should parents allow kids and teens to get tortoises?

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I'm a teenager and I have a tortoise. Ever since i was six I have been collecting tortoise goods and they have been my favourite animal since I started collecting. I practically begged for a tortoise for 8 years. I've only had Templeton for a year but I look after him very well and do the best I can for him. My mum helps out a bit too but I think as a teenager I'm responsible enough to keep him happy and I'm very dedicated to him.
 

Pearly

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Great thread! And long! I'm glad to see this discussion. I found it looking for another issue r/t children and pets. While some of the opinions differ there is some true to every single one of them. I think the key is in keeping the 2 aspects separate: 1) issues r/t (related to) child rearing, 2) responsible pet ownership. I gave in to my sweet preteen daughter's request and we now have 2 RF babies, in time to have 1 or 2 more females:) My daughter has done tons of research and still doing more but I do my own and we work in tandem caring for them. It is great science project for my child who loves science and wonderful mother-daughter time we get to spend daily. I have been a pet owner all of my life and like to do things right by the animals. It's important for me to teach my children about love and respect of nature and there is no better way for them to learn than by hands on work with the animals, plants, etc, and I'm there to guide, teach, model behaviors and help. I actually wanted to pick some brains on another topic related to children as pet owners but for that I'll try to start separate thread and hopefully someone will chime in. Thanks for the great reading
 

Dessy

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I just turned 18 and have put hours of research into my baby tortoise. I plan to move away for school to a warmer climate for my little Leo. I think as long as the person is extremely responsible and knowledgeable then it is fine but sadly most teenagers just want a "cool pet" they are not willing to care for in the long run
 

Dessy

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3 of 4 of my rescue torts were from teenagers living with theor parents who couldn't care for them.

Now, I can't talk.

I was 3 when I got my first tort, but didn't buy my own, with a set up until I was 15.
I'm (usually) an adult, and I have my own place. I had no problem as a kid caring for my guys. Then again, I was a loner and stayed home after school playing with my tortoises.
Aw i am too ^_^
 

Big Charlie

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There are plenty of irresponsible adult pet owners.

It is okay to get pets for your children if they are responsible and mature enough. It is a good way to teach responsibility and for kids to understand that you can't just quit on a living creature because you're tired of it. Parents need to supervise their children and be willing to step in if the pet isn't being taken care of properly. Every pet we got when my kids were growing up, even those that were supposed to be specifically for one child or another, turned out to be my responsibility, which was fine with me because I wouldn't have gotten them if I didn't want the pets. I guess my kids didn't learn the responsibility lesson well enough.

But...fast forward many years later. We went out of town for a week and left my adult son in charge of Charlie. Charlie is pretty much no maintenance. He eats the grass in our yard and, at the time, he had his burrow to escape the heat. All my son needed to do was make sure that no unforeseen disasters happened, like Charlie's burrow collapsed, or the yard was getting flooded. But he did more than that; he came on this forum and read about sulcatas.
 

Anyfoot

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Very interesting thread. Not read it all, not got the time.
It's educational for kids to take part in looking after any animal. Also they learn to take on responsibility.
If my daughter doesn't clean her rabbit out. There's no iPad,iPod or computer until its done. It gets done:D.
Ultimately it's the parents responsibility though.
Make them look after the animal or
Pass the animal on to someone else.
Your actions show your child a learning curve in life.
Most importantly , get involved with your child and their pet. This is quality time all round.
 

awesomecs

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oh I def. agree its fine if the parent is willing to take on the responsibility.
obviously some kids are a lot more responsible I just see a lot of the "oh so and so has one now i want one" with reptiles in the past little while, not really knowing or understanding what they are getting into.

glad to hear the different opinions though :)

it just bugs me to see people buy a living things because someone at school has one, and end up giving it away a few years later because it was 'boring' or they couldnt 'play' with it. and yes that is always different from kid to kid, person to person. but with the rise in the popularity of reptiles im seeing it a lot more.



and yes I should have worded that 1st post better i did not mean all teens/kids. i know there are tons out there that are responsible and know what they are doing. this was more about the kids that go to sites like facebook groups complaining that the parents keep saying no, and how can they get them to change their minds and let them have one. these situations the parents clearly dont want to have that responsibility.

