Redfoot tortoise at Petco

ale92

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Jan 9, 2021
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7
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Hello all,

I am a new member on this forum, but had a red eared slider growing up, so I'm a little familiar with turtles (maybe not so much tortoises, hence my questions here). This is a long story, so I apologize in advance. So I recently bought a 12 inch long adult Redfoot male from a breeder. He arrived perfectly healthy and is eating like a pig. Anyways, a few days ago I stopped by Petco to get some supplies for him, and I saw they had a Redfoot that was discounted at $189. It was in a tank that was horribly small. We're talking 4 feet by 1.5 feet. The food in their food bowl was shriveled up greens, and humidity was at a dismal 35%. I really felt terrible for it. I thought about the tortoise over the weekend and today I stopped by Petco again just to see if the tortoise was still for sale. He was, so I asked one of the employees if I could take a look at it. The tortoise seemed responsive, eyes were clear, and his scales looked fine. The employee told me the poor thing had been at the store for months because no one wanted to buy him. He also said once they sell this one they would not stock Redfoots again due to their low demand. He told me if I was interested he could try to lower the price to $161. I left without the tortoise, but I'm really conflicted still about going back and buying him. I know we should all stick to breeders like I did for my current redfoot, and that buying from Petco/ Petsmart means I'm just funding them to get more poor animals to sell, even if they really don't sell Redfoots anymore. However, I just feel so bad for this tortoise. Now the employee to his credit seemed very knowledgeable about tortoises and lamented with me that the enclosure was definitely too small and the care was substandard, but unfortunately this is a very busy Petco so I completely understand that he can't devote all his time to one tortoise, and management likely has the final say in enclosure size. And now my dumb heart is telling me to go back to Petco and bring this little guy home to give him a better life. So enough with the back story. I attached a couple pictures I took of the tortoise. My questions follow below the pics:

1610600544961.png 1610600590428.png
1) Obviously because of the low humidity he already has some pyramiding at only 7ish inches long. How severe is this pyramiding? I'm ok if it's only "cosmetic" damage but I'm concerned if this pyramiding already has some internal damage. I'm aware pyramiding isn't reversible.

2) I know it might be hard to see in the photos, but the top of his shell has some white marks where his shell rubbed against the too-small hide. Petco doesn't allow customers to touch the animals because of COVID so I couldn't feel the white spots but it doesn't look like layers are peeling off or anything. Nevertheless, I was wondering if any of you seen this white marks from rubbing, and if it will eventually heal/ if there is any treatment I need to do if I buy him? Is having shell damage like this a good reason not to buy him?

3) At $161 it seems cheaper than most breeders who seem to ask $250 for RF's of the same size. I'm not worried about the price, so much as the origin of the tortoise. Being almost $100 cheaper than reputable breeders can't be a good thing. Looking at tortoiseforum it's been mentioned that Petco gets their Redfoots from tortoise farms in South America. Those posts were from 2010, so does anyone know if Petco still gets their Redfoots from farms? I prefer to stay away from wild caught.

From what I've read on this forum it's not a good idea to house two males together, so I'm prepared to build another enclosure if I bring this one home. Thanks so much!!! I've never agonized this much over an animal like this before.
 

crimson_lotus

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looks pretty good actually. the pyramiding is not too bad and is mostly cosmetic. there is no "internal damage" it could cause. It just makes the shell more porous.

i dont see any white but it could be new growth. again the shell looks fine.

i usually dont buy animals from pet stores because it encourages them to buy more, but if they aren't....I mean, it makes me feel better at least.
 

KarenSoCal

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You seem to really feel a connection with this redfoot. I say go get him! Maybe it's not the perfectly rational decision. Sure, there are lots of reasons why you think there may be problems.

But he needs help, and you will feel great just getting him out of that glass coffin he's in.

Everything's a risk in this world now, but you can still do good for this tort. Don't spend the next years wondering what happened to him. Be a hero for him.
 

