Many people are not in a position to foster or adopt an animal, but would still like to help. A great way to do this is to sponsor a turtle with Central MS Turtle Rescue! Our rescue relies on the generous support of of people like you.
Central MS Turtle Rescue provides all the needed medical care for the turtles in our rescue, as well as food, enclosures, UVB lights, heat, substrate, hides, etc. Reptiles heal slowly and, depending on the time of year, they cannot be released to the wild until weather conditions are favorable enough to ensure they will survive. The price tag to care for a turtle in our rescue adds up quickly.
We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and all donations are tax-deductible. Sponsoring a turtle is a great way to get involved when you are unable to foster or adopt. For other ways to help, please check out our How You Can Help page.
Your sponsorship donation helps to cover the food, enclosure, and medical costs for the turtle you choose. We have 4 levels of sponsorship available for you to choose from.
Bronze level sponsorship ($15) will designate you as an official sponsor of that turtle. Your name will be added under that turtle's picture as a sponsor of its care through June 2018 or until that turtle is released/rehomed, whichever comes first.
Silver level sponsorship ($20) will receive a Certificate of Sponsorship, a picture of the turtle you chose to sponsor, and your name will be added under that turtle's picture as a sponsor of its care through June 2019 or until that turtle is released/rehomed, whichever comes first.
Gold level sponsorship ($30) will receive one of our key-chains in addition to the items included in the bronze and silver levels.
Platinum level sponsorship ($50) will receive all of the items above, and will also be entered into a drawing for a set of Joshua Peterson prints (see this page for examples of the prints) and a 2019 CMTR Calendar. Drawing will take place on December 30, 2018. *Sponsoring multiple times or multiple turtles at the Platinum level increases your chances of winning!
Sponsorships can be listed anonymously. If you'd prefer we not put your name on our website with the turtle you've sponsored, just shoot us an email or send us a message with your PayPal payment, and we will leave your name off as requested.
If you wish to purchase a sponsorship as a Christmas gift for someone, please do so prior to December 13, 2019. This allows us enough time to put together the sponsorship package and mail it out to you before the holiday rush that might cause delays in shipping.
** PLEASE NOTE ** we will ship the Certificate and picture to the address included with your PayPal payment. If you would like the package mailed to a different address or different name ... PLEASE make sure you indicate that in the area provided with the 'add to cart' button. If there is an address added, we will mail the sponsorship gifts to that name and address for you. If you wish to mail or give the items as a gift yourself, just give us a name but no address. We will then mail the package to the address given to us by PayPal. Thank You!
Turtles You Can Sponsor
Shelton is an adult male gopher tortoise who was the victim of a dog attack. Shelton suffered damage to his forelimbs, claws, and plastron. These injuries should heal and we hope to see him returned to the wild in Spring of 2020.
Shelton was collectively named by friends of Kathy Shelton. Kathy was a conservation biologist with the MS Museum of Natural Science/MS Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks who had particular interests in bats and gopher tortoises. She was a friend to many and an inspiration to many more. This tortoise is named in her honor. We love you and miss you, Kathy.
Sponsored by: Sarah Blackmore
Sponsored by: Debra Hilson (Jethro)
Ellie's Babies (May, Jed, Jethro, Beverly, and Drysdale)
Ellie (pictured below) was a box turtle hit by a car earlier this year. Despite her rescuer driving her all the way to us, and our attempts to repair her broken shell, she died just a couple of days later. We knew, however, that Ellie was carrying eggs, so we removed the eggs from her post-mortem. Those eggs have now hatched and 5 healthy baby box turtles will be head-started over the fall and winter, and will be released in the area their mom came from in Spring of 2020.
Ellie's legacy lives on through the lives of her young.
Frankie is an adult female Red Eared Slider. Frankie is short for "Frankenturtle" due to all her screws. This method was employed by a vet clinic in north Mississippi in order to set her shell break. In a few months, the shell should have healed enough that those screws can come out. She'll then need time for the holes the screws left behind to heal, so she'll likely be with us through winter and will be released in the spring.
Pickwick is an adult female River Cooter who was found up in extreme Northeast Mississippi, suffering from a respiratory infection. A fisherman noticed that she could not submerge in water and was floating lopsided. She's been responding well to antibiotics and we hope to release her prior to this winter.
