California Turtle and Tortoise Club of Orange County
California Turtle and Tortoise Club of Orange County

California Turtle & Tortoise Club of Orange County

Although he can’t explain his fascination for them, John Kim has always liked turtles and tortoises.  “My first pet (in 1st grade) was a turtle,” says Kim, who today serves as President of The California Turtle and Tortoise Club of Orange County and the Executive Board that represents all chapters statewide.

“Turtles and tortoises make excellent pets,” says Kim.  “They are relatively low maintenance and come in a variety of sizes and colors.”

The simplicity of their care and hardiness, however, can lead to improper husbandry, which can result in turtles and tortoises barely surviving, rather than thriving, says Kim, who notes that the main mission of the Turtle and Tortoise Club is to provide education regarding proper care.

“Our club exists to share care information for various species,” says Kim.  “We also help conservation efforts around the world, and people seek us out when they are looking to surrender or adopt turtles and tortoises.  We have an active adoption program through most of our chapters to connect animals in need with new homes.”

The Orange County club, founded 60 years ago this April, spreads information about tortoises and turtles through their monthly meetings held on the first Friday of the month in Orange and at their annual Turtle and Tortoise Show, to be held this year on Saturday, May 18.

“Our monthly meetings and annual show are open to all ages and free to attend,” says Kim.  “We strive to inspire people to care about their turtles and tortoises as much as any other (often furry) animals in their care.  Most turtles and tortoises live a very long time—some more than 100 years.  Proper care during the first few years is critical to setting them up for a healthy life.”

Turtles and tortoises make great long-lived pets, agrees Ginny Doepping, Treasurer of the Orange County Chapter and CFO of the Executive Board that represents all chapters statewide.  “They are an ideal pet choice for people who may have allergies to animals with hair or for people who like lower maintenance pets,” she says.

At the monthly meetings in Orange, which include expert guest speakers and knowledgeable members sharing tips, they focus on offering “scientific, proven information for caring for and feeding turtles and tortoises,” says Linda Grunnet, Vice-President and Membership Chair of the Orange County chapter, who also oversees the annual show.

This year’s show is a great place to become introduced to the world of pet tortoises and turtles.  “There will be live turtles and tortoises, vendors, educational information and even microchipping, which is highly recommended,” says Grunnet.  “Turtles and tortoises are serious escape artists.  Some can dig 4 to 7 feet deep and escape from a fenced-in yard.  Microchipping is a great way to locate a runaway turtle.”

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The Annual Turtle and Tortoise Show is Saturday, May 18 at First Christian Church, 1130 East Walnut Ave., Orange, from 9 am to 4 pm.  The Orange County club meets the first Friday of every month at the same location at 7:30 pm.  Annual membership costs are $25 for individuals and $35 per family.  More information:

Article Published in the
Mar / Apr 24 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review
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