8 Best Turtle Rescues in Florida! (2024)

Turtle adoption benefits both the turtle and the new pet owner. The turtle gets a happy home, while the adoptive parents get a long-lived companion.

Unfortunately, many pet owners don’t do enough research before getting a pet turtle and need to surrender the pet once they learn how much work and time turtles require. 

If you’re interested in taking the step to becoming a turtle parent, check out these top eight turtle rescues in Florida with adoptable turtles waiting for a happy home. 

Other articles you would like: Italian Greyhound Adoption and Cane Corso Adoption.

Why Do Turtles End Up in Florida Shelters?


Tortoises, turtles, and sea turtles end up in Florida animal shelters and rescue centers for the following reasons: 

  • Neglect, abuse, and abandonment 
  • The turtle outlives their owner
  • The owner moves 
  • The turtle outgrows its enclosure 
  • A new baby or pet joins the house 
  • Too much tank maintenance 

Florida also has sea turtle nesting sites along its coast and ideal conditions for turtles and tortoises inland. Many turtles are in need, so these Florida turtle rescue centers offer turtle adoptions to place them in happy homes. 

The Top 8 Turtle Rescues in Florida


Don’t take turtle adoption lightly because turtles can live for over 30 years. In fact, some turtles live to grow older than 100. However, tortoises and turtles also require adequate conditions with enough shade, space, and protection to feel comfortable. 

These top eight turtle rescues in Florida have adoptable turtles. Still, they require all potential adoptive pet owners to complete a form detailing the required conditions for housing a turtle.

These adoption forms are not meant to deter interested pet owners but instead help to establish guidelines for what to expect regarding proper turtle care. Adopting a turtle is a long-term commitment.  

Even if you don’t have the space or time to house a pet turtle, you can symbolically adopt turtles and provide care through a financial donation. 

Check out the top eight turtle rescues in Florida below to find the one nearest you with the species of turtle you want to give some love to. 

1. The Turtle Hospital 


The Turtle Hospital is a sea turtle rescue center housed in an old motel along the coast of the Florida Keys.

The Turtle Hospital opened its doors as a non-profit in 1986 and is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing sea turtles back into their ocean home. 

While you can’t bring a sea turtle home with you, the sea turtles at The Turtle Hospital are up for symbolic adoption. Adopting turtles at The Turtle Hospital will provide food and medicine to sea turtles in need. 

Those curious about turtle rehab can view virtual tours of The Turtle Hospital to see the turtle patients online or join the Guided Educational program to visit the turtles in person. 

The Turtle Hospital Details: 

2. Central Florida Wildlife Center, Inc.


The Central Florida Wildlife Center, Inc. also goes by the name Turtle Rescues USA. This non-profit charity helps turtles and tortoises across Florida state. 

Here you’ll find rescued turtles and tortoises native to Florida. The Central Florida Wildlife Center has been rescuing turtles since 1996.

Alongside saving turtles, they offer turtles for adoption to pre-screened pet owners. To begin the application process, email [email protected]

The Turtle Rescue USA official website features lots of helpful content for interested turtle pet owners, like care guides, educational resources, and species-specific information. 

Central Florida Wildlife Center Details: 

3. Fallin’ Pines Critter Rescue, Inc. 


Fallin’ Pines Critter Rescue, Inc. is a rescue center for exotic animals, reptiles, birds, and more. Since 2003, Fallin’ Pines Critter Rescue has aided non-native Florida species, including turtles and tortoises. 

If you’re interested in getting a rescue turtle from the Fallin’ Pines Critter Rescue, browse through the adoptable turtles on their PetFinder page or Adpotapet page.

This private rescue center is not open to the public, so curious visitors must schedule an appointment in advance. 

All potential pet owners must complete the necessary adoption forms, adopt the pet for themselves, and be over the age of 18. 

Fallin’ Pines Critter Rescue Details: 

4. Hernando Reptile and Exotics Rescue


The Hernando Reptile and Exotics Rescue center is one of the best turtle rescues in Florida that’s entirely run by volunteers.

Unlike some other Florida turtle rescue centers, the Hernando Reptile and Exotics Rescue center operate out of a residential home by passionate caregivers. 

The Hernando Reptile and Exotics Rescue center has adoptable turtles for those interested in bringing home a new friend.

Of course, potential adoptive parents must first complete a screening process. This rescue center in Florida also offers affordable microchipping for all reptiles. 

If you’re considering being a turtle owner but want some experience first, the Hernando Reptile and Exotics Rescue has a volunteer program to try your hand at turtle care before fully committing. 

Hernando Reptile and Exotics Rescue Details: 

5. Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center


The Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC) is a sea turtle rescue center in Northern Florida.

This huge rescue center has a resident sea turtle, Sweet Pea, who cannot be released back into the wild. Visitors here will also see exciting exhibits with jellyfish, seahorses, tortoises, and more. 

Just like other sea turtle rescue centers, adopting turtles doesn’t mean you can take a pet sea turtle back home. When you adopt turtles at the NBSTCC, it’s a symbolic adoption that pays for sea turtle care and rescue along the Florida coasts. 

Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center Details: 

6. Crazy Critters 


Crazy Critters buys, sells, adopts, rehabilitates, transports, and breeds turtles. Their website doesn’t showcase adoptable turtles, but Crazy Critters often shares blog posts with available turtles

Ken and Cherrice Purvee run this rescue, rehab, and turtle sanctuary. Alongside the reptiles and exotic creatures, they sell plants. 

The lush foliage surrounding the colossal property makes this place a gorgeous spot to look around if you’re interested in adopting turtles. Keep in mind that Crazy Critters isn’t open to the public, so call or email in advance for a tour of the property and animals. 

Crazy Critters Details: 

7. Loggerhead Marinelife Center 


The Loggerhead Marinelife Center is one of the most famous sea turtle rescue centers in Florida. This rescue center focuses on ocean conservation, education, and animal rehabilitation. 

Visitors to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center will enjoy tours of the facility, virtual reality tours, lectures, kids’ classes, and more. 

The rescue turtles at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center can be symbolically adopted, with the proceeds going towards medicine, care, and rehabilitation.  

The Loggerhead Marinelife Center hosts beach clean-ups and other volunteer events, so anyone interested in turtles can participate in conservation efforts. 

Loggerhead Marinelife Center Details: 

8. Santucci Small Animal And Reptile Rescue


The Santucci Small Animal And Reptile Rescue (SSARR) center is one of the incredible turtle rescues in Florida worth checking out if you want to adopt a turtle. The SSARR is against killing any animal and accepts all surrendered reptiles. 

After an animal is surrendered to the SSARR, they rehabilitate and use the animal for educational purposes. This animal rescue center has adoptable turtles, snakes, and lizards. 

All potential pet parents must first complete a mandatory screening process by completing an adoption form. Begin the adoption process by calling or visiting the center in person. 

The SSARR is open 24/7. However, schedule an appointment in advance to ensure they have adoptable turtles at that moment. 

Santucci Small Animal And Reptile Rescue Details: 

Conclusion For “Best Turtle Rescues in Florida”


Adopting turtles is a rewarding experience that enables pet owners to enjoy the company of a turtle without supporting turtle breeding. Not everyone has the space to care for these majestic creatures.

However, if you’re interested in owning a pet turtle and have the facilities, consider adopting a turtle from one of the rescue centers above. 

These eight turtle rescues in Florida are run by reptile experts who care for these beautiful creatures until you’re ready to invite rescue turtles into your home. 

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