Sponsored by: Carrie Brower
Pickel is an adult male gopher tortoise who was the victim of a grisly dog attack. The dog chewed away the entire rear portion of his top shell (carapace) and put deep gouges in his bottom shell (plastron). He's so far healing well but has a long road ahead of him. He will likely be with us until at least summer of 2020.
Lauren is an adult female Three Toed Box Turtle who found herself crossing paths with a dog. Dogs love to chew on turtles, so poor Lauren fell victim to this dog's chewing nature. Dog chew victims are very common, but unfortunately they are also the easiest to develop infection. Lauren is on antibiotics and medicine for pain. We're hopeful she will heal without incident and can be released in the future.
Stockton is an adult male Common Snapping Turtle who swallowed a large stainless steel fish hook and braided fishing line. He was discovered in someone's hard, dragging behind him the buoy the fishing line was attached to. He's so lucky that line and buoy didn't get caught on anything and cause him to drown. Stockton had the hook and line removed surgically and is healing. The hook did a lot of damage to the soft tissues of his throat and caused significant swelling. He's not out of the woods yet, but is such a fighter.
Sponsored by: Hannah Belle
Christian is an adult female Red Eared Slider who was hit by a car. She had a large gash in her carapace and a penetrated lung. Her type of wound gave us the opportunity to try out a new therapy - Wound VAC. The therapy is working amazingly well. At this writing, she's been hooked up to the Wound VAC for 8 days and the amount of healing is nothing short of astounding. Christian may very well lead the way for hundreds of other turtles to survive previously-thought un-survivable wounds like hers.
The Wound VAC treatment is costly, however (approximately $125/week), so any sponsors of Christian will help offset those high equipment costs, not only for her, but for those who follow with this ground-breaking protocol.
Sponsored by: Joshua Cantor
Alban is an adult male Three Toed Box Turtle whose shell was shattered by a car back in May. He had to be put back together like a jigsaw puzzle, but is doing very well. We're hoping the bones of his shell remodel and he's able to be released in the future.
Mr. Vick is an adult male red eared slider who just may be one of the unluckiest turtles we've ever met. He was found in the road after being hit by a car. Upon inspection, he was also found to have a fish hook in his mouth. (Note how the fisherman just cut the line, leaving the painful hook in there.) It was further discovered that poor Mr. Vick also had an ear abscess/infection. He is currently still healing from his very bad year and we hope to release him in 2020.
Sponsored by: Sarah Blackmore
Chiana is a juvenile Gulf Coast Box Turtle who suffered severe head trauma after being crushed by a car. Both of her eyes had to be removed. She's recovering, but has a very long road ahead.
D'Argo is an adult male Gulf Coast Box Turtle that someone completely painted red. The paint used was some sort of house paint, we believe, and it's proving very difficult to remove. It will take several sessions over a period of months to remove all the paint. Once the paint is gone, he will be released.
Walter is an adult male common musk turtle. Walter apparently bit down on a piece of bait at the end of a fish hook. Sadly, the fisherman simply ripped the hook out of Walter's mouth, which badly damaged his beak. He is healing and we still hope he can one day be released.
Sponsored By: The Winking Toad Apothecary
Bowser is a juvenile Common Snapping Turtle who was found in a roadside ditch with what looked like no face. Originally thought to have been recently injured, he was taken immediately to Wild at Heart Rescue in Vancleave before being transferred to us. It was determined that Bowser's injuries were actually several months old. More surprising was that he had obviously still been eating and functioning normally, since he was in good health and of a healthy body weight. The damaged tissues of Bowser's face have since fallen off to reveal both of his eyes are still intact, though he appears to only have partial sight in one eye. We'll probably never know exactly what happened to cause this traumatic injury to his face, but this turtle is a fighter with a very strong will to live.
Sponsored by: Hannah Belle
Rankin is a male Three Toed Box Turtle, who was struck by a car in October. Rankin suffered severe head/facial trauma and cannot yet eat on his own. He has a feeding tube in place which allows us to make sure he receives vital hydration, medication, and food. Rankin has a long way to go, but we are hopeful he'll be able to be released next spring.
"The 23" is a group of hatchling box turtles we took in on 11/7/18. A family with pet box turtles were surprised to find that at least one of their pets was a male, when in September, they started finding baby turtles everywhere. At the end, 23 babies were found. These will be with us until at least Spring 2019.
