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 2020 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 2020 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 an "I Stop for Turtles" decal. Drawing will take place on December 31, 2019. *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 15, 2020. 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 information 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! Questions or special requests? Shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turtles You Can Sponsor
Digger is an adult male common snapping turtle. Snapping turtles understand that biting things is their number one defense. So when a vehicle tries to straddle them on the roadway, their reaction to that threat is often to bite at the vehicle as it goes by. Unfortunately, this only ends with the turtle suffering what can sometimes be pretty significant face/head trauma. In Digger's case, thankfully, the damage wasn't too bad. He did suffer a broken jaw, but the vet was able to stabilize and set it, and it should heal over the next several months. We hope to release him before the end of summer.
Sponsored by: K'Anna Baucom
Cynthia is an adult female Red Eared Slider who was hit by a car not far from our facility in March. She lost a significant portion of her shell (the entire yellow section in the photo to the left.) That area will develop scar tissue that will eventually become almost as hard as her original shell was, but it's going to take a very long time. She will probably be with us a couple of years at least. Time and sunlight will heal her, though, and we hope that she will once again go free one day.
Carina Morgan is an adult female Eastern BoxTurtle who came to us in March with a bad respiratory infection. She is recovering now, after a round of antibiotics, and we're hopeful she'll be released around June.
Corinne is an adult female Gulf Coast Box Turtle who came to us with a startling bad infection in her neck. It appears she suffered a fly strike at some point. These flies lay eggs within the tissue of a turtle's neck or legs, and their maggots develop within that tissue. Sadly, flies carry all sorts of disease and bacteria and they can cause horrible infections like this. Corinne has been on strong antibiotics and we've been debriding the infected material regularly. She is getting better, but still has a long way to go.
Catie is an hatchling red eared slider who was hit by a weed eater in March 2021. Momma turtles love to lay their eggs in yards and flower beds. It seems Catie's mother did that very thing. When Catie emerged from her winter slumber and made her way out of her nest this spring, she happened to do so on the same day the homeowners were doing some yard work, and they accidentally got her with the weed eater. She's doing well and recovering, and we're hoping to set her free before the end of summer.
Chamrok is an adult male who was hit by a car on St. Patrick's Day 2021. He suffered a badly broken shell at the rear, but we are hopeful that it will heal and he can be released in a few months.
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Sponsored by: The Winking Toad Apothecary and Jim Hartnett
Stoney is an adult female River Cooter who was hit by a car in November 2020. She sustained severe damage to her shell, and much of it had to be removed. She should heal, and scar tissue will form and harden, providing a protective barrier almost as hard as the original shell. Stoney's real story is in her unique front left arm. We're unsure if she was born this way, or if this formed after a previous injury, but her entire front left arm is made up of thousands of tiny claws. Instead of skin, keratin has formed, resulting in clusters on clusters of tiny claws. We've never seen anything like this before. If this resulted from an injury, we're curious to see how her recent injuries heal and whether they too will heal as keratin instead of skin.
Sponsored by: Eva Yates and Wes & Ali
Zeta is an adult female Gulf Coast Box Turtle who was hit by a car and then somehow ended up on Biloxi Beach during Hurricane Zeta. Her injuries should heal, but sadly, since we don't know where she came from originally, she will not be releasable. She will be with us until we find her a permanent home.
Sponsored by: Katie Nunez, Randy Stagg, and The Winking Toad Apothecary
Lynda is an adult female River Cooter that was hit by a car near West Point, MS. Sadly, her head took most of the trauma. She is recovering, but unfortunately her eyes had to be removed. She will not be releasable since she is now blind. She'll remain with us until a permanent home for her can be found.