sorry if i offended anyone




half the people in my school never heard of a tortoise I have a ascendingly great deal in science and I studied tortoise for 5 years I know I'm probably too young for the zone of actually getting a tortoise I know lots about them and even helped some people understand them and I'm only a kid then again I suggest if you get a tortoise and don't want it anymore you just potentially killed a animal I think if any other kid want the animal then they should study it for 2 years strait like I did I only know about Russian and Greek tortoises even being a scientist runs in the family I may be 13 but I made my own kind of mixed breed succulent plant I call it rippled haworthia without any help of anyone but the internet on how to make a mixed breed plant and I took it to the next level so unless you know everything about a tortoise do not get one at any age until you know everything almost oh and btw my parents dint help me except for her wooden cage I suck at building lol
 

awesomecs

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Very interesting thread. Not read it all, not got the time.
It's educational for kids to take part in looking after any animal. Also they learn to take on responsibility.
If my daughter doesn't clean her rabbit out. There's no iPad,iPod or computer until its done. It gets done:D.
Ultimately it's the parents responsibility though.
Make them look after the animal or
Pass the animal on to someone else.
Your actions show your child a learning curve in life.
Most importantly , get involved with your child and their pet. This is quality time all round.


lol I'm 13 and I think of my tortoise as my daughter I almost had a heart attack when she was outside and I saw a hawk I wish I could kiss her without getting really sick =[
 

awesomecs

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There are plenty of irresponsible adult pet owners.

It is okay to get pets for your children if they are responsible and mature enough. It is a good way to teach responsibility and for kids to understand that you can't just quit on a living creature because you're tired of it. Parents need to supervise their children and be willing to step in if the pet isn't being taken care of properly. Every pet we got when my kids were growing up, even those that were supposed to be specifically for one child or another, turned out to be my responsibility, which was fine with me because I wouldn't have gotten them if I didn't want the pets. I guess my kids didn't learn the responsibility lesson well enough.

But...fast forward many years later. We went out of town for a week and left my adult son in charge of Charlie. Charlie is pretty much no maintenance. He eats the grass in our yard and, at the time, he had his burrow to escape the heat. All my son needed to do was make sure that no unforeseen disasters happened, like Charlie's burrow collapsed, or the yard was getting flooded. But he did more than that; he came on this forum and read about Sulcatas.
I never had the case were my parents had to step in I figured I care for my own pets since when I saw 5 my mom accidently put burning hot water in my goldfish tank and the fish hopped strait out from then on I took care of my pets almost all by myself and my mom never messed with a pet that lives in water ever again =] btw I'm 13
 

awesomecs

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It's not all well and good just to say it...hopefully when you've reached that point you've led by example well enough or have provided other opportunities for the child to prove themselves that the child will be prepared to do the right thing.

Depending on what one's experiences have been, the above example may be the rule rather than the exception. In my experience however, this would be a rare exception rather than a rule...if you follow me.

I understand what you're trying to say, but I think my original point could be made clearer to say that I think it's the parents responsibility to take care of the child and respond appropriately to their actions, rather than absorb the child's responsibilities when they fail.



I know a couple kids at my school that would do that....... but I take care of tory sourly alone well I had my sister carry dirt down to Tory's habitat.... but the habitats all that they helped with I say if you don't study them don't have them
 

Anyfoot

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half the people in my school never heard of a tortoise I have a ascendingly great deal in science and I studied tortoise for 5 years I know I'm probably too young for the zone of actually getting a tortoise I know lots about them and even helped some people understand them and I'm only a kid then again I suggest if you get a tortoise and don't want it anymore you just potentially killed a animal I think if any other kid want the animal then they should study it for 2 years strait like I did I only know about Russian and Greek tortoises even being a scientist runs in the family I may be 13 but I made my own kind of mixed breed succulent plant I call it rippled haworthia without any help of anyone but the internet on how to make a mixed breed plant and I took it to the next level so unless you know everything about a tortoise do not get one at any age until you know everything almost oh and btw my parents dint help me except for her wooden cage I suck at building lol
half the people in my school never heard of a tortoise I have a ascendingly great deal in science and I studied tortoise for 5 years I know I'm probably too young for the zone of actually getting a tortoise I know lots about them and even helped some people understand them and I'm only a kid then again I suggest if you get a tortoise and don't want it anymore you just potentially killed a animal I think if any other kid want the animal then they should study it for 2 years strait like I did I only know about Russian and Greek tortoises even being a scientist runs in the family I may be 13 but I made my own kind of mixed breed succulent plant I call it rippled haworthia without any help of anyone but the internet on how to make a mixed breed plant and I took it to the next level so unless you know everything about a tortoise do not get one at any age until you know everything almost oh and btw my parents dint help me except for her wooden cage I suck at building lol
Nice. Sounds like you are one to watch for. Do you have any photos of your enclosure and tort. Keep up the good work. Wish I could start again. I would take the path that involves science and animals. :D
 

awesomecs

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Nice. Sounds like you are one to watch for. Do you have any photos of your enclosure and tort. Keep up the good work. Wish I could start again. I would take the path that involves science and animals. :D

you just made a warm spot I'm my stomach hmmm might have been the Doritos lol yeah I have some pics here are some my old enclose went outside from a ant nest in my tortoise enclosure with no queen but I fixed the problem naturally no pesticide needed =]
its not done yet I still need to set her lights up I'm doing that know =] here also a pick of her old home


