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 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
LaBrea and Pitch are Three Toed Box Turtles who were rescued after being mired in tar for two weeks. We believe tar was dumped (accidentally or on purpose we'll probably never know) into a culvert. The male turtle, Pitch, was pursuing the female, LaBrea, when both entered the culvert and became stuck in the tar. The original rescuer reported seeing eggs in the tar as well, so we can only assume that the female voided her eggs as a result of her panic and stress.
Both turtles will have a long and difficult recovery. Removing the tar will take multiple sessions and will be quite tedious. Abrasives and toxic chemicals cannot be used, so the process to remove the tar will involve hours and hours of massage with olive oil to break up the oil in the tar. LaBrea will also need to be sedated to remove the tar from her mouth.
Both turtles will be with us through the winter of 2019 and we hope they can be released in spring 2020.
Sponsored by: Shannon Weber
Yanmar is an adult female Three Toed Box Turtle who survived a bush hog (that's a brush-cutting apparatus pulled behind a tractor, for visitors to our page who aren't familiar with the term.) The homeowner saw her get shot out as he was cutting, and immediately sought help for her. She should heal without well...although, with a couple of lasting scars... We hope to release her in spring 2020.
Carter is an adult male Three Toed Box Turtle who was hit by a car in early October 2019. Carter suffered significant damage to his shell. We were able to put most of the pieces back together, but there was one piece that was lost at the time of impact. That area will take a very long time to heal. Carter could be with us a year or longer. That spot will develop scar tissue, which will harden with time, but it can sometimes take quite a while until it's hard enough to provide ample protection from predators, weather, or other hazards.
Jersey is hatchling Gulf Coast Box Turtle. We believe that either right before or right as Jersey was hatching, a predator tried to claim his life. For whatever reason, this predator was unsuccessful, but didn't leave without leaving behind some damage to poor little Jersey. As you can see in the photo, he's quite squished. His injuries also cause him to walk sideways. We're hoping he grows out of at least some of this and is able to function normally once he's older. He will likely be with us for a few years.
Phred is an adult male Eastern Box Turtle who was hit by a car in early September. Phred's injuries were quite severe, and we weren't sure at first if he could even survive them. But, he showed us very early on that he has no intention of dying, so we are fighting for him as hard as we can. His recovery could very well take upwards of a year or more, so he's here for the long haul. Hopefully we can get this gorgeous guy back out in the wild where he belongs.
Ridgeland Babies are a clutch of 9 River Cooter eggs we incubated. Their mother had been hit by a car in Ridgeland earlier in the summer, but died almost immediately. We salvaged her eggs and incubated them artificially. The hatchlings will spend the winter with us or in foster care, and will be released in spring 2020.
Jason is an adult male Three Toed Box Turtle who was hit by a car in September 2019. Jason suffered a depressed fracture of his carapace (top shell) but, thankfully, did not impact his spine. He should recover fine and be releasable in spring 2020.
Sponsored by: Sydney Ingram
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: The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science
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 , Sandra Miller, and Tim Jenkins
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.
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.
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.
Craig is an adult male Red Eared Slider. He was the victim of one of the worst dog attacks I've ever seen. When he first arrived here, there wasn't much left of his shell, and we weren't even really sure how it was staying together. I did not have high hopes for him.
Fast forward a few months, and you can see some miraculous healing has taken place. So much so, that he's now well enough to live outside full-time in water. Sunshine and time will be the keys to his healing. Whether or not he'll be releasable remains to be seen. But, the way he fights...I'm not ruling anything out!
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.
UPDATE: Chiana was adopted! She went to live with her new forever family on November 20, 2019. To come back from an injury like this and not only survive, but thrive (!), is a testament to the resiliency and tenacity of these tiny shelled creatures. They are truly incredible.
Sponsored by: Hannah Belle
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: 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.
UPDATE: Rankin was adopted!
"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.
Sponsored by: Ethan Hill
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: 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.
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.
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.