Sponsored by: Jim and Robyn Hartnett
Stewart is an adult male Gulf Coast Box Turtle that at some point in the past, survived a fire. The likely scenario is that he had found a nice pile of leaves to bury into for the winter. A homeowner, not knowing the turtle was under those leaves, set fire to the pile. Thankfully he made it out alive, but his shell sustained substantial damage. The bone is now dying and breaking off. He will remain with us until all of those pieces are gone, and the tissue underneath hardens. We still hope to be able to release him in the future, but he will likely be here with us for a year or more.
Sponsored by: Kathy Kubik
Salty is an adult male Eastern Box Turtle that was (likely) struck by a car in October 2020. The damage was contained to one area of his carapace (top shell) which you can see in the photo below. A homeowner found Salty sometime after the injury occurred, and sadly the wound was already badly infested with fly eggs and larvae. He's been cleared of all the debris, and is doing well. That area of missing shell will develop scar tissue that will harden with time. How much hardening occurs will dictate when/if he is released. It will likely take many months, or even more than a year, before we know his final outcome.
Sponsored by: Wyatt Short and The Winking Toad Apothecary
Wyatt is an adult male Gopher Tortoise that was hit by a car in October 2020. He sustained a serious injury to the rear of his carapace (top shell), and part of the shell had to be removed surgically. He's doing well since his procedure and is healing well. He'll be here with us at least through the winter, and we will reevaluate him in spring 2021 for release.
Sponsored by: Dr. Nancy Vandewiele Milligan and Olivia Enlow
Milli is an adult female Gulf Coast Box Turtle who was admitted with a mystery illness. Something unknown is causing her white blood cell count to elevate, and has caused Milli to lose the function of her front legs. She is undergoing antibiotic treatment for the infection, and we hope to get her moving normally again by spring 2020.
Sponsored by: Ryan McAlinden and Debra Hilson
Mac is a sub-adult male Gulf Coast Box turtle that was hit by a car in October 2020.The right front "quarter panel" of his shell was broken and displaced from the rest of his shell. Unfortunately, by the time he got to us, too much healing had occurred for us to repair the break. The shell will have to heal as-is. Whether he can be released or not at a later time remains to be seen.
Sponsored by: Anthony Ferra
Tiberius Augustus is a sub-adult male Gulf Coast Box Turtle who came to us after a bot fly strike. The bot fly will lay eggs on a turtle's skin. When the eggs hatch, the larvae then burrow into the skin where they remain until they emerge. One hole can hold up to 50 bot fly larvae. These holes are not only painful but can become badly infected. We remove all larvae and larvae excrement, flush the area, and allow it to heal. Sometimes the sheer number of larvae can cause the skin to stretch so badly out of proportion that we have to have our vet surgically remove the excess skin to allow the turtle to resume normal movement.
Sponsored by: Robyn Harnett
JJ is an adult female Common Musk Turtle who suffered a horrific injury to her face. It looks like she was probably bitten by another animal - likely a larger turtle. She lost his left eye and the majority of her nose. She also doesn't appear to be able to see from her remaining eye. She's healing well, but will never be released. Once healed, she will have to be adopted into a permanent home.
Sponsored by: Allison Parc and The Winking Toad Apothecary
Keala is an adult female River Cooter that was hit by a car in summer 2020. The incident broke the back right portion of her carapace (top shell) as well as cracked it all the way up to the left of center. We were able to stabilize the broken edges of the break, and it is healing. We're hopeful that by spring 2021, she'll be completely healed and able to be released.
Sponsored by: Kevin Bechtold, Kenneth Hyatt, and Jim Hartnett
Iris is a juvenile Sulcata Tortoise that came to us as a surrendered pet. Iris, despite her size (she's only 3.5" in shell length and weighs only 158 grams), is actually four years old. She didn't have the best nutrition during those years, so her growth is quite stunted. She also has low calcium density in her bones, resulting in her body being very soft and pliable. To add to her list of woes, Iris also has two very large bladder stones which have impinged upon a nerve which we believe has caused her to lose function in her back legs. Iris had to be sent to a specialized veterinarian in Gulfport for a series of procedures to break up and remove those stones. If that doesn't work, she'll have to have a more invasive surgery to remove them. Her recovery will be long, but we're hopeful that her youth will be to her advantage and she can power through these challenges.
