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Irresponsible tortoise people

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#1 Guest_jadums_*

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 06:28 PM

I was just searching google for different tortoise ads. Not to buy just looking. It sickens me the amount of people who want a tortoise and seem to think they are just toys. I can't remember what site it was something like www.giveusahome.co.uk or something similar. There were children on there begging for tortoises for them, their gran parents, their dying relatives. Using any excuse they could to try and get a tortoise.

Luckily there were some decent tortoise people on there who told them to basically choose another pet or if they were serious to check out the tortoise trust website.

Its just awful how people seem to think these poor animals are soemthing they can just pick up and chuck out in the garden to look after itself.

Sorry for the rant, just annoyed me :)


#2 Guest_george_hermann_*

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 07:58 PM

I've just had a look at one of their care sheets and their advice isn't that great either ...

Feeding Russian tortoises are vegetarian (eat only plant matter). Therefore their diet should include vegetables, fruit, and prepared foods (such as canned turtle food). x(

Canned turtle food? Must remember that the next time i'm in Sainsburys :)

#3 Guest_george_hermann_*

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 08:00 PM

If they're advocating the use of 'canned turtle food' for Horsefields then I dread to think what's on offer for the Hermanns? Tinned Sweetcorn? :)

#4 Guest_jadums_*

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 08:41 PM

I didn't even have a look at that section was too annoyed :) its ridiculous the amount of people who think having a tortoise is an easy option. I liked the comment from one knowledgable tortoise owner who advised the people on the site to get sea monkeys instead as they would be more suitable :P

It amazes me how there is very little we can do to stop pet shops etc. selling torts yet if dogs and cats were sold with the advice to keep them tied up constantly there would be an uproar and all the stops pulled out to stop them

#5 Guest_Queen of Wales_*

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 04:02 AM

I can't bring myself to look at that site either. It only upsets me and I can't justify people who (through ignorance) decide that a tortoise will be the best option for a no trouble pet. I have always wanted a tortoise but spent 6 months research and reading forums before acquiring one. I wanted to do the best for the little mite but am still coming to terms with the worry, expense and contradicting advice.:) I cannot count how many sleepless nights I've had over her and I'm studying Veterinary Science!! Had one in the other day with a hole drilled through its shell. Why??!!!!I felt really sick!

I would never part with my little baby and I have made a conscious effort to educate people on the commitment owning a tortoise involves. Not sure what else I could do! :-(

#6 Guest_craig_p72_*

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 09:17 AM

Hi there, just saw this thread and decided to give my two cents worth !
I am increasingly bothered by sellers and pet shops who, even after me giving useful advice and care sheets for their tortoises they are selling 1 yr torts with very harmful advice.
Yesterday i went into Ponturdullais garden centre, Nr Swansea where they are selling Horsefields and Hermmans for 120 each, special offer. I spoke to the lady salesperson who i had spoken too over the phone and gave advice and care sheets as she admitted she was new and diddn't know anything about them.
My wife called me into the pet shop as she had just observed a tort on their back under the heatlamp, and made the rep alert, she was not bothered and said, 'the vet has advised us to leave them their and they will eventually right themselves', my wife explained that she had tortoises and was afraid for the safety of this one, she begrugendly opened the viv and replaced the tort, after my wifes insistance.
I pretended i diddnt know anything,and disasociated myself from my wife,and the following conversation happened.

ME: Hi, your torts are cheaper now, are you having trouble selling them.
SALES REP: Not at all, in fact these are the 6th lot of 10, since May.
ME: Im looking for an easy to keep pet as im away a lot
REP: Well, these are for you sir, easy and low maintinence.
ME: How long do they stay in the tank for.
REP: Until they are 10 years old !!!!!!!
ME: Seems to be a small tank for that, are you sure
REP: Yes, our vet 'lANCE something' is a specialist and has written books.(she then showed me a book, advocating use of vivaria, with a small paragraph on tables)
ME: Do they need hibernating
REP: No, that is the way to kill them, they need constant heat.
ME: What do i feed them on ?
REP: Pellets, tomatoes and cauliflower.
ME: Cant i give them weeds ?
REP: Would you like weeds sir?
ME: Im not a tortoise.

I then exposed myself... (Not like that) and told them that i was horrified by her answers and i have kept torts, and are aware of their essential husbandry needs, the advice she gave was shocking, cruel and dangerous. I informed her that she had a duty of care to the animals (in an emotional sense) and left her with web site addresses and showed her pics of malnutritioned and deformed torts that had been 'cared' for in a tank environment.
She was shocked by this, and said that their vet gave them all the advice. I said they should present these care sheets to the vet along with tortoise trust web address, and that he should take heed with their advice.
I was waiting to be asked to leave by the 3 burly looking blokes also working there, as many people had started to come closer to hear our conversation, but i stayed calm, and not on a soap box. I'm also 6ft 3 and had my Police uniform on (Probably helped)
I am constantly staggered and concerned that people who buy these torts close to me, over 50 in 3 months and hope they will google /tortoise care uk. and have a good look and see websites like this.
I am wondering if we as a group could get together and target our local stores selling torts, and ask to issue free of charge care sheets to new owners. I know this will be contradictary to their selling of vivs but, who knows. I will certainly stick on this and try to convert them.
Im sure keen members here are equally as concerned, and id be interested to hear of any promotional techniques you'd like to share ???
P.S. I noticed that a member of staff was wearing a RSPCA shirt, obviously an ex employee or volunteer and good for shop sales. I was going to speak to him and ask if he was currently working for them, if so could i see his id, as he shouldnt have been working in that shirt.Im sure the RSPCA would like to hear about that ? Thoughts please ???

