Thanks to a sharp-eyed shopper and the quick work of PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department, baby turtles have been rescued from a store in NYC’s Chinatown.
These little guys were small—so small that it’s actually illegal to sell them—yet they were being hawked as “pets” to unwitting tourists who often don’t have a clue about how to take care of such delicate animals.
And that’s where the concern of one compassionate citizen really made a difference. She wasn’t an expert on turtle care, but after visiting the store, this young woman knew that these turtles were being inhumanely treated. Not only were they tiny, they were being kept in little plastic containers with very little water and nothing else. They were also living outside the shop in direct sunlight for most of the day.
After hitting a brick wall with local officials, the young lady called PETA. Faster than you can say “salmonella souvenirs” (according to the FDA, there are more than 74,000 “pet” turtle–related cases of human salmonella poisoning every year), a PETA cruelty caseworker got the DOH to respond ASAP. That same day, the agency seized eight of the turtles and issued citations to the seedy store for violating New York State Department of Health codes that make it illegal to sell turtles smaller than 4 inches long.
Now living large at a turtle sanctuary, these eight tiny turtles have been given the opportunity to live out their lives in luxury. But there are still aquatic animals who need our help. Won’t you tell Brookstone head honchos to get their heads out of their, er, shells and end the sale of Frog-O-Spheres today?
Written by Amy Elizabeth