Wild Animals Belong in the Wild
Illegal collecting of Ontario’s native turtles, including Wood and Spotted Turtles, has decimated these populations in the wild. Never take a wild turtle home as a pet. Take a photo instead, and be sure to report your observation to a monitoring program such as the Ontario Turtle Tally or the Ontario Amphibian and Reptile Atlas.
If you witness the illegal capture or sale of a species at risk please report the violation to the MNRF tip line: Call 1-877-847-7667 to report any illegal activity against Ontario’s natural resources.
Found a Hurt Turtle?
If you find an injured turtle that needs veterinary care record the exact location it was found and take it immediately to your nearest licensed wildlife rehabilitation centre. Do not attempt to care for wild animals yourself.
Don’t Release Exotic Pets
Turtles are long lived and hard to care for properly in captivity. The release of pet red-eared slider turtles into Ontario waters has introduced this species into Ontario wetlands. These pets-gone-wild are displacing already stressed populations of Ontario turtles. If you can no longer care for your pet turtle don’t release it into the wild. If you cannot find someone else to adopt it, contact a group such as Little RESQ to help you find a new home for your pet.
Cats, Dogs, and other traditional pets are much more suitable pets. We encourage you to visit your local animal shelter or pet rescue to find a loving animal in need of a good home.
Don’t Shop… Adopt!
If you are ready for a life-long commitment and are considering a pet turtle, please look into adopting animals from others no longer able to care for them. Contact a re-homing organization such as Little RESQ.
The OTCC cannot take in unwanted pets, we are only licensed to care for native Ontario species.