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A sad experience
Posted: 03/08/2015 by Kerriann65

hello everyone,

I am new to the forum but wanted to share my recent experience with a tiny tortoise we named Dennis. I was asked to look after Dennis by some neighbours who were going on holiday. Having fond memories of garden tortoises, I readily agreed. Dennis ( a tiny horsefield about the size of the palm of my hand arrived in a viv with a bag of lettuce!) this immediately seemed wrong to me so I started researching and came across the TPG website. Having established everything was wrong, I spoke to my neighbours on holiday, who surprise surprise had been following instructions from the pet shop. They agreed that Dennis could stay with me so he immediately went into a tortoise table, with topsoil/ sand substrate and a combined UVB light. He was weaned off rubbish and onto a weed/ flower diet, bathed daily and given outside access in a tortoise garden we constructed over the weekend. Initially Dennis was transformed, eating well and rampaging round investigating his new exciting world. However on Thursday he didn't eat and just didn't seem right, I tried to make an appointment with our closest specialist vet who had no appointments until Tuesday, I spoke with the vet and described his symptoms but they still said Tuesday. By the afternoon, still unhappy, I found another vet an hour and a half away who would see him so we rushed him there. Unfortunately, we were too late and Dennis passed away while we were at the vets despite all of their frantic efforts to save him. 
I suspect he was either farmed or imported and probably had many underlying issues before he came to me. I believe he had 4 happy weeks being a tortoise in the sun but am devastated that I couldn't save him. 
I would like to warn people to stay away from pet shops and do research before they are tempted to buy! 
Having said all of that, Dennis brought us 4 weeks of joy and we will definitely continue tortoise ownership moving forward.
Many thanks to all associated with this website for the excellent advice found here. 

Re: A sad experience
Posted: 04/08/2015 by Tom

Hello Kerri,

It is good to receive a properly constructed post. I'm sorry to hear what happened, but it is all too common. I'm about to reply to 2 other posts much the same as yours.

The problem with pet trade tortoises is what inspired Darren to set up this site.

Yes there would have been underlying issues & yes 99.9% of tortoises in the pet trade are imported, (1000 or more at a time !!) having been 'farmed' or in many cases wild caught.

There are lots of UK breeders on this site, so you can obtain healthy torts when you are ready.


Re: A sad experience
Posted: 06/08/2015 by Kerriann65

Hi Tom,

Many thanks for your reply. I have spent some considerable time reading and re reading many of the different threads on this forum and it is really disturbing to see how many people have had similar experiences. 
We will definitely be using a breeder from the recommended list when we move forward and the information provided by the forum and the general site has been and will, continue to be invaluable. 
I teach and we have at school a variety of animals that have been rescued, I will be doing a special session on tortoises and the issues currently which the children will then share with the rest of the school in assembly. If we can educate the next generation into responsible ownership and awareness it can only be a good thing. 
Many thanks for your support and I am sure I will be posting again. 



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