Support The Tort! A Family’s Inspired Whimsy is Saving Tortoises’ Lives

Teeny Tiny Tortoise King - Torts In Hats

Teeny Tiny Tortoise King - Torts In Hats

Rosweld and Poppy Tea Time - Torts In Hats

Rosweld and Poppy Tea Time - Torts In Hats

Howdy Partner - Torts In Hats

Howdy Partner - Torts In Hats

This non-profit’s entertaining approach to visual storytelling provides abandoned and neglected tortoises the lifelong care they need.

SARASOTA, FL, UNITED STATES, December 16, 2021 / -- Unwanted, abused, and poorly cared-for tortoises have become an epidemic in the United States. Adorable babies only a few inches in size are purchased in droves with little to no understanding of the dedication and upkeep these creatures will require for the next 30 to 100 plus years.

Eagerly sold through the internet, tortoise hatchlings appear to be great pets at first glance. What purchasers often do not know is that extensive knowledge of lighting, heating, substrate, humidity, and dietary requirements is a must to keep tortoises alive and healthy.

Reaching over 100 pounds after only a few years, the Sulcata, a commonly abandoned tortoise, quickly outgrows an indoor life. They require large, secure, outdoor areas with access to temperature-controlled accommodations and UV lighting during cooler weather which can be challenging to provide.

Enter the VanZorn family, who hold a particular fondness for tortoises. For many years they have provided the injured, sick, and unwanted with a home where their needs are met. As word got out that a safe haven was available for these four-legged tanks, more and more arrived until the family realized they needed to get creative with so many in peril! The family shared,

“This wasn’t something we planned on; it came about from necessity. We were adamant that we would not turn a tort away.”

With each new arrival, the family began a tradition of selecting a tiny hat suited to the tortoise’s unique style and taking a picture. They discovered two things - tortoises are adorable in hats, and people find great joy in their stories and photos.

“We thought, why not take it to the next level and share a peek into the amazing adventures of tortoises while bringing a little lighthearted joy into people's lives? In return, we would ask for help to ensure we could keep our doors open to all torts in need of a loving home.”

Hence, the idea for Torts In Hats was born, dedicated to providing tortoises with healthy and happy habitats. The nonprofit is unique in that it is not attempting to rehome unwanted animals. The family went on to share,

“Moving is very stressful on tortoises, and far too often, rehoming begins a cycle of failed attempts that end tragically. Our goal is to provide a forever home, free of stress, with great food and lots of sunshine. Many torts come to us from terrible situations; they deserve to live well. What we are working to do is set up the long-term planning and infrastructure needed to support the ongoing care of creatures that will outlive us - it’s a big responsibility, but they deserve all their future days to be happy ones.”

Learn more about Torts In Hats and gain access to their incredible photography and creative adventures at their new Patreon site:

Danielle VanZorn
Torts In Hats
email us here

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