Sanctuary?

Steve in CT

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Nov 29, 2014
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21
Location (City and/or State)
Connecticut
I thought that I might reintroduce myself because since I joined not long ago a lot has changed. My name is Steve and I live in Connecticut and yes Connecticut is not the best climate for a tortoise or for me. I have had a live long passion for tortoises and received my first two more than 25 years ago. today I have 8 Sulcatas, 14 Russians, 4 Redfoots 1 Hermanns, 1 Greek and a 3 toed box.

I also have 6 acres of land with a fantastic pasture that I have pored my sweat and blood into creating spacious, healthy habitats for my herd. ( I also have a very understanding wife)

I came across a large Sulcata awhile back and and the women who saved him said a college student was going to release it in a town park pond. I wondered how people think the same way so I have run a add on craigslist and sure enough at lest 2 other tortoises over the years were rescued because someone was going to release them.

I do not consider myself a rescue but more in line with a sanctuary. I never buy sell or adopt out, once they arrive here they are here to stay. No more glass tanks in someones corner of the room. Some of the tortoise come here in sad shape, some never walked on the ground outside, but they are given the best that I can give them and accept their odd looking misshaped shell and other little deformities, and they do really well and are appreciated for the magnificent creatures they are.

Most folks that come here to drop off are very grateful that I am willing to take their beloved tortoise in and give it a permanent home.

So I call this a sanctuary but I am really considering making it official and would love to correspond with anyone in the same situation. I think we need more sanctuaries!!!

I appreciate your input
Steve
The Connecticut Tortoise Sanctuary (sounds kinda good)
 

tortadise

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Welcome. I agree. We take in so many that are from your area and even further north and central too. Most sadly are sulcatas which don't do well in the colder climates because of the space restriction and costly utilities to keep them warm.

The best recommendation I can give is to document each relinquished animal someone gives you. Keep those records nice and documented by month, year etc... Applying for 501C(3) status is quite taxing and a lengthy process for sure. Having all your ducks in row in always best. It's usually easier establishing a DBA first and showing a loss each year or quarter to validate it's a charitable cause. But keep in mind you need to fulfill the diligence of a non profit public organization. This means going to schools and educating children to adults from kindergarten to collegiate level students. Have participants in locale events and setting up booths at reptile shows, trade shows, and local pet stores with educating public of (for instance) "why not to get a Sulcata for a pet in northern climates" and perhaps just things like that.

Like next week I'm going up to the VA for a back to school fair event and bringing some of the big boys for kids and vets to experience. It's always fun. Education and getting good word out on why there's a need is always rewarding.
 

wellington

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It sounds great and good for you. Specially in areas that are not as tortoise friendly as other places, the need is probably greater for someone like you. Many don't realize what they are buying can't live in a small aquarium it's whole life and when they finally figure it out' they don't want it any more.
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

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Hello Steve
Welcome to the TFO from AZ . Good luck in your choises . And with the torts .
 

Lexiii

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Where in Ct? I'm in Middlebury. This sounds like a great thing you are doing.
.
 

dmmj

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so you want to rescue tortoises but you don't want to call yourself a rescue? what's in the name give him sanctuary rescue them it doesn't matter as long as you'regiving with a forever home
 

Steve in CT

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Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Messages
21
Location (City and/or State)
Connecticut
so you want to rescue tortoises but you don't want to call yourself a rescue? what's in the name give him sanctuary rescue them it doesn't matter as long as you'regiving with a forever home

I once took in a very sick Ball Python that the previous owner only attempted to feed it chicken wings. This poor animal was in really bad shape. Over time I got him eating mice, he had normal sheds, and put on the weight needed. I gave him to a local couple who sounded like they really wanted this snake. A short time latter they advertised the same snake and claimed they "rescued it", I was extremely offended and let them know that this snake did not need to be rescued by them.

Many of the people that have turned tortoises over to me really loved their tortoise. Even the ones who did not provide the best environment for them. Some did an excellent job raising them and some have driven many hours to first check out my place before they turned them over and teared up when leaving them behind. To say that I rescued their beloved tortoise would be a insult. A lot of thought has been given to this and Sanctuary is what I feel is the right choice and it matters to me.

Thank You for asking.
Steve
 

Steve in CT

New Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Messages
21
Location (City and/or State)
Connecticut
It sounds great and good for you. Specially in areas that are not as tortoise friendly as other places, the need is probably greater for someone like you. Many don't realize what they are buying can't live in a small aquarium it's whole life and when they finally figure it out' they don't want it any more.
Thanks, I must say I was very surprised how many tortoises need homes.Like many folks, I have been through some very crazy times over the past 30 years and never thought of giving my tortoises.
 

Steve in CT

New Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Messages
21
Location (City and/or State)
Connecticut
Welcome. I agree. We take in so many that are from your area and even further north and central too. Most sadly are sulcatas which don't do well in the colder climates because of the space restriction and costly utilities to keep them warm.

The best recommendation I can give is to document each relinquished animal someone gives you. Keep those records nice and documented by month, year etc... Applying for 501C(3) status is quite taxing and a lengthy process for sure. Having all your ducks in row in always best. It's usually easier establishing a DBA first and showing a loss each year or quarter to validate it's a charitable cause. But keep in mind you need to fulfill the diligence of a non profit public organization. This means going to schools and educating children to adults from kindergarten to collegiate level students. Have participants in locale events and setting up booths at reptile shows, trade shows, and local pet stores with educating public of (for instance) "why not to get a Sulcata for a pet in northern climates" and perhaps just things like that.

Like next week I'm going up to the VA for a back to school fair event and bringing some of the big boys for kids and vets to experience. It's always fun. Education and getting good word out on why there's a need is always rewarding.
Thank you I really do appreciate your advice. And from time to time I may reach out to you with questions if that is alright.
Steve
 

Tidgy's Dad

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What a splendid fellow you are Steve, if i may say so.
The very best of luck in getting official status.
And thank you for helping and caring about these wonderful animals.
 
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