but it definetly upsets her.
We are leaving to go on vacation for a week. Should I use this time as an excuse to get rid of them? Or will that be too upsetting for her when we return to a pet-less home? Should I get a turtle sitter? HaHa! What should I do?
So What Happened?™
I really didn't think anyone cared to hear this after nearly a year, but our family dcided on keeping the turtles. When we left for vacation we got a pet sitter. Our turtles were never in any danger like some of the moms thought. Killing them was NEVER an option!!! I can not believe I am being compared to accused animal murderers from Petco. We wanted a better home for them that we honestly could not afford but we have managed to do ok with them so far. However I failed to update everyone on the decision we chose. Thank you to all who had helpful advise. I really appreciate it, except the ones that just want to stir up trouble, save it for someone else. Thanks, MG
B.J. answers from Dallas on July 18, 2009
Turtles and tortoises that have been in captivity should NOT be released into the wild! They carry diseases, some that the common person and non-specialist vets, cannot easily detect, but which can devastate wild populations. Plus, you cannot expect that they will do well in the area where you release them. If you no longer want these pets and want them to survive and not potentially endanger their lives and the lives of other turtles, you should find a turtle rescue organization. Go online and I'm sure you can find one. This could be a great teaching of responsibility moment for your daughter.
3 moms found this helpful
T.S. answers from Dallas on July 18, 2009
A friend of mine told me something kind of neat the other day. She had a friend whose kiddos REALLY wanted hamsters. After 3 months they were done with them of course. So she got with about 6 other families and they rotate the hamsters every 2 months. They rotate with the cage and all the basics, but the family that hosts them during the two months is responsible for buying the food, etc. She said it has worked out great and everyone is always glad to have them back on their turn. You might try this idea.
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L.P. answers from Dallas on July 18, 2009
I say save it until school starts (it's only a few more weeks) and give it back to the teacher for her new class. Then your daughter can visit it at school when she missed them.
1 mom found this helpful
B.M. answers from Dallas on July 18, 2009
She needs to be involved in finding the turtles a new home. It seems that she understands that they need to go. Ask her if they need to go to a new home or the pond. If you decide to let them into the wild, she should be the one to set them free. In any case, give her a chance to say goodbye. Then maybe you can discuss a pet that you both can live with.
1 mom found this helpful
S.C. answers from Dallas on July 18, 2009
One thing you could do is contact some area pet stores and see if any of them will take the turtles. You might also try some fish and reptile stores. Many fish (aquarium) stores are smaller Mom & Pop type places, not the big chain type stores, with more relaxed policies. I know there use to be a pet store in Bedford that would take some unwanted pets. I think it was Petland (it closed recently). When I looked online, I saw there is another Petland in Arlington.
Another thing you might try is finding them a new home. I'm not sure where you live, but there are some groups in the DFW area dedicated to "freecycling" where you can find pets new homes. In Fort Worth the group is "FtWorthFreeStuff" in yahoo groups ... you have to become a part of the group, then you can post prettymuch anything you no longer want or need and others will fall all over themselves trying to take it off your hands. If you want anymore info about the various groups and group names, please let me know.
With either of these solutions, you are not just getting rid of them, but finding them a new home and a new "family", which may be easier for your daughter to accept. (What specific kind are they and how big? I have a terrarium and MIGHT be interested myself!)
E.C. answers from Dallas on July 18, 2009
A friend of mine listed her kids fish on craiglist for free & they were picked up an hour after she posted :) The kids knew the fish were leaving & that when they did, they would get a new toy. Worked out well for them! I'm with you on getting rid of a smelly pet! Can't handle that! But the school will probably call the teacher for you & see if she wants them back for fall and then you'd know you'd only have them for a few more weeks. Good luck!
E.C. answers from Dallas on July 18, 2009
I had an aqua turtle when I was little named "Carl". My dad would always bring turtles home it seems, at least that is what i remember growing up. I also had two land turtles named Mike and Mary. Anyway, one day we had to get rid of Carl because my mom said that he would die if we kept him in this small tank (it was a little fish tank). She further explained that Carl would be much happier in a large lake with his friends where he could jump and play. It was a no brainer. I wanted Carl to be happy. And to this day I am so happy that we let Carl free. Eventually, Mike and Mary were let free as well. They had full roam of our basement (we lived in the Midwest). Anyway, good luck with your decision. By the way, I was around 8 at the time and my brother was 6.
L.I. answers from Dallas on July 18, 2009
Do you know if the turtles are native to this area? If not, they probably won't survive. I would put them up on Craigs List for free pet to give away - somebody will want them!