What To Do About Pics Of Inappropriate Tortoise Practices?

Rutibegga

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From the thread title I expected graphic mating photos.
Ha, ditto there.

I think that pointing out potentially harmful situations to people is never a bad thing as long as you're diplomatic about it. I'll admit that Troggy gets some exploration time in my living room. I am taking a calculated risk. If someone saw a photo of him on my floor with a sleeping giant dog in the background and cautioned me about the potential dangers, I'd agree that there are safer situations for him, but I'm open to criticism as long as it's constructive.

As a relative noob, I'd be hesitant to give the same sort of advice to others unless I really felt I could back up my statements, but again, if I could, I'd be certain to be pretty laid-back and non-threatening about it. My job is actually advising people on animal (specifically, cat) care, so I'm pretty good at doing so in a non-judge mental way.
 

Tom

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Being a " bull dog" when it comes to best care practice is what I love about this forum. ( not that I'm calling you bull dogs Tom & Yvonne .... Will maybe .... ) :)
The difference is that you know those things are wrong, you know what you are doing there, you have lots of experience, and with your history on this forum and my history of dealing with you, I already know that you have a handle on things. You also don't usually post pics depicting these risky things you do, thereby encouraging others with less of a knowledge base than you to try them.

I don't hold a high opinion of Bulldogs being very tenacious. I fancy myself more of a malinois if a dog comparison is needed. :)
 

Tom

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No need to let impressionable newbies think it's okay.
You touch on a good point here. A large part of my issue here is that showing pics of this sort of unsafe practice encourages others to do the same stuff. Its bad enough when people engage in this stuff in the privacy of their own home, but putting it on public display and having people post cute comments about it, is not a good thing.

I know people like Mike sometimes mix species and stuff, but encouraging others to do it by posting "cute" pics is another story. I don't like it that it happens, but I can't sit by and let these practices be publicly encouraged.
 

Tom

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I like Will's suggestion best, but even this may be too direct. Advise given by a "position of authority" approach is often received poorly unless respect is earned prior to the advice being given. The posters are obviously tortoise lovers and will potentially keep many tortoises in the future. If they are driven off the forum, you have removed any opportunity to spread (or share) knowledge.
Also a good point, and this is part of the reason why this is such a dilemma for me personally. Like Barb, I care more about the animal's welfare than the human's feelings, but if I'm not careful I'll drive the person away. Finding that balance is a challenge for me.
 

Team Gomberg

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This is what I've done...

Instead of right away advising them on what is wrong and what they should do instead, I ask them a question about it.

"Cool, tortoise and pretty dog. Do they often spend time together our do they live separately?"

"Strawberries, yummy! How often does Shelley enjoy those treats?"

"Wow, what a lot of tortoises! Do the Russians always eat their meals with the leopards?"

You get the point...

This gives them the benefit of the doubt and allows them to clear it up. If they were unaware, this introduces the opportunity to offer them advice without becoming so defensive.

I feel it's a polite way to bring up an issue, in text, with a stranger on social media.

I think of 1 case where a knowledgeable keeper posted a photo of his newly rescued redfoot enjoying a mud soak. No one knew that of course but it was later brought up after his photo was attacked. The members were well meaning and wanted to help but the approach was so rough he left. I don't remember specifics but it was strong enough that I remember enough!

Anyway. My opinion is to ask a question first. This forum already has a bit of a reputation for harsh criticism. Maybe questions first could change that. ?
 

Jess84

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Also a good point, and this is part of the reason why this is such a dilemma for me personally. Like Barb, I care more about the animal's welfare than the human's feelings, but if I'm not careful I'll drive the person away. Finding that balance is a challenge for me.
And in this case, the poster/owner's feelings are what determines the animal's welfare.