Maro2Bear

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Greetings.... i agree, go ahead & get it as long as you have the room & means to take care. It sounds like you do. I can’t really see any white spots either...maybe just water stains or superficial abrasions. Some good soaks, proper food, lighging, substrate & humidity & your guy will be looking fine.
 

Chefdenoel10

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Oct 12, 2018
Messages
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New Jersey
Hello all,

I am a new member on this forum, but had a red eared slider growing up, so I'm a little familiar with turtles (maybe not so much tortoises, hence my questions here). This is a long story, so I apologize in advance. So I recently bought a 12 inch long adult Redfoot male from a breeder. He arrived perfectly healthy and is eating like a pig. Anyways, a few days ago I stopped by Petco to get some supplies for him, and I saw they had a Redfoot that was discounted at $189. It was in a tank that was horribly small. We're talking 4 feet by 1.5 feet. The food in their food bowl was shriveled up greens, and humidity was at a dismal 35%. I really felt terrible for it. I thought about the tortoise over the weekend and today I stopped by Petco again just to see if the tortoise was still for sale. He was, so I asked one of the employees if I could take a look at it. The tortoise seemed responsive, eyes were clear, and his scales looked fine. The employee told me the poor thing had been at the store for months because no one wanted to buy him. He also said once they sell this one they would not stock Redfoots again due to their low demand. He told me if I was interested he could try to lower the price to $161. I left without the tortoise, but I'm really conflicted still about going back and buying him. I know we should all stick to breeders like I did for my current redfoot, and that buying from Petco/ Petsmart means I'm just funding them to get more poor animals to sell, even if they really don't sell Redfoots anymore. However, I just feel so bad for this tortoise. Now the employee to his credit seemed very knowledgeable about tortoises and lamented with me that the enclosure was definitely too small and the care was substandard, but unfortunately this is a very busy Petco so I completely understand that he can't devote all his time to one tortoise, and management likely has the final say in enclosure size. And now my dumb heart is telling me to go back to Petco and bring this little guy home to give him a better life. So enough with the back story. I attached a couple pictures I took of the tortoise. My questions follow below the pics:

View attachment 315275 View attachment 315276
1) Obviously because of the low humidity he already has some pyramiding at only 7ish inches long. How severe is this pyramiding? I'm ok if it's only "cosmetic" damage but I'm concerned if this pyramiding already has some internal damage. I'm aware pyramiding isn't reversible.

2) I know it might be hard to see in the photos, but the top of his shell has some white marks where his shell rubbed against the too-small hide. Petco doesn't allow customers to touch the animals because of COVID so I couldn't feel the white spots but it doesn't look like layers are peeling off or anything. Nevertheless, I was wondering if any of you seen this white marks from rubbing, and if it will eventually heal/ if there is any treatment I need to do if I buy him? Is having shell damage like this a good reason not to buy him?

3) At $161 it seems cheaper than most breeders who seem to ask $250 for RF's of the same size. I'm not worried about the price, so much as the origin of the tortoise. Being almost $100 cheaper than reputable breeders can't be a good thing. Looking at tortoiseforum it's been mentioned that Petco gets their Redfoots from tortoise farms in South America. Those posts were from 2010, so does anyone know if Petco still gets their Redfoots from farms? I prefer to stay away from wild caught.

From what I've read on this forum it's not a good idea to house two males together, so I'm prepared to build another enclosure if I bring this one home. Thanks so much!!! I've never agonized this much over an animal like this before.
then your HEART answered your question.
And I second it.... GO GET THIS LITTLE GUY AND SAVE HIM!
We can worry about rehiring him later.
This poor little DEFENSELESS animal!!!
That’s his life??????
I did the same thing ( “rescued a hatchling”)!
Cant say I did the right thing because I had no idea it was this hard but compared to a 10 gallon tank.....I was like a Paradise!

I would go back there and offer $75-$100
That’s your final offer to give him a good home and take it off their hands...
Poor wee tortoise... scared and alone in a fish tank!!!!????? WTH are these stores thinking?!!?????? 😱
🙏🤞❤🍀
 

tortoise1972

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Jan 11, 2021
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I agree go rescue the little guy. Give him a good life. I totally get your dilemma. I was in the same boat with a wood turtle I got. he was in terrible shape when I got him ( this Redfoot does look great by the way.) and he only lived 10 more months. but I took great care of him until the end. I Don't regret it at all. Save that little guy!
 

