What species do you treat? Our wildlife rehabilitation permit is for wild reptiles and amphibians, excluding those that are venomous, endangered, threatened, or species of special concern. We also do not treat any mammals or birds.
Do you have a pick-up service for injured turtles? Unfortunately, as volunteer veterinary students, we do not have the resources to travel to pick up turtles. We’re busy treating the patients in the turtle hospital and studying. We rely on the individual who finds the injured/sick turtle to make arrangements to bring it to our hospital.
What are the benefits of bringing you the injured turtle that I found? Turtle Rescue Team is able to use the vast resources of NC State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine to provide the best possible care for injured wild turtles. This includes access to pain medications, diagnostic imaging like x-rays and CT scans, clinical pathology laboratories to help identify the best type of antibiotics to use, as well as board-certified veterinarians available to advise us on the best treatment plans. We are able to provide humane euthanasia and can even incubate eggs from recently deceased or euthanized patients and hatch out turtle babies. Veterinary students also develop their clinical skills, leading to the development of future veterinarians of all types.
Is there a fee associated with dropping off a turtle? No, there is no fee associated with bringing us a turtle. However, as a vet student organization, we rely on donations to pay for all the medications and diagnostic procedures necessary for treating our patients. Please consider making a donation if you are able.
What happens once the turtle is at your hospital? A veterinary student will perform a physical exam, give appropriate pain control, and develop a treatment plan under the supervision of our faculty advisor. We have access to state-of-the-art imaging and laboratory equipment, as well as a supportive community of veterinary specialists to help us provide the best possible care for our patients. Volunteers provide daily care for every patient. Most patients will then be placed into rehabilitation homes of TRT members or the person finding the turtle. The turtle’s progress is monitored by the rehabilitation coordinators who work with the president to determine when the turtle is ready for release. If the finder is interested in release, we are usually able to coordinate them returning to the vet school to pick up the turtle for release.
I have a pet turtle that I am no longer able to care for. Will you take it? No. We do not have the permits or space to take in pet turtles. Taking in pet turtles would also detract from our mission, which is to treat, rehabilitate, and release wild native North Carolina turtles.
If you have a pet turtle that you are looking to re-home, please contact CCSB Reptile Rescue (http://ccsbreptilerescue.webs.com/) or Reptile Rescue of the Carolinas (http://www.reptilerescuecarolinas.org). You could also try to find a suitable new home for your pet through online websites such as Craigslist or PetFinder.
My pet turtle is sick. Can you help? As much as we want to help, we are legally and ethically unable to offer medical advice or provide medical treatments for any pet turtle. We would strongly encourage you to contact the Exotic Animal Medicine Service (EAMS) at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine (http://www.ncstatevets.org/exoticanimal) or find an exotics animal veterinarian in your area.
There is a healthy turtle in the middle of the road, how should I go about relocating it? If it is crossing in certain direction, place it on the side of the road of the direction it is going. Do not move the turtle far from the road, it should continue in the direction it is headed. If it is a snapping turtle and you are unsure how to handle it, please call us.