Should sulcata breeding be regulated?

Tom

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This comment on shelters is dead on accurate, happening everywhere that dog breeding is regulated best I can tell. We went to a shelter in PA once on a friend’s recommendation. They wanted a huge fee, home visit, follow up visits, and a contract saying they could repo the dog at any time if they found something they didn’t like. I told them they were insane, then told my friends more or less the same. No surprise, they had plenty of dogs available that they “couldn’t” find homes for.

There is a hidden agenda with these rescues / shelters. They are both trying to commercialize the rescue business under the guise of being a non profit, and force their own (often politically influenced) mindset on others by means of these policies.

Here there are regular want ads for adult sulcatas, we are nowhere close to having a surplus. I think southern CA might have a slight excess and the only thing stopping it from being equalized is the fact that it’s not practical to ship adults elsewhere.
I've seen a $300-500 "re-homing" fee for the "free" tortoise. Every once in a while one will show up at a county or city animal shelter here in Southern CA. There are literally a dozen people fighting over them and they are usually pyramided and sometimes in pretty bad shape. No home inspections or ridiculous contracts and the fee is about $25 last I checked.
 

VegasJeff

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Feral cats is a much bigger problem. Should the government regulate cat breeding because of the feral cat problem?
In my county, it's required by law that all cats must be fixed. Breeders need a special permit. I'm sure a lot of people aren't following this and I'm not aware of it actually being enforced. Stray and Feral Cat populations is going down here slowly according to their numbers but I suspect that is due to a successful TNR program they have.
 

BrookeB

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I've seen a $300-500 "re-homing" fee for the "free" tortoise. Every once in a while one will show up at a county or city animal shelter here in Southern CA. There are literally a dozen people fighting over them and they are usually pyramided and sometimes in pretty bad shape. No home inspections or ridiculous contracts and the fee is about $25 last I checked.
I think he’s talking about a rescue and called it a shelter.

Honestly I’ve never seen a sulcata stay in a animal shelter for longer than a few days (usually the waiting period only) as for the rescues, I’ve worked in rescues for dogs, and for reptiles and honestly the requirements to adopt are what stop people from adopting, it’s not a surplus, in fact in my old town you cannot find puppies anymore, unless you want to spend hundreds on a “purebred” and all the puppies that do go to animal shelters are immediately taken by “rescues” that adopt them out for 300$ two days later (not joking I’ve watched it happen dozens of times) honestly the only reason rescues are so full is because most rescues expect too much from prospective owners and then ask a rehoming fee of twice or three times what the animal would cost to buy. At least this is my observation and opinion.
 

William Lee Kohler

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Did you read Blake's comment (Post #15 in this thread) about why there are so many in rescues?
Yes. Of course that depends on where you live. However anyone that has hung out at reptile expos or at pet shops awhile will see sometimes children and other times young(imaginary)adults buying them because they're so cute. They're so little, how big can they get? There ARE sanctuaries with the unwanted and cannot care for big Sulcatas and likely a lot more than many can imagine. To me industry/breeders/owners need to BE educated and have a conscience.(NOT by the government!) I don't see them as anything at all disposable.
 

Tom

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Yes. Of course that depends on where you live. However anyone that has hung out at reptile expos or at pet shops awhile will see sometimes children and other times young(imaginary)adults buying them because they're so cute. They're so little, how big can they get? There ARE sanctuaries with the unwanted and cannot care for big Sulcatas and likely a lot more than many can imagine. To me industry/breeders/owners need to BE educated and have a conscience.(NOT by the government!) I don't see them as anything at all disposable.
Yes there are sanctuaries with lots of them. And as we've explained, those sanctuaries would be empty if they didn't have so many strings attached. Maybe the sanctuaries can just give them to the local animal shelters? When there are no strings attached, they seem to find homes readily.
 

Obbie

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It’s frightening how many Sulcatta, get turned loose after 50 pounds. That’s how I got my Mali 🇲🇱
Yes, she’s a lot of work, but I love her. It’s worth all the work, when she comes out of her hide and follows me around !
 

khaiqha

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Generally speaking, I'm for less govt involvement unless there's such a large harm involved that govt intervention is needed.

I don't think sulcata breeding is so out of control that it causes a great societal or ecological harm.

I would be ok with minimum care laws in regards to all animals to ensure animals get basic needs met.

As for feral cats, I do see them as having such a large ecological problem as needing govt invention, whether it's through spay and release programs, culling, or something else.

Some tortoise rescues near me have looser guidelines on what potential owners must do to get one, and they do have some sulcatas, but I wouldn't say they're overflowing with them. They do get a ton of box turtles though.