Toddrickfl1

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Messages
5,866
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Ga
Hello all,

I am a new member on this forum, but had a red eared slider growing up, so I'm a little familiar with turtles (maybe not so much tortoises, hence my questions here). This is a long story, so I apologize in advance. So I recently bought a 12 inch long adult Redfoot male from a breeder. He arrived perfectly healthy and is eating like a pig. Anyways, a few days ago I stopped by Petco to get some supplies for him, and I saw they had a Redfoot that was discounted at $189. It was in a tank that was horribly small. We're talking 4 feet by 1.5 feet. The food in their food bowl was shriveled up greens, and humidity was at a dismal 35%. I really felt terrible for it. I thought about the tortoise over the weekend and today I stopped by Petco again just to see if the tortoise was still for sale. He was, so I asked one of the employees if I could take a look at it. The tortoise seemed responsive, eyes were clear, and his scales looked fine. The employee told me the poor thing had been at the store for months because no one wanted to buy him. He also said once they sell this one they would not stock Redfoots again due to their low demand. He told me if I was interested he could try to lower the price to $161. I left without the tortoise, but I'm really conflicted still about going back and buying him. I know we should all stick to breeders like I did for my current redfoot, and that buying from Petco/ Petsmart means I'm just funding them to get more poor animals to sell, even if they really don't sell Redfoots anymore. However, I just feel so bad for this tortoise. Now the employee to his credit seemed very knowledgeable about tortoises and lamented with me that the enclosure was definitely too small and the care was substandard, but unfortunately this is a very busy Petco so I completely understand that he can't devote all his time to one tortoise, and management likely has the final say in enclosure size. And now my dumb heart is telling me to go back to Petco and bring this little guy home to give him a better life. So enough with the back story. I attached a couple pictures I took of the tortoise. My questions follow below the pics:

View attachment 315275 View attachment 315276
1) Obviously because of the low humidity he already has some pyramiding at only 7ish inches long. How severe is this pyramiding? I'm ok if it's only "cosmetic" damage but I'm concerned if this pyramiding already has some internal damage. I'm aware pyramiding isn't reversible.

2) I know it might be hard to see in the photos, but the top of his shell has some white marks where his shell rubbed against the too-small hide. Petco doesn't allow customers to touch the animals because of COVID so I couldn't feel the white spots but it doesn't look like layers are peeling off or anything. Nevertheless, I was wondering if any of you seen this white marks from rubbing, and if it will eventually heal/ if there is any treatment I need to do if I buy him? Is having shell damage like this a good reason not to buy him?

3) At $161 it seems cheaper than most breeders who seem to ask $250 for RF's of the same size. I'm not worried about the price, so much as the origin of the tortoise. Being almost $100 cheaper than reputable breeders can't be a good thing. Looking at tortoiseforum it's been mentioned that Petco gets their Redfoots from tortoise farms in South America. Those posts were from 2010, so does anyone know if Petco still gets their Redfoots from farms? I prefer to stay away from wild caught.

From what I've read on this forum it's not a good idea to house two males together, so I'm prepared to build another enclosure if I bring this one home. Thanks so much!!! I've never agonized this much over an animal like this before.
If I'm not mistaken I don't think petco stocks Redfoots, only Russian tortoises. So chances are this was someone's pet that they surrendered to petco. I say go get him!
 

