Tortoise Sanctuary in Florida?

poolej1

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Hello fellow tortoise owners. I wanted to see if there were any trustworthy Florida sanctuaries for a sulcata, or any trustworthy sulcata owners looking for a new friend.

3 years ago I found Squirt, a hatchling sulcata walking across the road. I thought she was a large beetle she was so small! There were 2 "wild" sulcata roaming around our neighborhood for 2-3 years that must have been released pets years ago, and must have mated. The FWC came and removed the 2 adult tortoises, and I found Squirt running across the road a day later. The neighbors tried to say they were an invasive species...

We have raised her since then, becoming obsessive tortoise parents with a diet probably healthier than my own, perfect amount of light, soaking, etc. She is now 10" at only 3 years old and full of energy. My terrible neighbors however have filed a complaint with the homeowners, because Squirt spends most of her time on our patio, and they have given us 90 days to either move, or no longer have squirt. Apparently there is a rule against "exotic animals living on your patio or backyard".

We are crushed, so not just looking to "send her off" to anyone, but really looking for the best place for her, and willing to drive any distance for her!

I found some options on google but wanted to pros opinions. Thank you
 

Krista S

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I’m so sorry you are having to go through this. How terribly sad, and honestly, shame on your neighbours for being so heartless. I am in Canada, so I don’t have any advice for you, but there are several Floridians on the forum who I know will chime in with some advice. Have you looking into seeing if there’s some sort of permit you can get that will allow you to keep Squirt? I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. My thoughts are with you and your family as you try and get this sorted out.
 

Lyn W

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I find that hard to believe because @Ray--Opo keeps a sulcata in Florida and I don't believe he's had any problems with that.
@ZEROPILOT is also in Florida and keeps redfoots in his garden so hopefully one or both of them can clarify that for you.
I would get a noisy dog and let the neighbours see how well off they are with a quiet sully.
 

Maro2Bear

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I find that hard to believe because @Ray--Opo keeps a sulcata in Florida and I don't believe he's had any problems with that.
@ZEROPILOT is also in Florida and keeps redfoots in his garden so hopefully one or both of them can clarify that for you.
I would get a noisy dog and let the neighbours see how well off they are with a quiet sully.

Some places have ridiculous Home Owners Associations and have “enforcers” while many locations don’t have HOAs. Poster unfortunately living in one of those “enforced” zones....😩🤷‍♂️
 

poolej1

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I find that hard to believe because @Ray--Opo keeps a sulcata in Florida and I don't believe he's had any problems with that.
@ZEROPILOT is also in Florida and keeps redfoots in his garden so hopefully one or both of them can clarify that for you.
I would get a noisy dog and let the neighbours see how well off they are with a quiet sully.
It doesn't have anything to do with Florida, it is my neighborhood association unfortunately.
Some places have ridiculous Home Owners Associations and have “enforcers” while many locations don’t have HOAs. Poster unfortunately living in one of those “enforced” zones....😩🤷‍♂️
Exactly our issue :(. The neighborhood doesn't allow for any birds, reptiles, etc. to be on the porch or living in the backyard. When we moved into the neighborhood 6 years ago you never read the fine print of the 100 pages of rules...nor did we remember when we rescued Squirt.
Tall fences make good neighbors. I say, sadly rehome your tortoise THEN get the yappiest loud barking dog that exists.

good luck
i agree! I don't understand people who feel the need to complain about things that don't impact them whatsoever
 

poolej1

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What about if you move him indoors so he's not actually 'living' in the yard?
That is what we are doing now, but in the enclosure I built for her is about 5 feet x 6 feet she is constantly trying to dig out of it and seems really unhappy. Our porch is 12x12 and that is what she has gotten used to. We have a small home but with a good sized yard so we thought it would be a perfect setup
 

Maro2Bear

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That is what we are doing now, but in the enclosure I built for her is about 5 feet x 6 feet she is constantly trying to dig out of it and seems really unhappy. Our porch is 12x12 and that is what she has gotten used to. We have a small home but with a good sized yard so we thought it would be a perfect setup

Crappy neighbors, crappy HOAs. The problem is....years ago some yahoo decided that they would create a mini farm/reptile rescue/bird sanctuary in their back yard. Screaming hyaenas, screaming peacocks, snakes on the lamb. No HOA, nothing the neighbors could really do......but, eventually an HOA is established and BAM nasty rules, regs, and whingers. “NIMBYs”... (not in my back yard....) syndrome. Out went common sense.
 

wellington

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I find that hard to believe because @Ray--Opo keeps a sulcata in Florida and I don't believe he's had any problems with that.
@ZEROPILOT is also in Florida and keeps redfoots in his garden so hopefully one or both of them can clarify that for you.
I would get a noisy dog and let the neighbours see how well off they are with a quiet sully.
It's not all neighborhoods. Those that are like this are associations. They have rules. Stupid as they are. I never will understand not only living in one of them but most of their rules are ridiculous.
 

Maro2Bear

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This is so sad. I would move before I would let them control me. I know that may not be practical for you.
Good luck and then become the worse neighbor you can within their stupidity.

Yes...set up CCTV monitoring.....report report. (And look into moving)
 

Lyn W

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It's not all neighborhoods. Those that are like this are associations. They have rules. Stupid as they are. I never will understand not only living in one of them but most of their rules are ridiculous.
It doesn't seem right or fair to me that other people can tell you what pets you can have on your own property.
As long as they are not aggressive and noisy what business is it of the neighbourhood.
I'm glad that doesn't happen everywhere.
 

wellington

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It doesn't seem right or fair to me that other people can tell you what pets you can have on your own property.
As long as they are not aggressive and noisy what business is it of the neighbourhood.
I'm glad that doesn't happen everywhere.
Those associations have control of everything that goes on outside your walls. Some are worse then others. Can't have fencing, must get house color approved, some even roof color. Plants and yard must be tip top. They are ridiculous. I know 3 people that live in different ones, 3 different states and they all are ridiculous in their own way. No thank you!
 

ZEROPILOT

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Where are you in Florida?
I can offer you a few months or so of temporary housing if needed in south east Broward county. (SUNRISE)
If you need a place for your Sulcata while you decide on a permanent solution. I would be glad to do that for you.
I already have a 12' square pen erected that I had been using as a quarantine area for new Redfoot. It is now empty.
PM me and I'll send you a phone number.
In fact, I just sent you a PM.
Ed
 
Last edited:

ZEROPILOT

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Personally, I have not found an honest to goodness tortoise sanctuary. And I've looked! Once to try to find an un loved Redfoot tortoise. And again to search for an option for my wife to use in the event of my death for my own tortoises.
I found a few such "sanctuaries". One was even a member of this forum. What I found was a few hoarders or worse! People selling these animals and even breeding them just for profit in horrible living conditions.
Use due caution.
Relax and find the right person that has the best intentions. Someone that will keep and love your tortoise like you do now.
Sanctuaries....
At least here in south Florida.....are a sham.
I would love, LOVE to be proven wrong!
 
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