Shelters Brace for Release of New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie

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Ninja Turtles box office tops $25 million on Friday, generating concern for real life turtles.

Before the urge to impulsively purchase a turtle or tortoise has families heading to pet stores, the East Bay SPCA hopes to educate the public about turtle ownership.

In the new Ninja Turtles movie, teenaged turtles ally with the press to save the future of the world. Unfortunately, the new film may inspire families to doom real turtles and tortoises to unsuitable, unsafe futures with ill-prepared adoptive families. Before the urge to impulsively purchase a turtle or tortoise has families heading to pet stores, the East Bay SPCA is hoping to educate the public about turtle ownership before the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film hits theatres.

“Owning a pet takes planning, equipment, food and commitment. Sadly, many people do little research before acquiring a pet and don’t understand and commit to the responsibilities of life-time ownership,” said East Bay SPCA President Allison Lindquist. “We fear this movie will drive interest in acquiring pet turtles and tortoises.”

Reptiles require very specific habitats, food and supplements in order to stay healthy. The appropriate setup for a turtle or tortoise is costly and as the animal grows, its space needs to be up-sized accordingly. Many reptiles can live for decades and in the case of tortoises, may outlive their owners.

It is important to be aware that unscrupulous turtle and tortoise dealers can illegally obtain and sell their animals and may sell animals with compromised health. Some species on the market are actually illegal in California because they can be a threat to our local species. Animals transported illegally may be sick or carry parasites or bacteria like Salmonella.

Just as the teens in the new Teenage Ninja Turtle s movie ally with a reporter to save the world, humane educators ask the media to help get the word out to save the future for real-life pet turtles. The staff and volunteers of all shelters urge the public to resist acquiring pets on impulse.

About the East Bay SPCA
The East Bay SPCA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to the welfare of cats and dogs in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. It strives to eliminate animal cruelty, neglect and overpopulation by providing programs and education that support people and companion animals. Founded in 1874, the East Bay SPCA is not affiliated with or funded by any other SPCA, Humane Society or government agency. We operate two adoption centers and two spay/neuter centers in Oakland and Dublin. We also offer dog training classes and humane education programs in both cities and provide a full-service veterinary clinic at our Oakland location. More information can be found at or by calling 510.569.0702.

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Rita Wilds
East Bay SPCA
+1 (510) 563-4621
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