I am a new tortoise owner, and I can say the work that goes into maintaining a healthy, stable and nurturing environment is far more tedious (and expensive) than I ever could have imagined. We are more than up for the task of taking the fullest care of our tortoise possible, and I imagine that most owners coming to these forums want the very best for their animals as well. There is not a lot of information out there in the world that is readily available to people who take on something they think initially is going to be a much more low key pet than a dog or cat. The majority of chain pet stores dole out bad or inaccurate advice. Basic write-ups on the internet seem to follow those general guidelines. The details and immediate responses available here are beyond helpful, and probably life saving for many a new owner and tortoise.

I also imagine that the long term, mass scale breeders/owners here didn't know everything from day one. Their wealth of knowledge comes from years and years of tortoise care. And if they had been turned off from learning and doing right by their animals simply because they felt unwelcome or driven away because their first set-up and the hundreds of dollars that went into it were wrong, then we wouldn't have the information we have from them now.

If good advice is given, we need to be confident in our fellow forums members. A hit of the like button, or a simple response of "What he/she" said should suffice. If we are more concerned with adding our two cents, simply repeating the changes that need to be made, it looks like we haven't bothered to read the advice already given. And if that's the case, then any advice we offer that is already on the table comes across as scolding for the sake of scolding. If people shut down, they won't want to be a part of this group. And if they aren't a part of this group, they will likely return to the pet-store advice it seems these forums are trying to save animals from.
 
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Tom

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This is what I've done...

Instead of right away advising them on what is wrong and what they should do instead, I ask them a question about it.

"Cool, tortoise and pretty dog. Do they often spend time together our do they live separately?"

"Strawberries, yummy! How often does Shelley enjoy those treats?"

"Wow, what a lot of tortoises! Do the Russians always eat their meals with the leopards?"

You get the point...

This gives them the benefit of the doubt and allows them to clear it up. If they were unaware, this introduces the opportunity to offer them advice without becoming so defensive.

I feel it's a polite way to bring up an issue, in text, with a stranger on social media.

I think of 1 case where a knowledgeable keeper posted a photo of his newly rescued redfoot enjoying a mud soak. No one knew that of course but it was later brought up after his photo was attacked. The members were well meaning and wanted to help but the approach was so rough he left. I don't remember specifics but it was strong enough that I remember enough!

Anyway. My opinion is to ask a question first. This forum already has a bit of a reputation for harsh criticism. Maybe questions first could change that. ?
I suck at tact. You are so much better at this than I am. I need to follow your lead more.
 

Nephelle

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Also a good point, and this is part of the reason why this is such a dilemma for me personally. Like Barb, I care more about the animal's welfare than the human's feelings, but if I'm not careful I'll drive the person away. Finding that balance is a challenge for me.
I think the real question in this is:

What is the main purpose of TFO?

If the answer to that question is a forum for a closed group of enthusiasts who are available for Q&A to the general public on a limited basis, then there is no issue in how you respond to these matters.

If the answer instead is to provide a teaching platform, then the question changes into how would you like that information to be passed. Yes, there are those who breeze through the forums to ask a question and never return, and for them the "teaching moment" would be brief. However, there are those who wish to learn, and with a friendly, open approach to their initial introduction that might encourage further participation, the potential for teaching moments would be endless.

My first introduction to these forums was rather harsh. I actually left after my first few posts, and on the advice of a snake-owning friend, went to another reptile forum that she promised was "friendlier". A short time there, and I realized that while friendly, it didn't provide the information I needed on my specific pet. It was very important to me that I provide the best care for my animal, so I sucked it up and came back and tried again. I am very glad I did. I feel, though, that most wouldn't.

Yes, you might save a tortoise from a possible dog attack at some point in the future. In the meantime, that tortoise might be living in a 10 gallon aquarium being fed only lettuce, and because it's owner was driven off by harsh comments from the start, nothing about it's life will ever change. So again, it really comes down to my original question, and your personal goals in how you interact here.
 