DSCN0232.JPG








here's my old enclose from 2 days ago



It had a hole colony of ants






DSCN0229.JPG
 

awesomecs

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thanks for the like anyfoot if you have any thing that will make I t better please tell me =]
 

awesomecs

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I'm a teenager and I have a tortoise. Ever since i was six I have been collecting tortoise goods and they have been my favourite animal since I started collecting. I practically begged for a tortoise for 8 years. I've only had Templeton for a year but I look after him very well and do the best I can for him. My mum helps out a bit too but I think as a teenager I'm responsible enough to keep him happy and I'm very dedicated to him.


hey I had tory for one year and I've been begging and studying for 2 years and I'm 13 a young teen and I've been obsessed with reptiles for 7 years
 

Adreyanna Ricci

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I got my tortoise at 17, I think it depends on the individual. I moved out and still had money for my tortoise. I think too many people think that all teenagers are irresponsible, but in reality, the teenage age group is the same as adults. I know a few adults who'd end up killing a goldfish, but you can't stop stupid people.
 

MissTurtleGurl

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First off: Forgive me if this turns into a rant.

I realize now as a 20 year old adult is that I had unknowingly abused and killed many of my previous pets with my poor husbandry from a lack of research. I am not ashamed to admit it because I want people to learn from my and my parents’ example. My parents’ view on pet care is that they don’t really need any special treatment, diet, lights, anything that have to do with what I now know is good husbandry. I, in turn, thought that they were right so I didn’t do the research like I should have when getting a pet. I was one of those children who bought hermit crabs put them in a fish tank with just sand and no humidity, fresh dechlorinated water, and salt water. I was one of those kids that got a baby RES and never gave them a bigger tank. I was one of those kids who got hamsters and mice from a shady pet store and took the employee’s word for it when it came to their care. I have killed many animals due to my incompetence. I was not mature enough to see that I was being egotistical, a common trait of children during their mental development, and I didn’t have the insight then to see where I had gone wrong. When I grew older, I still love animals dearly so I, finally, did my research because I wanted to work with animals. I realized at 15 years old how horrible of a pet owner I was and I decided to atone by making sure no one would do what I did; I decided to become an animal educator.

I began with my little cousins. Sadly, they were just like I was then, maybe even worst. My baby cousins, 9? and 10? at the time, wanted guinea pigs. I told them all they needed to know about guinea pig care, so they wouldn’t have to do the research themselves and in case they are too irresponsible to do it themselves. I made sure to tell them if they end up getting hogs (male guinea pigs) they need to neuter them to prevent bullying, fighting, and other territorial behavior. They ended up getting 2 hogs and they refused to neuter them. The two kept fighting and constantly got hurt. If the two hogs fighting weren’t enough, they decided to add a third hog to the mix. In the end, like many children with toys, they got tired of them and didn’t want them anymore; my aunt got stuck taking care of them and she eventually surrendered them.

Children know that an animal is a life, but children are also egotistical. They don’t always fully grasp the magnitude and significance of a creature’s life. The responsibility ultimately falls on the parent’s shoulder because children don’t have the means to purchase special accommodations for their pet, they don’t have the means to pay for vet bills, and they often don’t have the cognitive ability to commit to something. Parents need to take care of animals with their children and scaffold responsibility in them, not leave the animals to their own devices with their children think that they’ll learn on the job.

I see that many posters here were very responsible when they were younger; they were very self-reliant and responsible. I want to have faith in people like I had in my cousins, but I think that the numerous invasive RES turtles terrorizing native wildlife, the numerous sulcatas in rescues, and just all the dogs and cats that are shelters makes me believe that there are many people who irresponsible old and young. To answer the OP’s question make directly, I think that younger children should not have their own pet that they are solely responsible to care for, parents should have an enormous part in the creature’s husbandry. I think that teens could have more leeway, but ultimately parents need to have a part in the care too. Pets for people who are not mature should be as a family unit after much research as a unit. Parents should not give children pets or allow them to get pets of their own if they themselves can’t care for or know how to care for the pet. Responsibility of a life should never fall on shoulders of people who barely have the ability to care for themselves. The posters here are unfortunately not the norm; they are the outliers.
 