#7 Guest_jadums_*

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 10:56 AM

Wow I'm impressed.

I was at our local pet shop that sells torts in portsmouth the other day to get myself a new uv light. The guy behind the counter is a bit scary looking so may need to build a bit more confidence before talking to him but I managed to talk to a couple in front of him who were looking at buying stuff for a setup for their new torts.

The guy behind the counter didnt give them any bad advice when I was there, but they do sell tortoise pellets and their torts are fed on tomatoes etc and they also leave their torts upside down under the lights.

When the couple were outside my mum managed to catch them for me as I was still being served in the shop. She explained that I had torts and really didnt like this pet shop that sold them but there the only place around here that sell the lights and things I need. Plus it gives me a chance to try and help future torts.

me: Are you buying your torts from this pet shop
lady: no we just came here to get the stuff. we are picking ours up from a lady tomorrow.
me: What kind of tortoises are you getting?
lady: one spur thighed and one hermann.
me: explained how you should not mix species etc.
lady: well my husband wanted a spur thighed but i wanted the hermann because it had a bad leg.

Anyway after lots of talking. (the guy from the shop standing outside 'having a fag' for much of this) we persuaded her to wait on picking those torts up until she had spoken to the lady I had recently got my new juvenille from. She was brilliant. a memeber of tt, chelonia and hampshire tort society. She was passioante about her torts and spent a good hour talking to me about their care and i already have 3. She said some guy came to buy one once and stopped outside on double yellows expecting to pick it up and drive straight off. she told him that she would never let her tort go like that and she had to go through all the care sheets for them first.

She also told me that she had reported this shop on several occasions to the rspca but nothing had been done. I will try and brave it speaking to the shop man :) even if we cant stop them we can try and get them to look after the torts properly. they can still make a lot of money selling the various diff.; heat lamps and the one combined with a UV light costs loads so they don't need to encourage people to buy vivariums or tanks.

I have to admit i have not been a perfect tort owner but since joining this site about 6 or 7yrs ago I have learnt a great deal and am now a member of the tt and british chelonia group. Its all about learning and if we can help others by educating them before they make the mistakes at least we have all helped in some way :P

#8 Guest_george_hermann_*

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 08:37 PM

I thoroughly agree with all the above posts. Anyone thinking of buying a tortoise as the 'easy option' should really think again.

We've got three tortoises and they're relatively high maintenance, in terms of their lighting conditions, not to mention the correct dietary requirements and living environment.

From experience, a dog is the 'easy option' as caring for tortoises is truly a dedication (although a privelige).

#9 Guest_Jo_1984_*

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 09:11 AM

Theres a new pet shop in Shirley (Southampton) which sells tortoises..My mums friend told me about it...So I went along to purchase a ceramic bulb holder and to generally see how the torts were kept, and oh my god was I shocked...No UV, and only a heat mat }> for heat. He only had one hermann left and he was just sat in a lump of shredded paper looking at me... After trying to educate the shop owner in the nicest way possible he was persistant torts do not need UV!! And tried to back himself up by stating his torts are sold with them tortoise starter kit vivarium things!!!
As for the diet well, i'm sure u've guessed it the usssual pellets, tomato, cucumber, cabage etc...
He seemed quite embarraced after a while, and promised to begin to feed them weeds...
I then went on to ask if they handed out any caresheets...He said they had special ones made by a vet, so I asked to see one...
He rumaged around pink faced under the till for about 10 minutes and said he couldnt find one..hmmm...
I havn't been back yet to see if the conditions have changed...Seems as tho Shirley has quite a reputation for bad pet shops as a while ago another (now closed down) reptile shop kept animals 'in the window' for their heat n UV.....
But handing out caresheets they can give to new owners is definately a good start and will ensure new tortoise owners are given the right advise for their torts needs...
I also know the reptile shop in portsmouth... They had a leopard tort in there a while ago, really lumpy shell, in a tiny viv....poor little thing...
Anyway must go weed pickin then off to work...
Jo x

#10 Guest_Sasha00_*

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 01:02 PM

Hi All, it horrifies me that shops can just sell tortoises and not know a single thing about them! When I was thinking about getting my hermanns tortoise I looked at all different web sites and information going. I'm not saying I know it all coz I don't but I always ask in this forum or my tortoise's foster mum for advice if need be. They are far from low maintenance and it angers me that people think they can give out advice when they don't really have a clue. I went into a big garden/pet centre yesterday to get some things for my new set up and asked for a basking lamp. The guy behind the counter said "Oh, you don't need one of those! My tortoise has a heat mat and loves it. You just put it at the bottom of the tank!!". I was so angry, I gave him a lecture and he got off pretty sharpish. I wanted to tell him to look on this site but he ran away...I think I scared him!!!!


#11 Guest_jadums_*

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 07:03 PM

I don't understand why the rspca doesnt do anything about these pet shops. If they are bringing them up all wrong surely that is animal cruelty?

I think it is unlikely pet shops wil stop selling torts in the near future but if we could just change their attitudes to caring for them it would be a big help. They don't need to make money from vivs if they are selling those heat and uv bulb combined as they cost quite a lot anyway.


#12 Guest_Fi_fi_*

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 08:39 PM

i have not had much luck with RSPCA in the past they only "appear" to be consurned with larger animals such as dogs, cats, horses etc as these are more common pets...

i think that there needs to be a much more dircet approach taken on all pet shop animals, espechially torts and other exotic animals as the correct care is now widly known and alot of "faulse" infor is out there....

i know my self that i have to sort through a lot of bogus info before i found this site and am so glad i did as i dont know what else i would have done xx

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