If you have a painted turtle and want to travel, finding someone to watch your turtle can be a challenge. While painted turtles are often alright on their own for a day or two, they shouldn't go several weeks without someone feeding them or cleaning their cage. The next time you're headed out to town for more than a weekend, ask a nearby herp rescue to watch your painted turtle. They're often willing to, and they might be a lot less expensive than other pet boarding options.
Herp Rescues Specialize in Amphibians and Reptiles
Animal rescue and rehabilitation programs that specialize in amphibians and reptiles are sometimes called herp rescues. "Herp" comes from "herpetology," which is the study of these animals.
There Are Other Rescue Options
There are several pet boarding solutions for your painted turtle. Some of the options other than herp rescues include the following:
- reptile boarding centers
- herp veterinarians that board animals
- a friend
Reptile boarding centers are a great solution, but they're usually only found in large cities. Unless you live in a place like New York City or Los Angeles, there probably isn't a reptile-specific boarding center near you. You can go to sites to see if any pet boarding options are near you.
Herp veterinarians, who are veterinarians that specialize in herpetology, are experts in amphibians and reptiles. If something were to happen to your painted turtle while you're away, a herp vet would provide the best care. Herp vets also, however, can have expensive boarding rates.
At the other extreme, a friend might be willing to watch your turtle for free. Your friend, however, likely doesn't have the expertise that a herp veterinarian has. In fact, they might not know anything about your painted turtle. If your turtle were to become ill or injured while you're gone, they might not know what to do.
Herp Rescues Are Well-Suited to Watch Your Painted Turtle
Herp rescues have several advantages over the above three pet boarding options. First, they're much more plentiful than herp boarding centers. There are herp rescues located throughout the country. Because they are located where herptiles are found, rescues are in both populated and unpopulated areas. Even if you live in a rural region, you might have a herp rescue nearby.
Second, herp rescues are less likely to charge as much as herp veterinarians. Many rescues are run as nonprofits funded by grants, so they don't need to earn the same profit that vets must make. If you're really tight on cash, a rescue might be willing to trade boarding your turtle for volunteer hours. Many rescues are always looking for volunteers, to the point that they might prefer manual help to monetary compensation. They may ask you to supply your turtle's food, but the things that painted turtles eat -- earthworms, beans, carrots, apples and bananas -- are inexpensive.
Third, people at herp rescues know and love amphibians and reptiles. Whereas your friend may or may not be interested in your turtle, the staff at a herp rescue will be familiar with your turtle. If something were to happen, many rescues also have veterinarians who volunteer and could perform any necessary emergency treatments.
As you plan your next trip away from home, look for a herp rescue that might watch your pet turtle. Even if the nearest herp rescue doesn't advertise boarding services, they might be willing to help you. Ask them and see if they'll take your turtle for a short while. Not only might you find qualified people who will look after your turtle for an affordable fee, but you might also find new herptile enthusiasts to share your love for turtles with.