TechnoCheese

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Well wouldn’t you know it, an old thread has been revived!

I find this the be a very interesting topic because I technically could be used as an example in this argument, even for both sides of it.

I got Curtis, a Sulcata that will grow to be 150 LBs, eat me out of house and home, always require me to have a large yard, when I was 12. After the death of the 19 year old cat that I had lived with up until that point, I specifically wanted a pet that would be with me forever, outlive me. Luckily I found the forum before picking him up and understood the responsibility of keeping him, as well as having done over a year of research, but of course, this isn’t always enough.

like most new keepers to join the forum, my one and a half years of research was mostly completely outdated crap I had fished off of YouTube. This place was wonderful enough to set me on the right track, but because of my inexperience, I was unable to grasp some of the most important points of tortoise care that were brought up to me.

Before, I hadn’t had a pet specifically of my own that I alone cared for. Sure, I begged my parents enough to get a betta fish in a half gallon bowl at my kindergarten science fair, and my parents impulse bought a hermit crab that died in a month, but my very first experience caring for any animal with research was an insanely complex, 150 pound monster.

Despite my research, did I make Mistakes starting out? Absolutely. I had an open topped enclosure, a clamp lamp that fell into the enclosure and nearly killed him, a lack of a proper hygrometer, and even just flat out neglect for a while, but I got back on the forum, and cleaned up my act.

I started building a closed chamber, fixed my lighting, soaked more often, and had my dreams of having an animal outlive me revitalized by the wonder of this site. My care improved exponentially, and my tortoise began to thrive.

Around this time, my invigorated infatuation with tortoises lead to me joining another reptile forum called “reptiles amino”. This allowed me to learn more about other animals, and correct the absolutely horrid tortoise information and care. This earned me a reputation for being the site’s “tortoise expert”, and I was soon accepted as a moderator.

Since then, reptiles and tortoises specifically have become my most enthralling hobby, something I will never be able to live without. It is almost my sustenance: I cannot imagine how I ever would go on without it, and caring for my animals has become my life, every thought, every goal, solely devoted to my responsibility of their wellbeing.

Through the reptile site I now moderate, an app pertaining of mostly teen and younger members, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of young reptile keeping.

Do I think that that reptiles should be kept by the average child, or even the vast, overwhelming majority of them? No. Absolutely not. So many times have I logged on to see 3 leopard geckos on sand, a turtle picked up off of the road and placed in a bowl, a horribly disfigured bearded dragon from lack of UVB.

But do I regret my decision to order my wonderful Curtis those four years ago?

Never. Not at all, negative. Though a rough start, an undeniable learning curve, I have had a passion for these animals lit in me that will never be burnt out. It affects my life constantly, incessantly, so positively that I could never give any one of my animals up for the world. I have learned irreplaceable skills from my time as a reptile site moderator, be it debate or scientific reasoning, that have helped me directly in school or every day life. Even joining this forum will always be worth it, because though I may grow inactive, not answer quotes or conversations for months at a time without logging on, the people, friends, family that I have found on this wonderful site, will never be forgotten.

Sure, a pet may be neglected. Forgotten, dispelled on parents, left to rot. But it also may be loved, have an unforgettable impact on the child, leave an imprint that no other animal could.

As long as research is done and a lesson is learned? Get that tortoise. You’ll never have a better opportunity to change.
 

MissTurtleGurl

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Well wouldn’t you know it, an old thread has been revived!

I find this the be a very interesting topic because I technically could be used as an example in this argument, even for both sides of it.

I got Curtis, a Sulcata that will grow to be 150 LBs, eat me out of house and home, always require me to have a large yard, when I was 12. After the death of the 19 year old cat that I had lived with up until that point, I specifically wanted a pet that would be with me forever, outlive me. Luckily I found the forum before picking him up and understood the responsibility of keeping him, as well as having done over a year of research, but of course, this isn’t always enough.

like most new keepers to join the forum, my one and a half years of research was mostly completely outdated crap I had fished off of YouTube. This place was wonderful enough to set me on the right track, but because of my inexperience, I was unable to grasp some of the most important points of tortoise care that were brought up to me.

Before, I hadn’t had a pet specifically of my own that I alone cared for. Sure, I begged my parents enough to get a betta fish in a half gallon bowl at my kindergarten science fair, and my parents impulse bought a hermit crab that died in a month, but my very first experience caring for any animal with research was an insanely complex, 150 pound monster.

