The Top 13 Reptile Rescues in California! (2024)

Reptile adoption is the best way to bring a new pet into your family. When you adopt from reptile rescues in California, you’re supporting nonprofits that prioritize reptile care.

These organizations rescue reptiles from bad situations and keep them safe until they’re adopted.

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Why Do Reptiles End Up in Shelters?


Reptiles and exotic animals often end up in shelters because the owners can’t care for them. These animals have strict diets and need specific enclosures to remain healthy. Many people aren’t ready for that level of upkeep regarding these small pets.

Other people own reptiles because they’re popular pets, and the owner wants to breed them for an income. But when they don’t make much money from the process, they want to get rid of the animals.

Some reptile owners love their pets but can’t care for them due to expenses or housing restrictions. Landlords might not allow reptiles or pets, so people need to surrender their animals.

Rescues give these reptiles the ideal living space and adequate food and medical attention while they wait for adoption. If you want to adopt reptiles in California, consider supporting these local reptile rescues.

The Top 13 Reptile Rescues in California


California has many reptile rescues, including some specializing in certain animals, like snakes or turtles. This list includes 13 of the best reptile rescues in California, whether you’re looking to surrender a pet or add a new member to your family.

1. Reptile Rescue Mission Viejo


Reptile Rescue Mission Viejo is a great rescue to support if you’re looking for an adoptable reptile. It serves Mission Viejo and surrounding areas in Orange County.

Bram is a teenager who founded the organization over five years ago and helped over 100 animals. He saw many injured and ill reptiles that needed help, so he took them in.

Bram’s parents help support his rescue, and when you adopt from the organization, you can help too. He has turtles, iguanas, bearded dragons, frogs, and bunnies ready for adoption.

Reptile Rescue Mission Viejo Details:

2. Moon Rescues


Moon Rescues specializes in reptile adoption. You can see the available turtles, reptiles, and small animals on their Facebook and Instagram pages.

Their website expired, so the easiest way to get information is to contact them through social media.

Moon Rescues doesn’t specify a location in California because they’re eager to help reptiles find the right home regardless of distance.

If you see an animal you want to adopt, you can DM them for information on how. They will work with you to make transportation easier.

Moon Rescues Details:

3. Tortoise Acres Rescue & Sanctuary


Anyone interested in adopting a reptile should check out Tortoise Acres Rescue & Sanctuary. They rescue reptiles and care for them while waiting for the right family to adopt them.

You can also find care information about various tortoises and turtles to ensure you can adequately provide for your new pet.

The organization is a nonprofit that accepts rescues from 30 states. You can surrender your reptiles to this sanctuary and know they’ll thrive in the natural environment.

Tortoise Acres Rescue & Sanctuary Details:

4. San Diego Turtle & Tortoise Society


San Diego Turtle & Tortoise Society is actually in Santee, a suburban area on the city’s outskirts. They serve a broad range in the county and have a great reputation for rescuing reptiles.

The rescue regularly hosts adoption events near the San Diego Zoo, but you can also contact them directly for information.

The organization rescues turtles and tortoises found in the wild and accepts surrendered pets. If you have trouble caring for your turtle, they have educational resources available online.

San Diego Turtle & Tortoise Society Details:

5. Reptile Room


If you’re looking for an adoptable reptile, this rescue has you covered. They have new animals ready for adoption each week, including lizards, frogs, snakes, and turtles. You can also get supplies to take the best care of your reptiles.

After seeing so many reptile stores close down in Hayward, the owner wanted to provide a place for education and reptile appreciation. He opened the store in 1996 and has adopted countless reptiles since then.

Reptile Room Details:

6. EcoVivarium


EcoVivarium is a nonprofit reptile museum that serves to educate the public. The museum rescues reptiles and provides reptile adoption for families. Visitors to the museum can touch reptiles and learn about their habitats and eating habits.

Visits to the museum, as well as adoption fees, cover the sanctuary that keeps all the animals healthy. Even if you’re not adopting a reptile, you can support EcoVivarium with donations or by buying things from their wish list.

EcoVivarium Details:

7. A&T Animal Experts


A&T Animal Experts are a company that specializes in rattlesnake removal. They rescue reptiles and give you options to protect your home and land from infestations.

You don’t need to kill these snakes on your own because this business safely takes them from your property back to the wild.

A&T Animal Experts Details:

8. Reptile Removal


If you see a snake on your property, don’t kill it yourself. You’re harming nature and risking a dangerous snakebite. is a business that helps people anywhere in California. They’re known for rescuing reptiles instead of harming them.

The company strives to conserve nature and help keep the public safe. They track snakes when putting them back in the wild.

Reptile Removal Details:

9. The Reptile Zoo


The Reptile Zoo started as Pet Country in 1988, providing exotic pets for adoption. They expanded over the years to be a facility where you can adopt reptiles, host parties, and learn about reptiles.

The rescue cares for animals in the sanctuary and also teaches you what they need before you take home a new pet.

The Reptile Zoo Details:

10. The Turtle and Tortoise Rescue of Arroyo Grande


The Turtle and Tortoise Rescue of Arroyo Grande is a nonprofit that started in 1992 as a sanctuary.

They accepted rescues and surrendered pets and now share educational insights with visitors and turtle owners. They rehab injured animals, provide short-term boarding, and allow reptile adoption.

The Turtle and Tortoise Rescue of Arroyo Grande Details:

11. Vintage Tortoise Rescue & Boutique


Vintage Tortoise Rescue & Boutique provides everything you can need for a tortoise.

If you already own one, you can shop for enclosures, food, vitamins, and gifts on the website. Every purchase helps the rescue mission. You can also adopt a tortoise by filling out an online form.

If you need to surrender your tortoise or you’ve found a wild, lost, or injured tortoise, the organization accepts emergency calls for a quick rescue.

Vintage Tortoise Rescue & Boutique Details:

12. Nor Cal Reptile Adventures


Nor Cal Reptile Adventures loves providing educational visits to schools, but they never turn down an animal surrender. They take care of the rescue reptiles until someone is able to adopt them.

If you want to adopt one of their rescues, you can DM them on Facebook for more information. They also educate you about pet care for your new animal.

Nor Cal Reptile Adventures Details:

  • Location: Cohasset, California
  • Phone Number: 530-228-5011
  • Social Media: Facebook

13. California Reptile/Amphibian Rescue at


While it isn’t a local reptile rescue, has an extensive list of reptiles ready for adoption in California.

You can scroll through pages of animals or sort the results by location for easy pickup. If you see a reptile you want to adopt, you’ll contact the owner directly to work it out.

California Reptile/Amphibian Rescue at Details:

Conclusion For “The Top Reptile Rescues in California”


When you’re ready to adopt a reptile, try to find a reputable rescue instead of using a breeder. These reptile rescues in California are nonprofits that use their funding completely for animal care.

You know you’re supporting a great organization when adopting a reptile. You can also donate funds and volunteer with these rescues to further support them and their missions.

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For more information about Reptiles, check out the video down below: