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 2018 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 Joshua Peterson print and other prizes to be announced. Drawing will take place on June 30, 2018. *Sponsoring multiple times or multiple turtles at the Platinum level increases your chances of winning!
If you wish to purchase a sponsorship as a Christmas gift for someone, please do so prior to December 16, 2018. 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!
Spectra is a Gulf Coast Box Turtle that was sprayed with an industrial adhesive resin called Spectrashield. Through quick action by the company that supplies this product, the individuals who did this were swiftly identified and dealt with. The process of trying to remove this product (a product designed to be permanent) was originally thought to be long and daunting, if possible at all. Thankfully when he was sprayed, a few areas were coated quite thickly. We were able to pierce these thick areas and began peeling the material off. In a very short time, most of the product had been removed. A little light dremeling removed the rest of it. His health was monitored for a short while, and he was able to be released back in his home neighborhood.
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: Tara Bonee
Lurch is an adult male Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina), who entered our care on March 9, 2018. Lurch was found in a business parking lot in Starkville, MS after having been run over by a car. We believe his wounds only involve his shell, and he should heal fine and be released later this year.
Sponsored By: Dr. Pat Hidalgo
Russ is an adult male Red Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) who came to us on February 28, 2018. Russ was found after being struck by a car in Amory, MS. Thankfully, his wounds appear to be superficial. He should heal and be ready for release later this year.
Mack is a adult male Red Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), who entered our care on February 21, 2018 after being hit by a car. Once we examined Mack, we noticed that he had obviously once been someone's pet (as evidenced by the pyramiding of his shell and his immediate acceptance of commercial turtle food.) He likely escaped, or was released, and ended up on a dangerous roadway. He is healing well, and will be offered for adoption later this year.
Sponsored By: Nate Steege
Scrub is a large male alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii), who came into our care at the end of January after his owner passed away. Scrub has an exciting forever home lined up, but won't be able to move there until late 2018 or early 2019. He'll remain in our facility until his new home is ready. (Big announcement on that later!)
Jagger is a juvenile Gulf Coast Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina major) who entered our care on January 27, 2018. Jagger came to us from Wild at Heart Rescue. Jagger was attacked by a predator, leaving him scarred and without the use of one eye. When/if he's healthy again, he will be placed for adoption.
Haws is an adult male Gulf Coast Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina major) who entered our care on January 27, 2018. Haws came to us from Wild at Heart Rescue. Haws has had a very hard life. He's been chewed on, he's missing his left eye, and he's battled a respiratory infection. When/if he's healthy again, he will be placed for adoption.
Twinkie is a juvenile Gulf Coast Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina major) who entered our care on January 27, 2018. Twinkie came to us from Wild at Heart Rescue. Due to displacement, he cannot be released and will be available for adoption.
Bruiser is an adult male gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), a federally protected and endangered species, who entered our care on January 27, 2018. Bruiser was hit by a car in Saucier, MS. He is healing well and should be released later this year.
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.
Bender is an adult male red eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) who entered our care on 10/03/17 from the Lucedale, MS area.
Bender’s story illustrates the critical nature of our educational efforts. A caring person saw Bender and thought it was odd he wasn’t relocating himself after a pond retaining wall was damaged, causing the pond to completely drain. The other animals had left to find a new hang out, but Bender seemingly would not budge. After 5 days of Bender staying put, the Good Samaritan contacted the Department of Wildlife who then contacted us.
Upon examination, it became evident Bender’s survival is a miracle! He had sustained injuries in the past which caused blindness. He had made it to the pond and healed as best he could on his own, but when the levee broke, he had nowhere to go.
Tomas is a juvenile (therefore, gender unknown) 3 toed box turtle (Terrapene carolina triunguis) who entered our care on 10/02/17 from the Hattiesburg, MS area. Poor Tomas sustained a large gash on the right side of his carapace. When he arrived at our facility, he was playing host to some most unwelcome guests, both maggots and fly eggs. Tomas is healing well and is no longer sharing his shell with freeloaders! We are happy to report we will release him in the spring of 2018.
Sponsored By: Fern Fillingim and
Elvis is an adult male Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) who entered our care on 09/15/17. Like his name sake, Elvis hails from the Tupelo, MS area. We don’t know the cause of his injuries, but Elvis was certainly wandering down Lonely Street towards Heartbreak Hotel! The skin had sheared from his right rear leg requiring sutures and his tail and cloaca sustained lacerations.
Hey, don’t be “all shook up.” We plan to return The King to his home in the spring of 2018
Sponsored By: Hometown Veterinary Hospital and Sandy Fortenberry
Bracken is an adult male Alabama red bellied cooter (Pseudemys alabamensis) who entered our care on 09/13/17.
Alabama red bellied cooters live in the Pascagoula River system which empties into the Gulf of Mexico. We don’t know if Bracken was riding a wave with Squirt and Nemo, but somehow, the poor fellow ended up in the Gulf and washed up on a beach in Gulfport, MS
Cooters are freshwater turtles. Bracken had salt toxicity that burned his skin and his eyes. He is now permanently blind. His skin is pitted and leathery from over-exposure to the sun and the keratin on his carapace eroded from salt damage. Because he has lost his sight, he will remain a permanent resident with us.
Bracken is a species ambassador. Alabama red bellied cooters are the official state reptile of Alabama. They are endangered, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists this species as one of “Highest Conservation Concern.”
Sponsored By: Kendall Harrison
The DBT Darlings/Dishwasher Turtles On September 8, 2017 we received a frantic call from an employee of a shelter located in West Memphis, Arkansas. A man who collects scrap metal had discovered a dishwasher behind an Asian restaurant that had been closed by the health department two weeks prior.