Anyfoot

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Interesting. We are all human, mistakes happen. Looking from the outside inwards the problem is that some members character can play an effect on the newbie op's reaction. Some newbies will be thick skinned and some will not. Some people are not outgoing and confidant. For this reason it should be assumed all new members take harsh criticism to heart, and tact is needed. I agree with Yvonne that not everyone should jump on a newbie. But this can not be policed. @Will has the answer.
A tactful comment on the subject in the op's thread is needed then pointed to a thread of "common bad practices"
 

Tortoisefan

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Well most people when they post a pic of their lovely new child or a family photo don't like to be told geez you shouldn't hold your child like that or seriously you let you child
Play on shag carpet... Lol. Not to mention there is virtually 80 percent incorrect knowledge out there about caring for these precious shelled animals. So people get shocked, hurt, feel betrayed by wherever they got the info on care. I think @Tom you are so incredibly knowledgable and helpful. Its all about tact and I have not always been the most tactful person myself. But I am learning. I understand how yah would think its common sense care on so many issues, but it just shows how little education there is on how to care for these awesome animals. Also not sure you have noticed but common sense is becoming so rare it should be classified as a superpower! I might try to build a bridge as some others have suggested with comments about the pic and you have some suggestions if they are interested about making their torts life better. I also like the idea the person posted about maybe having bullet points in a welcome post. Maybe when ppl sign up for the forum they get a little info in the sign up e mail about giving their tortoise the best life possible. Just my take on it. I don't post much but I am on here reading wayyyy too much!
 

Alaskamike

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And in this case, the poster/owner's feelings are what determines the animal's welfare.

I am a new tortoise owner, and I can say the work that goes into maintaining a healthy, stable and nurturing environment is far more tedious (and expensive) than I ever could have imagined. We are more than up for the task of taking the fullest care of our tortoise possible, and I imagine that most owners coming to these forums want the very best for their animals as well. There is not a lot of information out there in the world that is readily available to people who take on something they think initially is going to be a much more low key pet than a dog or cat. The majority of chain pet stores dole out bad or inaccurate advice. Basic write-ups on the internet seem to follow those general guidelines. The details and immediate responses available here are beyond helpful, and probably life saving for many a new owner and tortoise.

I also imagine that the long term, mass scale breeders/owners here didn't know everything from day one. Their wealth of knowledge comes from years and years of tortoise care. And if they had been turned off from learning and doing right by their animals simply because they felt unwelcome or driven away because their first set-up and the hundreds of dollars that went into it were wrong, then we wouldn't have the information we have from them now.

If good advice is given, we need to be confident in our fellow forums members. A hit of the like button, or a simple response of "What he/she" said should suffice. If we are more concerned with adding our two cents, simply repeating the changes that need to be made, it looks like we haven't bothered to read the advice already given. And if that's the case, then any advice we offer that is already on the table comes across as scolding for the sake of scolding. If people shut down, they won't want to be a part of this group. And if they aren't a part of this group, they will likely return to the pet-store advice it seems these forums are trying to save animals from.
I like this last paragraph especially. And actually I see this done much moe know than even just a year ago. This is not the first time we've had this discussion. And some bandwagon jumpers have used more thought and tact. I also see links given early on to help educate - though we all know many don't read them. @Tom, you say you suck at tact but that's not what I see. You are among the several extremely experienced hobbiests who takes the time for thorough explanation and education despite having said similar things in 100'ds of posts as well as care sheets - I call that grace & patience.

I appreciate the suggestion to not post pics of bad practices - even though it's " cute" and does not reflect a pattern of care. Tom is right , some may draw the wrong conclusions from that. I will not do that anymore

It takes additional words some times to soften the blow sometimes. This is done well by most.
I believe also keeping the active educated members involved is important to the health of the forum. Think of the dozen or so of the most knowledgable and active member - what would this forum be like if they left ?

When a highly experienced member leaves over a conflict , we all lose.
 

jaizei

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I've posted pics of my Sulcata next to my dog
View attachment 151258
Two different type eating together
View attachment 151259

And my little Redfoot in the human pool
View attachment 151260

And I know somewhere there is a photo of my Sulcata with " strawberry face ".
And pictures of my badly pyramided Redfoot.

