RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond Animal Care and Control had 50 turtles up for adoption on Thursday after they were seized from a fast-food store parking lot.
Those turtles were quickly snapped up by Richmond residents wanting to help them.
“Welp, here is one for the record books,” RACC posted on Facebook. “When RACC opened at 1 p.m. we had more people in line than we had turtles. All have been adopted!”
RACC outreach coordinator Robin Young said the baby red eared slider turtles were seized after they got a tip earlier this week about the man trying to sell the turtles from the Burger King parking lot on East Belt Boulevard.
“We seized these turtles mainly because they’re too young to be sold,” Young said. “Anything under four inches cannot be sold.”
The man now faces pending animal cruelty charges.
The roughly three-month-old turtles are roughly the size of a half-dollar.
The shelter waved the adoption fee because code doesn’t permit selling them at this size.
Adopters had to sign an additional waiver outlining an agreement to never release the turtles into the wild.
“The deal with these guys is they’re super invasive and if they’re re-released into the wild they tend to take over a wetlands territory and they push out other natural habitats that are there,” Young said.
These turtles tend to have a life expectancy of 30 years. However, employees at RACC said caring for these turtles is a big commitment.
“If you’re going to have them in a home you’re going to need a wet habitat, a dry habitat, heat lamps, clean water and be ready to clean their areas a lot,” Young said.