The man figured the dishwasher was fair game and attempted to load it into his truck. He then realized it was not empty! He opened it and found it was full of turtles. He contacted the shelter immediately. The shelter took the turtles in and after identifying them as Gulf Coast diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin pileata) the shelter then called CMTR for assistance.
Diamondback terrapins live in brackish (part fresh and part salt water) waters along coastal areas and marshes. This species is not native to AR. So, how did they get there? Harvesting. In some states, the commercial harvest of these amazing turtles is still legal. (Mississippi is NOT one of those states, but some of our neighboring states are.)
There were 19 turtles total, 2 were dead in the dishwasher and one died at the shelter. The 16 others had respiratory infections & fungal infections. Five of the 16 arrived in critical condition and four passed away. The remaining 12 females have graduated to a large tank and are slowly regaining their health.
Sadly, they can never be released in the wild, and we will adopt them to educational facilities in the hopes that their story inspires people to respect wildlife and engender more awareness about their species.
Hank is an adult male, 3 toed box turtle (Terrapene carolina triunguis). Hank entered our care on 09/03/17 after being hit by a car in the Oxford, MS area. The impact left his carapace completely shattered. We hopes to release Hank in the spring of 2018
Sponsored By: Aaron Fowler
Cliff is an adult male common musk turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) who entered our care on 08/29/17 from the Water Valley, MS area. Emaciated and dehydrated, poor Cliff was found by an individual in their driveway. Cliff's carapace is, quite literally, in pieces. The injury even offset his carapace, making his whole body look off-center. Sadly, because the breaks had long since healed when he made it to us, there isn't much we can do to put those pieces back together. You certainly can't tell him there's anything wrong, though. He eats, swims, basks, and acts just like a "normal" un-damaged turtle.
Cliff is thriving in his foster home! He loves to do zoomies in the waves from the filter and perches happily on rocks to survey his domain. He will remain in foster care until a permanent home can be found for him.
Sponsored By: Emma Greene
Albatross is an adult female gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), a federally protected and endangered species. Albatross entered our care on 10/18/17 after being hit by a motor vehicle. Although she sustained severe damage to her carapace, she is healing well and we hope to release her in her home territory in the Foxworth, MS area in 2018.
Support a “keystone species” and you help to sustain the fragile balance of our ecosystem. The gopher tortoise digs burrows that provide shelter for at least 360 other animal species. They are threatened by predators and habitat destruction.
Sponsored By: Jessica Pebley
Rodney is an adult male Gulf Coast box turtle (Terrapene carolina major) who entered our care on 08/22/17. Rodney had a cancerous growth removed from one of his legs. Unfortunately, this also required the removal of his foot. Rodney is available for adoption to someone who will be willing to follow up with his current veterinarian for routine cancer checks.
Sponsored By: Zach Greene
Sunny is a sub-adult male common snapping turtle (Cheldrya serpentina) who entered our care in July of 2017. Sunny was hit by car in Ridgeland causing deep facial lacerations and removing a large piece of bone on his carapace right behind his head.
Sunny will be in long term rehab. While his long term prognosis for release is currently “unknown,” we hope he heals enough for release.
Sponsored By: Sandy Fortenberry & Elizabeth Valenzuela
Brooke is a juvenile female Sulcata tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata) who entered our care on 07/11/17 from Brookhaven, MS. Brooke had been hit by a car and suffered severe damage to her carapace and suspected nerve damage to her rear legs.
Brooke is a non-native species of tortoise, so she was most likely someone’s pet who escaped or was released. People often don’t realize that teeny, tiny hatchlings can top the scales at 200+ pounds!! Sulcatas are the third largest species of tortoise in the world.
Brooke will undergo extended long term rehab with us due to lingering, and possibly permanent, nerve damage.
Sponsored By: Karen Jacome
Stumpy is an adult female Alabama red bellied cooter (Pseudemys alabamensis) who entered our care on 07/08/17. Stumpy suffered major damage to her carapace and is now missing her right front foot after being hit by a car. We are hopeful that she can be released at some point, but since she has an open area above her lung, we will be monitoring her carapace to see if the area “toughens up” enough for her to live safely in the wild.
Stumpy is an endangered species and the state reptile of AL. The AL red bellied cooter lives in a relatively small geographical range, making this species vulnerable to extinction. Human encroachment, including the construction of the Mobile Bay Causeway that bisected key nesting sites, has further compromised this species’ already limited numbers.
Sponsoring Stumpy helps CMTR save this beautiful animal from disappearing off the map. Thank you for your support!
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!
Stuckey is a juvenile 3 toed box turtle (Terrapene carolina triunguis) who entered our care on 05/27/17. Because she is a juvenile, her gender is unknown. Stuckey arrived from Petal, MS after being found in the middle of the road. She seemed unable to move her front legs.
Stuckey had no visible signs of injury, but had a nose bleed. She appears to have some type of neurological deficit. She has a permanent head tilt. She will not be able to be released.
Sponsored By: Vince Valenzuela
Oy is a hatcling 3 toed box turtle (Terrapene carolina triunguis) who entered our care on 04/03/17. Because he is a juvenile, his gender is unknown. Oy is a Florence, MS local who was attacked by a bird causing plastron damage. Oy is healing well and we are delighted to report he will have a new “release” on life in the spring of 2018.
Inglis is an adult male Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) who entered our care when his former owner thought Inglis was ill and asked us to take him. Inglis should be well enough by spring to begin seeking a forever home.
Sponsored By: Jim and Wendy Schroeder
Lena is an adult female Common Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) entered our care on 8/23/17. Lena was found, along with dozens of other animals, in a raid of an animal hoarder's home. She was discovered in water so dirty, the police officers didn't even realize a turtle was in the aquarium's black, filthy water until they saw the water move. Lena is currently up for adoption.
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.