It would not bother me if someone pointed out -
Possible cross contamination
Beware of dogs & torts together
Chlorine is bad for torts.
Fruit is bad for Sulcatas
Pyramiding is caused by dehydration
Etc.

Personally , I feel pretty confident in my practices , and am always willing to learn and change my mind.

What always takes me back a bit is when a new person comes here and asks for advice then argues about the advice. That is amazing.

In the short time I've been on TFO , I have seen a softening in the initial way advice is given - and I applaud that.

But I would be unhappy if it was not given. Or bad practices ignored.
If some people get the a_ _ because their enclosures are not praised so be it. Teachable moments are sometimes short and opportunity lost.

Being a " bull dog" when it comes to best care practice is what I love about this forum. ( not that I'm calling you bull dogs Tom & Yvonne .... Will maybe .... ) :)
Why do you do these things that you seemingly acknowledge are 'wrong'? Perhaps you've realized that they are not? The risk isn't near as great as some would have you believe? What concerns me the most; that members are unwilling to share because their practices aren't approved by the tortoise police.



When a highly experienced member leaves over a conflict , we all lose.
I'd agree but then there are many that are happy when members with opposing opinions leave.
 

terryo

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Everyone has there own way of doing things that work for them. Some people do things that a lot of people think are wrong, but they have much success. That's one of the reasons I always say....Just what I do, not written in stone. The only thing that bothers me is when someone gives advice about a turtle...tortoise, and they only have had a few years experience or just have one animal. That usually means that the only experience they have is research on the internet, which to me is no experience at all. When a new person comes on here with a first time tortoise/turtle and shows a picture of her set up and it's all wrong, I think that the person would appreciate any advice, and would also like some different opinions on what worked best for them. When I got my first Cherry head about 7 or 8 years ago, everyone told me the same thing...a plastic tub for an enclosure. I tried everything and it didn't work for me so I decided that since the Cherry needed the same care as a box turtle, I would try a tank. It worked great. I appreciated all the advice because it was done in a helpful way. What I'm trying to say is that if only one person gives advice, then the new owner only gets one opinion, and I really believe that there is not only one way to raise any species of tortoise. The fundamentals, of course are important, but I personally would like to hear what everyone has to say.
 

Kapidolo Farms

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Interesting. We are all human, mistakes happen. Looking from the outside inwards the problem is that some members character can play an effect on the newbie op's reaction. Some newbies will be thick skinned and some will not. Some people are not outgoing and confidant. For this reason it should be assumed all new members take harsh criticism to heart, and tact is needed. I agree with Yvonne that not everyone should jump on a newbie. But this can not be policed. @Will has the answer.
A tactful comment on the subject in the op's thread is needed then pointed to a thread of "common bad practices"
Thanks, I see it as being lead to water, but not forced to drink. Maybe 'common good practices' too?
 

Prairie Mom

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When I read posts from other members in response to my questions, I always look to see who is replying and then weigh their activity level on the forums against the advice. I realize not all might do the same.

That said, most of the advice and help I have been given has come from mods (automatic okay), or a handful of the same people in general pop with thousands of posts to their name.

:<3:
A thought comes to my mind... I'm don't feel number of posts or "likes" should really be considered when weighing advice given by a person. I have a number of posts and "likes", but some of my posts are simply "Hi...how are you?" and someone clicks the "like" button to show they've read my message. These numbers do not mean I have experience keeping tortoises.

I think it's really good that you identify yourself as a new caregiver. I do the same if I'm not simply attaching a link to an experienced caregiver's info and wish more people did this.

In the beginning, I definitely listened to advice if I saw it being repeated and I think you make a good point in that if a lot of people click the "like" button on a piece of advice, that may give it more weight. I definitely pay more attention to the advisor if they are a mod (which is why I DO think the next Mod should have tort experience), have pinned posts, or I notice them often giving advice that seems reasonable to me.
 