Sponsored by: Kaye Brown and Cynde Vaughn
King is an adult male Eastern Box Turtle that was hit by a car and suffered a bad break to his plastron (bottom shell). He had quite an interesting ride to us though. Originally found in Corinth, MS, he was taken to one of our volunteers in Olive Branch. From there, we sought transport for him south. A very generous turtle-angel offered to help, but due to time constraints, couldn't drive him herself. So, she hired him an Uber! This little guy Uber'd all the way here from, 3 hours away, from Olive Branch.
King's break looks bad, but we were able to stabilize it, and it's our hope that it will heal over the next few months and that he can be released in the spring.
Sponsored by: Robyn Hartnett
Noah is an hatchling Alabama Redbelly Cooter that hatched here at CMTR. Noah's mother was in care with us earlier this year. On the day she was released, we found a few eggs in the bottom of her tank. "Just in case", we put the eggs in the incubator, not really expecting them to be fertile or viable, but to our surprise, one of them hatched! Unfortunately, the one that hatched did so with a very deformed back right leg, as well as the portion of the shell right at the back right leg. He, surprisingly, does just fine in water, though. He uses that leg like there's nothing wrong with it, and can even walk on it. He'll stay here with us for quite some time, until we see how this deformity will effect him as he grows.
Sponsored by: Dr. Lynn Svoboda
Pari is a young adult male Three Toed Box Turtle that was found by a family on a little family hiking trip in the woods near their home. Little Pari was stuck at the bottom of a hole, and had been there for a very long time. When he got here, he was emaciated and sick, having had nothing to eat or drink (except rare rain water). We immediately got him on antibiotics and got food and water into him. Slowly but surely, he has started eating on his own, his eyes have cleared up, and he's gaining weight. Our hope is that he'll be a healthy weight with no remaining signs of illness in spring 2021, and he can be a wild turtle once more.
Nala is an adult female Alabama Redbelly Cooter that was hit by a car in the summer of 2020. She suffered a severe injury which broke away most of the shell on her right side. That area will eventually scar over and harden, but it will be a very long process. She will likely be with us for months or even longer than a year. The Alabama Redbelly is endangered and protected here in Mississippi, so our goal is to release her, if at all possible. Time will tell. For now, she'll live in a large tank here, protected from predators, where she can be constantly monitored.
Aurora is an adult female Three Toed Box Turtle that was hit by a car in early summer 2020. Her front end was crushed and her carapace (top shell) broken into several pieces. We were able to stabilize and repair her shell, but she no longer uses her back legs. We're hoping that is temporary and she'll regain the use of the legs and can be released. If not, she won't be releasable and will have to find a permanent home in the future.
Sponsored by: Lauren Wade, Amber Robinson, Jim Hartnett, and The Winking Toad Apothecary
Evelyn is an adult female alligator snapper who was hooked on a fishing line, beaten with a blunt object, and then shot and left for dead. She's undergone two surgeries to repair the damage left by the bullet and hook. Her shell is cracked on her right side from the damage inflicted by the blunt object, but it is thankfully not an open wound. She has a very long and tedious recovery ahead of her. As of this writing (5/30/20) she remains in critical condition.
Sponsored by: Sydney Ingram, Stevie Gregory, and Jon Maeda
Ash is an adult male alligator snapping turtle who was hooked on a trot line and then beaten mercilessly with a shovel. (Yes, the authorities are aware and are handling it from a legal standpoint.) Surgery removed the hook from his throat and realigned his caved-in skull, but his recovery will likely be lengthy. Brain damage has not been ruled out. But Ash is a fighter, and we hope to help him to a full recovery and eventual release.
Sponsored By: Stephany Choy
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: Jim and Robyn Hartnett
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.