Goliath is one of the largest Gulf Coast Box Turtles we have ever seen. His shell measures a Straight Carapace Length of 8 inches, and he weighs in at over 1 kilogram! Unfortunately, his size didn't help him when he came face to face with what believe was a lawnmower or bush-hog blade. The blade sliced his carapace from tail to head. He's healing well, though, and we hope to release him in Spring 2019.
Sponsored by: Katrina Stagg
Bree is a hatchling eastern box turtle that hatched in our care in August 2018.
Bree's story starts with her mom - Rhea. Rhea was hit by a car in Golden, MS on June 2, 2018. Xrays revealed she was carrying four eggs inside her. (She was likely on her way to lay her eggs when she crossed the road and was hit by the car.) Despite doing everything within our power to save Rhea, we soon realized that the injuries she sustained caused trauma to her brain. Her movements were more reflexive than intentional, she could not eat or drink, and she had not emptied her bowel or bladder since her injury. Ultimately, we decided the most humane thing to do for her was to have her euthanized.
She was first sedated and then euthanized with medication. We then rushed her home from the vet so that we could extract her eggs before the euthanasia medication could permeate the shells and kill the embryos. Two months later, Bree hatched. One egg was not viable, one hatchling died in the egg before hatching, and we're still waiting on the last egg to hatch.
Rhea was a beautiful female eastern box turtle. Mississippi is fortunate to have three separate subspecies of box turtle native here - the eastern (Terrapene carolina carolina), the three toed (Terrapene carolina triunguis), and the gulf coast (Terrapene carolina major). The gulf coasts are found in the southern part of the state - as their name suggests, along the coastal areas. Three toeds are native to the central and northern parts of the state. Easterns are only found at the very northern tip of Mississippi, predominantly in the far northeast corner of the state. Eastern box turtle populations are in decline, and since Mississippi has so few of them left, each life saved is a win for their species. While we could not save Rhea, we know that Bree will carry on her legacy.
Sponsored by: Aaron Fowler and Tammy Hagen
RC Cola is a female River Cooter who was found trying to drag herself across a roadway. The motorist who stopped to help her quickly discovered that she was missing both of her back legs. We're not exactly sure how she came to lose her legs, but suspect it was a predator. She will now live in captivity, in a controlled environment, where she can swim and lay her eggs without having to drag her lower body around or risk crossing any roads.
Sponsored By: Mary Brown
Flora is an adult female Red Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) who came to us on March 10, 2018. Flora was spotted struggling in a homeowner's pond. The pond had frozen over this winter, and it's believed that Flora is suffering from being cold-stunned. Her eyes are damaged and she has a respiratory infection. She has a long road to recovery, and we're unsure if she'll regain her vision.
Sponsored By: Pam Gigac
Scooter is an adult male Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) who entered our care in 2012. Scooter was captured as a hatchling by a child who kept him under his bed in a pizza box for 7 years. His carapace deformity is the result of being kept in that improper enclosure, being fed an incorrect diet, and because Scooter was chronically deprived of proper light, temperature and humidity.
Scooter is an Educational Ambassador who exemplifies the harm of attempting to make a wild animal a pet. Most people are not aware of the time and fiscal investment necessary to keep these animals healthy. Their life span is decades long, and we are committed to educating people who love turtles how to help this species and how to identify responsible resources, such as adopting a rescue, when people want to enjoy these magnificent creatures and have them as family members.
Sponsored By: Wendy & Jim Schroeder
Cosmo is a hatchling river cooter (Pseudemys concinna). He's one of Shelby’s hatchlings and was born with one eye. We know he can see at least light and movement out of his right eye, but we are unsure he has enough vision to survive in the wild.
We are considering adoption applications for Cosmo. However, since we will not know his gender for years, he requires a home who has the capability of providing him with an appropriately sized tank as he grows and an enclosed, predator-proof pond if he is indeed a she!
Stan is a juvenile West African Brown Mud Turtle (Pelusios castaneus) who entered our care on 11/29/17. Both Stan and Rufus were to be sold as pets at a local pet store, when the store manager noticed they were sick. These turtles are not native to Mississippi, and therefore cannot be released here. Once healed of their illnesses, they will be placed for adoption.
Rufus is a juvenile African Helmeted Turtle (Pelomedusa subrufa) who entered our care with Stan on 11/29/17. Both Stan and Rufus were to be sold as pets at a local pet store, when the store manager noticed they were sick. These turtles are not native to Mississippi, and therefore cannot be released here. Once healed of their illnesses, they will be placed for adoption.