Prairie Mom

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This is what I've done...

Instead of right away advising them on what is wrong and what they should do instead, I ask them a question about it.

"Cool, tortoise and pretty dog. Do they often spend time together our do they live separately?"

"Strawberries, yummy! How often does Shelley enjoy those treats?"

"Wow, what a lot of tortoises! Do the Russians always eat their meals with the leopards?"

You get the point...

This gives them the benefit of the doubt and allows them to clear it up. If they were unaware, this introduces the opportunity to offer them advice without becoming so defensive.

I feel it's a polite way to bring up an issue, in text, with a stranger on social media.

I think of 1 case where a knowledgeable keeper posted a photo of his newly rescued redfoot enjoying a mud soak. No one knew that of course but it was later brought up after his photo was attacked. The members were well meaning and wanted to help but the approach was so rough he left. I don't remember specifics but it was strong enough that I remember enough!

Anyway. My opinion is to ask a question first. This forum already has a bit of a reputation for harsh criticism. Maybe questions first could change that. ?
This is excellent
 

Prairie Mom

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Maybe when ppl sign up for the forum they get a little info in the sign up e mail about giving their tortoise the best life possible.
This is a REALLY GOOD idea! When you sign up for the forum, you get an automatic "hello" message from Josh. But the reality is you'll most likely never hear or see him again and the only purpose the email fills is to let you know that the link has been made to your email account. I think it's a great idea to have the automatic message include bulleted links to forum rules, brief explanation of categories (enclosures, diet, introductions, etc), and THERE you include a list of practices that have commonly lead to tortoise injuries and fatalities. It might be good to have a fun/cheerful link too; like a link to photos for this years calendar contest or something.

Wellington is right that many people will ignore this info, but it's such a simple & non threatening thing. If it reaches a handful of people then it has served a good purpose.
 

Bogie=babyDINO

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I really feel badly when a new member feels so happy and proud of their picture that they want to share it with other tortoise lovers, but then gets shot down because the picture displays something that might eventually be harmful to the tortoise. It bothers me. By the same token, if we see a really cute picture of a small tortoise and a big brute of a dog, and we don't say anything besides, "Oh, how cute is that?", then the picture is there for posterity. Anyone signing onto the forum, guest or member, sees the picture and it looks like it is approved by the membership, or looks like that practice is an ok practice.

So, I feel we need to say something. BUT - there is a right way and a wrong way. And once the practice has been pointed out to the Original Poster (OP), and explained in a nice way, NO OTHER MEMBER NEEDS TO POST AND SAY THE SAME THING!!!!!! If you have a different opinion, by all means, post your opinion, but let's don't all of us jump on them.
I totally agree! Whenever I come across bad pictures I see that the well-known members have already commented on them but I also see everyone jumps onboard the bashing wagon and takes the persons happiness away. They have already be told once or twice about the danger so the rest of us should congratulate them and welcome them. I don't want people being scared away. I was new to torts too (I still am) but this forum is teaching me so much! I remember reading some bashing threads and thinking yikes I don't think I will post something. Now that I have got the hang of everything I'm more comfortable posting. Let's make this site friendly and informative! I think Well known members kinda have a right to be bull dogs but that's where the rest of us come in and say they mean well and if you want the best for your tort you should soak up the advice. That's what I did and my tort is so happy and healthy!! Thanks @Tom
 

wellington

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Why do you do these things that you seemingly acknowledge are 'wrong'? Perhaps you've realized that they are not? The risk isn't near as great as some would have you believe? What concerns me the most; that members are unwilling to share because their practices aren't approved by the tortoise police.





I'd agree but then there are many that are happy when members with opposing opinions leave.
Really. Wow. I guess let everyone do what ever they want. Nothing seems to be bad for tortoises.
Sure hope too many newbs don't read this thread.
 
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