Petco gives salmonella-fearing turtle owners chance to relinquish reptiles

Pet turtles are being recalled due to salmonella risk.

Well, not really, but Petco Animal Supplies Inc. is giving turtle owners who fear the potential for salmonella contamination the opportunity to give away unwanted turtles.

Petco is running the “turtle relinquishment program” in conjunction with Concordia Turtle Farm, which hatches, raises, and sells turtles, according to Click On Detroit.

Petco reportedly developed the program in response to several salmonella outbreaks blamed on small turtles (typically 4 inches and smaller) sold in street fairs and souvenir shops. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the salmonella exposure occurred in 34 states and involved 219 reported cases.

Children were the age group most affected by the salmonella outbreak, which is a big reason why Petco is taking measures to separate them from their pet turtles. According to the CDC, 66 percent of the illnesses were in children 10 and younger.

The CDC said that 73 percent of the infected persons reported exposure to turtles, and that 92 percent of the those people reported contact with small turtles having shells that were 4 inches or shorter. Even though small turtles are the most common source of salmonella, Petco will accept any size of turtle.

According to Click on Detroit, the program has received participation from 111 people in 10 states so far.

Read more of the story at Click on Detroit