The best for Larry

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The thought process to never buy from a pet store is something I can't understand. It's an animal, it needs a home, whether from a pet store or breeder, it is a living animal. Like dogs, it is encourage for peeps to adopt animals from a shelter and not always go for the full breeds, they all need a home. This turtle, whether from a breeder or a shelter (pet store) needs a loving home. GOGETHIM and show him the love he deserves. You have a good heart :)
 

Maro2Bear

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Thank you for all your replies!!!! I truly appeciate it! My main concern was the shell condition but it sounds like the pyramiding isnt a problem. I spent the last couple days preparing for supplies for the enclosure. After work today I will stop by Petco and buy the tortoise.
Can’t wait for the updates!
 

crimson_lotus

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The thought process to never buy from a pet store is something I can't understand. It's an animal, it needs a home, whether from a pet store or breeder, it is a living animal. Like dogs, it is encourage for peeps to adopt animals from a shelter and not always go for the full breeds, they all need a home. This turtle, whether from a breeder or a shelter (pet store) needs a loving home. GOGETHIM and show him the love he deserves. You have a good heart :)
the thought process for me not buying at a pet store is perpetuating their abuse on animals. It is supply and demand - when there is demand, the pets will be resupplied regardless of where they are from or the conditions in the pet store. It has nothing to do with the animal itself, which does need a good home. pet stores are often not equipped to keep turtles or tortoises. I received my water turtle from a pet smart who was vomiting blood and was with a species from a different continent that was attacking him constantly. I may have saved that one turtle, but there is a good possibility another will be put in the same situation in its place. he was also filled with parasites and his shell was burned, AND there was a vet attached to the pet store the turtle apparently did not go to.

so yes my turtle found a good home, but did another turtle take its place?

I want to add that this thread is clearly a different situation - the tortoise will not be replaced due to lack of demand. I see no reason not to take him.

also not arguing, just throwing my thoughts out there
 

heysaucemikehere

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Jan 15, 2021
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I hope this doesn’t sound too mean, I don’t mean it to be whatsoever.
I have issues with people buying animals from places like Petco or Petsmart because they aren’t in good conditions. I 10000% understand it, but doing so is just hurting so many more animals. If you buy a neglected animal from there, that’s going to give them the green light that a negelect animal is an animal they are selling that people will buy, so they are going to keep neglecting the animals because it saves them money and because people will still buy it. That just means that they are going to think it’s acceptable for them to treat animals horribly, because anyone who buys an animal because they want to give it better conditions, are buying an animal that is being treated horribly. They are going to think “oh hey, if we still get sales when we treat animals this badly, how far can we go with treating them badly before people stop buying?” So they are going to treat the animals they get even worse, because it saves them even more money, and people are buying them no matter what, so why not? We, as customers, need to hold them to a higher standard. Buying animals that are neglected or abused is just going to make them get more animals and treat those animals even worse, because people will still buy them. In essence, I know this is coming from a loving place, and I know it will save one animals life, but it will hurt so many more in the long run, if people keep doing this. You can’t buy all the animals that are neglected, so the best thing you can do is contribute to the stopping of animals being neglected there. I hope this makes sense.
 
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Skip K

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We picked up a Redfoot under almost the exact same circumstances. Smaller than yours with more pronounced pyramiding ( maybe even the early stages of MBD). She has done well with us. Her growth had been stunted from her initial care but has turned around....slowly but surely. Most would have probably not been interested because of her condition ( and logically so)...but we are suckers for animals in trouble...and like challenges. We also brought to the pet store managers attention all the issues...with the entire scenario. Haven’t seen a tortoise or turtle for sale there since ( about 2 years)
 

MichaelL

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I say go buy him before you regret it! The good outweighs the bad in this situation. Once you get him, share pics! Here are some pics of two redfoots I saw in our local petco in the past year. :)
IMG_1737.JPG IMG_1738.JPG IMG_1736 (2).JPG
 

ale92

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Jan 9, 2021
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Southern California
I bought him home!!! He’s getting his first soak now! Pics are attached.

Thanks for all the perspectives!!! I totally understand the reasoning behind not supporting pet stores and their treatment of animals. It definitely gave me pause, but the big thing is that this particular store will not be replacing the redfoot. I went in and the employee (different one this time) again confirmed that they would not be restocking redfoot tortoises. Hopefully that will remain the case. Anyways I plan to closely monitor his shell. Humidity for the enclosure is already at 80%.
 

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