As for educating pet owners, YouTube has made it easier than ever before to learn proper husbandry. I dare say from a casual glance that many people now just vicariously watch pet YouTubers as opposed to owning the actual animal.
 

Minority2

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glitch206

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Education is the key.
I realize that if everything goes well my Sulcata gonna be huge - I want it to be healthy and happy. In order to do that I am researching, reading asking lots of questions that are possibly annoying at times but I want to make sure the tortoise has best life possible.

Now I am thinking about outdoor housing with heaters, lights, grass, etc. and I have him for only 4 days.
I am really glad I found this forum and people that are happy to help !!
 

Blackdog1714

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Education is the key.
I realize that if everything goes well my Sulcata gonna be huge - I want it to be healthy and happy. In order to do that I am researching, reading asking lots of questions that are possibly annoying at times but I want to make sure the tortoise has best life possible.

Now I am thinking about outdoor housing with heaters, lights, grass, etc. and I have him for only 4 days.
I am really glad I found this forum and people that are happy to help !!
With a sully thinking ahead to huge is necessary! A heated night box before you know it and you want to build it so maybe you only do it once!
 

Jlsretics

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I’m just wondering what happens to the large number of sulcata being sold. I’m sure most people don’t know what they are getting into and wonder how many and given away or god forbid let loose. I’m sure a lot of them die in captivity long before adulthood.
Obviously there is a MAJOR problem with Sulcatas being overbred, but be VERY careful of wanting the government to get involved. First of all it would not be high priority, like drugs, and there are still tons of drugs around! The government tends to screw up whatever they touch and would be more likely to make everything illegal. See how carried away they b are with Burms? I have an idea that would be a self governance. Going to try to get it started here in Illinois. A person pays a small fee every year and gets inspected by peers. It is optional but buyers could refuse to buy from breeders that refuse and breeders could refuse to sell to buyers that refuse. Not breeding Sulcatas and certain genes in snakes that are week and cause neurological problems, like spider balls and blue eye Lucy retics. We NEED to police ourselves
 

Cathie G

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Obviously there is a MAJOR problem with Sulcatas being overbred, but be VERY careful of wanting the government to get involved. First of all it would not be high priority, like drugs, and there are still tons of drugs around! The government tends to screw up whatever they touch and would be more likely to make everything illegal. See how carried away they b are with Burms? I have an idea that would be a self governance. Going to try to get it started here in Illinois. A person pays a small fee every year and gets inspected by peers. It is optional but buyers could refuse to buy from breeders that refuse and breeders could refuse to sell to buyers that refuse. Not breeding Sulcatas and certain genes in snakes that are week and cause neurological problems, like spider balls and blue eye Lucy retics. We NEED to police ourselves
Just saw this. Yes we need to police ourselves.
 

Patrick McMullen

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Obviously there is a MAJOR problem with Sulcatas being overbred
The existence of this debate thread seems to suggest that it is not obvious.

I'm new to Sulcatas, but it does seem that 're-homing' posts both here and in other forums are vastly outnumbered by the 'look at my new baby' and 'I'm a new owner and I need advice' posts. That seems to suggest that the supply of rescues might not be sufficient to meet demand.
 

William Lee Kohler

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The existence of this debate thread seems to suggest that it is not obvious.

I'm new to Sulcatas, but it does seem that 're-homing' posts both here and in other forums are vastly outnumbered by the 'look at my new baby' and 'I'm a new owner and I need advice' posts. That seems to suggest that the supply of rescues might not be sufficient to meet demand.
Actually it seems to me as quite the opposite. YOU see few rescuees needing adoption. I see an endless number of new baby Sulcata owners which is going to result in an endless backlog of new big Sulcatas needing adoption by a diminishing number or folks able to take them in. I fear the day this happens. What happens to all the unfortunate homeless Big Sulcatas?
 

maggie3fan

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It is my personal experience in the world of chelonia rescue that on the West Coast Sulcata are like feral cats and most rescues are over run with them. Now, I am not an expert by any means, but I helped my sister in her rescue then and with her I did home inspections, went to reptile shows and scooped massive amounts of poop. I saw her rescue from the bottom up:eek:. When I moved to Oregon I ended up rehabbing and finding homes for special needs turtles and tortoises. Right now I am trying to rehome Big Sam. I don't want any Sulcata breeding here and when my sister said Knobby was female, holy crap! Nobody burned up the telephone wires wanting to adopt him. I do have a family in Calif that wants him, but for this 'free' tortoise I haveta spend $500 in gas.
Anyway, during that same period I made connections along the East Coast, and it seems like the only rescue's having too many Sulcata was in NY state. I can't pay anybody to take Sulcata anymore. And I'm not talking about designer Sulcata or the Sudan's. I mean just a common ordinary maybe pyramided tortoise. So I'm thinking how one person views breeding Sulcata depends on the circles that person runs in. Somebody like Tom:<3: runs in way different circles than I do for instance. I have never seen a Sudanese Sulcata let alone clutches of them. But the Sulcata that I see and my sister saw now are coming into rescues with years of abuse and mistreatment, serious MBD. There will always be people who are into rescue, and there will always be Sulcata who need them.
100_4826.JPG
 

