Sunday, July 15, 2007

Who Hurt This Little Boy's Tortoise?

Here's a story that will make both child-lovers and animal-lovers bristle!
Let me tell you the story of Bob and William.
Bob is a 25-year-old African spurred tortoise. This type of tortoise, which is an endangered species, is often sold to people as a pet. When these tortoises are babies, they are tiny and adorable. But they can grow to be up to 200 pounds, and they can live for about fifty years. Overwhelmed would-be pet owners have been known to abandon the reptiles.
Ten years ago, Bill and Dorothy Sullivan found one such tortoise wandering around behind their house. They assumed he was someone's lost pet, took him in, and tired to find the owners. When no owners could be found, the couple asked the Department of Fish and Game if the turtle could perhaps be rehabilitated and returned to the wild. They were told that, no, the tortoise could not survive in the wild at this point.
And so Bill and Dorothy decided to keep the tortoise. They named him Bob.
Bob would turn out to be a real member of their family... in more ways than one! A few years after finding Bob, the couple had a child, little William. William, who is now six, turned out to have a genetic disorder called Angelman Syndrome, as well as autism. William had trouble learning to speak, and even as he got older, for the most part he didn't even try to speak to other humans. He used sign language to communicate. But Bill and Dorothy knew that William could speak, when he wanted to... because there was one creature who he would open up to. Bob the Tortoise. William would sit with Bob and tell him about school, his day, and other things. The tortoise would respond with snorts and whistles.
Eventually, William began speaking with humans, as well. Bill and Dorothy dubbed Bob their "therapy turtle!"
One afternoon, Bob was out in the family's backyard, sunning himself. Dorothy went inside the house for a while, and then went out to check on the tortoise. He was gone.
The devistated family searched everywhere for Bob. He couldn't have gone far on his own, though, in that little time... after all, tortoises aren't known for their speed! The family put notices up and took out an ad in the paper about their missing pet.
After a while, Dorothy recieved a call from a man who told her where to find Bob. Bob lay abandoned and injured behind an apartment building. He had been tortured and mutilated. The thiefs who had stolen Bob had slashed the tortoises neck and legs with razor blades, thrown the reptile against a brick wall in attempt to break his shell, and attempted to pull him out of his shell.
Now, he is being treated by expert veterinarians. He's confined to a tub with a fly-proof cover, being treated with antibiotics, and is being fed with a feeding tube. The veterinarians believe that he will be fine, as long as he doesn't get an infection.
Little William knows that someone hurt Bob very badly. He saw the tortoise when Dorothy first brought him home from where he'd been abandoned behind the apartment building, and he's been to visit Bob once. When he first saw what had happened to his beloved tortoise friend, the child became physically sick. He's also afraid that the bad guys might come back and hurt him the way they hurt Bob.
Stories like this make me ashamed to be human. ANd thats all I can say.
But there is one thing we can do, to show little William and Bob the Tortoise that most humans do have hearts!
A fund has been set up to help the Sullivan family pay for the tortoise's treatment. Lets make sure Bob continues to get the best care available! You can send donations to:
Washington Mutual
P.O. Box 877
Ventura, CA 93002
Checks should be made out to
William Sullivan in care of Bob, Account No. 492-105108-5.
(Although this month's featured charity is Operation Teddy Care, I've decided to split the donations this month in order to send half to Bob!)
You may also like to send cards or messages to the Sullivans in care of Bob at
Turtle Dreams
2298 Feather Hill Road,
Montecito, CA 93108-1542.

If the monsters who did this are caught, a felony conviction of animal abuse could get them three years in prison. I say, three years is way, way, way, way, way too little!
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Karianna said...

Argh. This sort of thing makes me feel so sick inside.

Jeremy said...

That is so horrible. I don't understand how people get off on torturing innocent creatures - it's sick. It doesn't suprise me anymore though, I have had injured pups abandoned at my front door, and had to save a little kitten from some sick teenagers.

It's really sad when stories like this are no longer a shock...

Cattiva said...

I too, felt physically ill when I read why had been done to the turtle. The sad part is that it's probably some kids/teens that did it. (Serial killers i the making) Thanks GOODNESS one of them had a conscience and called - or at least someone did. I hope they find these perpetrators, not only to punish them, but to intervene in hopes that their violence doesn't escalate.

Alisa said...

There are no words to describe the horrific sickness felt or thought when hearing of the torture of creatures that literally have more right to this earth then the human species does. There are not enough tears in the world to cry for all the creatures being slaughtered if not by the hand of humans but by the continued stolen lands they need to dwell in. What shall be done when the balance of nature is so capsized that there is nothing left to dream about. I am mortified for those days and hope I don't live to see them. My heart goes out to Bob and is family as well as all other creatures in peril. May there be mercy somewhere out there.

Anonymous said...

I have very ill feelings for the punk that did this he is a punk and needs his ass beat

edd stewart said...

those fucking mother fuckers i will kick thier ass if they ever try that bitchy shit with my pet dog

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Is Bob healthy now? I am sooo sorry that his happened. God sees everything. I give my sadness to Him about Bob.

Anonymous said...

Poor tortoise!

Anonymous said...

It's obvious that the attackers wanted to sell his shell for big bucks. Wouldn't be surprised if they had been the original owners who lost him in the first place. I hope Bob made it through.