Other Turtle Discussion :: reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

Non-care related topics here.

Post Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:37 pm   reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

Hello there,

So this isn't about my turtle, but it's about a Chinese restaurant in my town that has some turtles in it. The pond is awfully shallow, maybe a few inches deep, and houses about 6 or more turtles (all RES except one that seemed to be a young yellow-bellied slider). I can't tell how large but I'd guess the pond is about 100 gallons. It's in a very poorly lit area, the turtles have no basking lights (not even a heat light). My pictures look bright because I edited them in Photoshop. There is minimal filtration in the pond, and the water is very murky brown, and I couldn't tell if there was a heater.

There were at least 2 large females in the pond. I could see one had pink skin, even through the brown water. It looked like another had two big spots of bone exposed on her head. One of the basking turtles looked super skinny and very weak. All of the turtles that were in the pond were swimming very slowly. They didn't seem strong enough to catch the goldfish that were also in the pond.

I took pictures with a cruddy cellphone, but I intend to go back with a better camera and (discreetly!) take better pictures.

My fiance isn't totally an animal lover, but this made him very mad. He said that as a business, they should be responsible for caring for their animals that are on display.

This is most of the pond. There was a tiny extra area off to the left of the photo. You can tell it's very shallow:
Image

Female with (I think?) bone exposed on head:
Image

This little guy looked too weak to move :(
Image

I'm not asking anyone to adopt an RES, and everyone's tanks are probably full already! But any advice on what to do about this would be great!! I really do think this business should get in trouble and be prohibited from keeping live animals on display. Even if the sick turtles end up being euthanized, I want something to be done about this. I contacted a reptile rescue in VA to see if they had any suggestions. Anyone that keeps an animal in public should provide at least a somewhat ok example of care.

Well thanks for reading :mrgreen:
emilybean
 
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Post Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:36 pm   Re: reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

Maybe make some polite comments on Yelp or other review sites. It looks like they tried, but they really don't understand turtle keeping. What we consider basic care will differ greatly from other people.
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:02 am   Re: reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

I didn't think of leaving a review on Yelp or one of those sites, I think I might do that tomorrow. Thanks! I'm waiting to hear from the rescues that I contacted. I wanted to contact the local Animal Control, but they specifically say on their website that they don't deal with reptiles. :?
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:48 pm   Re: reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

I would also consider speaking to the management, that would give you an idea if they're willing to improve the turtle habitat. Sadly, many people who see it probably don't realize how inadequate it is.
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Post Posted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:52 pm   Re: reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

I got a reply from a reptile rescue in the state, and they suggested talking to the owner/management as well, and ask if they have an exhibitor's permit (which they're required to have). I contacted the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, hopefully they can help. I don't mean to be pessimistic but there probably isn't a simple fix that a restaurant would be willing to do that would solve anything. Installing lights would be great, but probably a little costly to make it look nice. Veterinary care might be needed, also expensive. I'm not a confrontational person so I'd rather an authority handle it!

I know there's a possibility that the turtles are eaten, as it's a Chinese restaurant, but that doesn't help their case in the least. Even if it was an animal that I was comfortable eating, I'd want it to at least be healthy before it died! Maybe a little fat, not skin and bones with a bacterial infection running through it.
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Post Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:56 am   Re: reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

I understand that theres no need to be confrontational... hopefully they are reasonable. Too many people think "oh, it's just turtles" or "oh, it's still alive, something is being done right" but we know that's not the case. Would the health department be able to do something? Although, I would think speaking to them about the consequences first might enlighten them.
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:47 pm   Re: reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

Update on this thread from last month: I contacted the health department, and someone went to take a look at the restaurant. She emailed me and asked if she could call me to tell me what happened, so I replied with my phone number and haven't heard back :( DGIF didn't help at all (unless they did something without informing me).

Anyway, I went to the restaurant today and took a peek at their pond... It looked dirtier than last time. The water was almost completely blackish brown and I could not see the bottom. However, I only saw one turtle in there (it was the young turtle, probably a painted that I originally thought was a YBS).

So I have no idea what happened with any of the other turtles. Maybe I'll find out soon! I'm hoping they weren't dumped in a river somewhere.
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:34 pm   Re: reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

That sucks. I've had limited success with NYC 311 and turtle vendors, it's very disappointing when city agencies don't enforce their own codes.
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Post Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:53 pm   Re: reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

At the hotel I go to in Mexico they got around 20 but put in a few separate ponds but they arnt that bad they mostvof them have energy but 1 is missing a arm and an other has something dried up sticking out his cloakia

But china is the is the worst they sell what it looks like res or rio grande hacthings in a plastic bag as a keychain heres a link if u want to see http://www.themarysue.com/chinese-turtles-fish-keychains/ they also put salmaders in a bag to
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:57 pm   Re: reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

Yeah, it's frustrating when rules are in place but not enforced. I also called the local Animal Control (even though their website says they don't handle any reptiles or livestock, only cats and dogs). The woman on the phone said she'd have someone look into it, and I didn't leave my name and number with her so I don't know if she would've called me if anything happened.
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:02 pm   Re: reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

If the animal control sees that setup they will most likely assume its a great setup as they will not be when knowledge in the proper care of a turtle
Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada

Turtle: RES about 6-8months old
Tank Mates: Mystery Snails, Peacock Eel, 2 cichlids
Habitat: 55 gal, UVA & UVB lighting, Live Plant and high volume filter
Diet: Pellets, jello shots (wont eat veggies :()
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Post Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:19 pm   Re: reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

Report them to PETA.
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:30 pm   Re: reporting a business's reptile abuse/neglect in the US?

No thanks, I don't associate with PETA (or HSUS for that matter).

Just as an update: Someone from the Health Dept sent me an email asking to call her. I tried calling, no answer, and no reply to further emails either. She made it sound like they did look into it though. So I went to the restaurant and there was only one turtle in the pond (less than a few months ago!). So, good news for now. I'll try to check back in the future to make sure they didn't get more.
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