See Happy Turtles at Eden Animal Sanctuary

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If you have ever seen turtles smile, it might be because they have been rescued by Eden Animal Sanctuary in Spring Branch, Texas.

Just like dogs and cats, turtles and tortoises need special care. If they are without their habitat, they are at a disadvantage. When this happens, they are in danger. Eden Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit rescue facility for turtles and tortoises. Here, turtles and tortoises are taken in, rehabilitated, micro chipped, and adopted out to qualified, permanent homes.

Why Turtles Need Help

August Box Turtle at Eden Animal Sanctuary

Photo courtesy of Rachel Street

Inhabitants come to stay at Eden Animal Sanctuary in a variety of ways. The majority of rescues are owner surrenders. A handful of them have come from animal control, were seized by the game warden, or found by good Samaritans who discovered them roaming neighborhood streets. Many of them were dumped.

Abandoning a turtle or tortoise is unnecessary and harmful. This can cause danger for the animal, and alarm for anyone who might find it. Although many people are kind and will seek an appropriate course of action for loose or abandoned animals, some do not know what to do when they find a turtle or tortoise and, unfortunately, these animals are sometimes mistreated. This is one reason Eden Animal Sanctuary wants to make itself known. The protection, rehabilitation, and proper adoption of turtles and tortoises in need, is their mission.

Zuri’s Story

Zuri - An owner surrender at Eden Animal Sanctuary

Photo courtesy of Rachel Street

Unknowingly, owners even sometimes mistreat their turtle or tortoise. Recently, a very cute African Sulcata Tortoise named Zuri was surrendered at Eden Animal Sanctuary by its well meaning owner. The owner had done what they thought was right but, inadvertently caused their pet a lot of problems. Zuri had been kept in a glass reptile terrarium for four years and had not been exposed to proper sunlight or UVB/UVA rays.  Due to cramped living space and an improper diet of shredded zuchinni and various greens, Zuri was not able to grow or walk correctly. She had developed  serious internal problems called “internal pyramiding” due to lack of exercise and having grown to the dimensions of the terrarium.  Upon owner surrender, Eden Animal Sanctuary gave Zuri a large outdoor enclosure, exercise to strengthen her back legs, a proper diet, and occasional practice chewing hard vegetables to develop jaw strength.  Later, Zuri was adopted by a sanctuary volunteer who knew her rehabilitation would be a lifelong process. This volunteer’s commitment and love for these animals is evident with her decision to care for Zuri for the rest of her life.

Rachel Street, Owner

Rachel Street, owner of Eden Animal Sanctuary

Photo courtesy of Rachel Street

Owner Rachel Street has loved turtles and tortoises since childhood. Throughout her life, she has researched and cared for many of these species. She can recognize what issues her inhabitants might have and is often correct. The vet usually agrees with her. Knowledgeable about plants needed for an appropriate environment and healthy landscaping, various edible choices are outlined on their website, educating owners on proper care at

In operation since January of 2015, Eden Animal Sanctuary maintains two ponds for aquatic turtles and keeps several other species appropriate for tortoise habitats. Eager to care for turtles and tortoises in need, the most inhabitants they have ever had at one time was 45 during the summer of 2016.

Eden Animal Sanctuary cares deeply about its mission. It is not just a job for Rachel and her family. It is their passion. If you would like to support their cause, please see their website and view the Giving Tuesday video below. If you choose to support Eden Animal Sanctuary, you could be responsible for helping a turtle smile.

4. Giving Tuesday

Functioning as a family run facility, visitation is by appointment only. You may contact Eden Animal Sanctuary by phone at (210) 488-5119 or by emailing [email protected]. Also, be sure to check out their Website and like Eden Animal Sanctuary on Facebook.