Despite my research, did I make Mistakes starting out? Absolutely. I had an open topped enclosure, a clamp lamp that fell into the enclosure and nearly killed him, a lack of a proper hygrometer, and even just flat out neglect for a while, but I got back on the forum, and cleaned up my act.

I started building a closed chamber, fixed my lighting, soaked more often, and had my dreams of having an animal outlive me revitalized by the wonder of this site. My care improved exponentially, and my tortoise began to thrive.

Around this time, my invigorated infatuation with tortoises lead to me joining another reptile forum called “reptiles amino”. This allowed me to learn more about other animals, and correct the absolutely horrid tortoise information and care. This earned me a reputation for being the site’s “tortoise expert”, and I was soon accepted as a moderator.

Since then, reptiles and tortoises specifically have become my most enthralling hobby, something I will never be able to live without. It is almost my sustenance: I cannot imagine how I ever would go on without it, and caring for my animals has become my life, every thought, every goal, solely devoted to my responsibility of their wellbeing.

Through the reptile site I now moderate, an app pertaining of mostly teen and younger members, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of young reptile keeping.

Do I think that that reptiles should be kept by the average child, or even the vast, overwhelming majority of them? No. Absolutely not. So many times have I logged on to see 3 leopard geckos on sand, a turtle picked up off of the road and placed in a bowl, a horribly disfigured bearded dragon from lack of UVB.

But do I regret my decision to order my wonderful Curtis those four years ago?

Never. Not at all, negative. Though a rough start, an undeniable learning curve, I have had a passion for these animals lit in me that will never be burnt out. It affects my life constantly, incessantly, so positively that I could never give any one of my animals up for the world. I have learned irreplaceable skills from my time as a reptile site moderator, be it debate or scientific reasoning, that have helped me directly in school or every day life. Even joining this forum will always be worth it, because though I may grow inactive, not answer quotes or conversations for months at a time without logging on, the people, friends, family that I have found on this wonderful site, will never be forgotten.

Sure, a pet may be neglected. Forgotten, dispelled on parents, left to rot. But it also may be loved, have an unforgettable impact on the child, leave an imprint that no other animal could.

As long as research is done and a lesson is learned? Get that tortoise. You’ll never have a better opportunity to change.
I wish that I had done my research for my pets before I had gotten them, maybe then so many of them didn’t have to die such tragic deaths. It took too many lives for me to mature and understand. I am glad I discovered this forum as soon as I decided to finally after long consideration and research to get a red foot and after this forum to do even more research to ensure my future pet will live the best life they can, hopefully outliving me. I now hope that my future red foot will be a social butterfly so I could take them around to further educate others in respect for animals and to hope show people that tortoises are really intelligent. I am aiming to target train them and maybe even train them some behavior presentation tricks.
 

TechnoCheese

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I wish that I had done my research for my pets before I had gotten them, maybe then so many of them didn’t have to die such tragic deaths. It took too many lives for me to mature and understand. I am glad I discovered this forum as soon as I decided to finally after long consideration and research to get a red foot and after this forum to do even more research to ensure my future pet will live the best life they can, hopefully outliving me. I now hope that my future red foot will be a social butterfly so I could take them around to further educate others in respect for animals and to hope show people that tortoises are really intelligent. I am aiming to target train them and maybe even train them some behavior presentation tricks.
Sounds exciting!
 

turtlebean

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This is such an interesting thread to read through and so old too! So many good points being made here as well.

I feel like with such a debatable topic there are so many subjective situations, and letting a child keep a tortoise really does depend on different households, different parents, and different children. Some kids are more mature and responsible at age 12 than some people my own age! And I don’t mean that as a dig at anyone, everyone matures at their own rate.

I think in an ideal world, if the parents were open and willing to become knowledgeable on the type of tortoise the child wanted and had the expendable money to provide for the animal, it would not be an issue. I think it more or less comes down to the parent’s understanding that they are gifting a live animal, with a relatively enormous lifespan, to a child and expecting that child to be aware of the animals needs, empathetic enough to care for it, able, and responsible to keep the animal alive and cared for properly. The parents should be smart enough to know that they’re basically buying an animal to take care of on their own if their child neglects or fails to do so. And if the child neglects the animal, what happens next? I guess that comes down to parenting style and who knows what else (i’m not a parent if that is not obvious enough).

Anyways, that’s my take on it! I think teaching a child to care about a living creature and how to be both nurturing and disciplined is such a beautiful thing and if the parents are willing to commit to that journey as well it it’s gonna be a good *** time.
 

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