This month, the Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons launched its inaugural Turtle Rescue Holiday Appeal to help offset the costs of caring for and rehabilitating 200 land and aquatic turtles each year.
Executive Director/President Karen Testa founded the organization in 2012, when she transformed her Jamesport home into a turtle sanctuary. She now receives frequent calls year-round from concerned citizens across the U.S. who have found turtles that have been hit by cars or boats, run over by lawnmowers, poisoned by chemicals, trapped or attacked by larger animals.
At Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons, approximately 44 turtles hibernate in an outside sanctuary, all of which can’t be released into the wild because of debilitating injuries. In addition to the turtles living on her property, Testa cares for an additional 95 turtles still being rehabilitated inside the house. Residents include eastern box turtles, common snapping turtles, and diamondback terrapins.
“We need the public’s help to continue our work, so this holiday season we hope people will be generous and donate,” Testa says. “Our expenses include food for the turtles, lamps to keep them warm, and medical supplies. It costs about $2,000 to rehab one turtle.”
With 100% of donations going toward the wellbeing of East End turtles, a donation of $25 covers a turtles one-week ICU stay, and a donation of $100 provides antibiotics for 20 turtles. “This holiday season, we’re encouraging gift-givers, as well as corporations, to consider making a donation to help save wildlife,” Testa says, adding that all donations to the Turtle Rescue Holiday Appeal are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.
If you find an injured turtle, call Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons’ 24/7 nationwide hotline: 631-779-3737.