glitch206

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Since I got Herbie - the baby Sulcata, I have been reading, researching and bugging Tom with emails.
I see more and more and more people on social media - a lot on TikTok getting sulcatas. Lots of them live in apartments, poor enclosures provided etc.
I see people trying to rescue sulcatas and still breeding them at the same time.
People get a reptiles having the idea of a “cheap and easy pet”. Most people won’t go on forum to research they will but the “kit for a tort with everything it needs”.
Bring the animal home, plug things in and they are “set”.
I personally don’t think breeding any of the animals should be restrained however I strongly feel that online shops (like tortoise town - that I became a “victim” of because I trusted reviews and images) should not exist.
I strongly believe people under 18-21 should not be able to purchase an animal. Yes sorry I said that people can be mad but trust me that age we are happy eating a cup of noodles and we think that’s all we need.
Pet store that so sell sulcata, Russians, etc should be providing proper care sheets and should have some form of certification program. Unless your store passes that you can’t sell certain animals - but that’s the trick - that will involve some form of “higher power”, which potentially can cause trouble for great breeders and possibly spike in illegal tortoise trades.
So for now all we can do we can educate, educate, educate!!

I try to link this forum to any new, old and future tortoise/turtle owners.
 

turtlesteve

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I see lots of bad ideas being thrown around. Please understand there are extremely well funded and organized groups that want to ban all exotic animal ownership, and they will use any opportunity or excuse to do so. Accepting or promoting a regulatory solution opens the door for these groups.

Here in South Carolina I see more want ads than I see for free (or cheap) sulcatas. A lot of those want ads are seeking big ones. Dog and cat rescues already ship animals in bulk from states where there are too many to states where there are shortages. If someone could get all these big sulcatas to the southeast I’d just about guarantee they would find homes.

In short, I do not think we have reached “peak sulcata” yet, but maybe it will happen one day. As Maggie indicated, long distance transportation of these beasts is the real problem.
 

glitch206

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It is my personal experience in the world of chelonia rescue that on the West Coast Sulcata are like feral cats and most rescues are over run with them. Now, I am not an expert by any means, but I helped my sister in her rescue then and with her I did home inspections, went to reptile shows and scooped massive amounts of poop. I saw her rescue from the bottom up:eek:. When I moved to Oregon I ended up rehabbing and finding homes for special needs turtles and tortoises. Right now I am trying to rehome Big Sam. I don't want any Sulcata breeding here and when my sister said Knobby was female, holy crap! Nobody burned up the telephone wires wanting to adopt him. I do have a family in Calif that wants him, but for this 'free' tortoise I haveta spend $500 in gas.
Anyway, during that same period I made connections along the East Coast, and it seems like the only rescue's having too many Sulcata was in NY state. I can't pay anybody to take Sulcata anymore. And I'm not talking about designer Sulcata or the Sudan's. I mean just a common ordinary maybe pyramided tortoise. So I'm thinking how one person views breeding Sulcata depends on the circles that person runs in. Somebody like Tom:<3: runs in way different circles than I do for instance. I have never seen a Sudanese Sulcata let alone clutches of them. But the Sulcata that I see and my sister saw now are coming into rescues with years of abuse and mistreatment, serious MBD. There will always be people who are into rescue, and there will always be Sulcata who need them.
View attachment 306545
Maggie it you find a house for Sam I am willing to help you transport him.
I have a Ford Transit Connect. It fits 5 x 100lbs dogs in. Please keep me in mind and I am close enough to you to help you. I pretty much drive anywhere if that will guarantee a great home for Sam.
 

maggie3fan

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Maggie it you find a house for Sam I am willing to help you transport him.
I have a Ford Transit Connect. It fits 5 x 100lbs dogs in. Please keep me in mind and I am close enough to you to help you. I pretty much drive anywhere if that will guarantee a great home for Sam.
I appreciate the offer, really. But my problem is simpler then that. My Camaro is in top running condition, but I just don't have enuf gas money. And, no, I am not hinting at giving me money.
 

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