Permits for desert tortoises

Caitlion

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Jul 6, 2014
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Hello everyone, I have a few questions regarding CA permit laws and would really appreciate some help.

First of all, is it legal to own more than one desert tortoise in CA?

And, secondly, can they be confiscated while you are trying to apply for a permit? My father acquired these tortoises (one male, one female) before I was even born (I'm 27) and left them in my care when he moved to the east coast. I know they had permits at one point, but for some reason they never attached them to the tortoises (uggh) and, of course, can't find them. Anyways, I want to get them permits ASAP, but I'm so scared that they will be taken away from me for some reason. I've grown up with them and would be so heartbroken if that were to happen. So, does anybody have any information on this process? What do I say on the application??-- that they've been captive for years?
 

dmmj

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You can own as many as you like, space permitting. Technically they could be confiscated, but not for not being permitted.The permit is easy, and free, you don't even have to say where you got them. Your address, is all they require, have no fear they won't take them for not beinng permitted.
 

Caitlion

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Thank you so, so much! I really want to do things the right way and this makes me feel so much better. :)
 

ascott

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There is a place on the application that asks where you acquired the tortoise from....since your father had them before you were born, you can complete the space showing that you inherited them from your father("Long Term Captive")....:D

http://tortoise.org/general/permit.html

If you indeed have one male and one female, they should not be housed together in the same space....captive breeding is not desirable.
 

Yvonne G

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Desert tortoises belong to the state they live in. So your desert tortoises are in your care, however, they actually belong to the state of California. You might write a note to the Department of Fish and Wildlife letting them know that you have a couple of "grandfathered" desert tortoises and is it possible for the Department to look up your dad's name and see if they can find the tortoise's permit info. My guess is that they aren't going to want to spend any time on the problem and will just send you an application to fill out.

In the space "How Did You Acquire This Tortoise" you would enter, "Been in the family for over 30 years".

The last address/name I have for permits is Lori Heier, 916 928-5846, [email protected]. But they move those people around all the time, and that may not be the permit person anymore.

No one is going to come and take away your tortoises. Don't even give that another thought.

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kathyth

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Where do you live? Your local CTTC will do it pretty fast for you.
 

Tom

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I'm with kathyth. Just find your local California Turtle and Tortoise Club chapter. You can fill out the form and get your tags all right there on the spot from them with out even talking to any government officials who might be confused on how things work.

To clarify a point Angela made, breeding is not allowed by the state of CA. Personally, I find it highly desirable, but our government didn't ask my opinion before forcing their rules upon all of us.
 

Caitlion

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Jul 6, 2014
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Thank you all for the help.

I'm in Southern CA. The nearest CTTC is about an hour away, so I will look into it.
And I am definitely NOT going to allow breeding to happen, no matter how ridiculously cute tortoise hatchlings are.
 
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