Tall City Tortoises; A More Common Family Pet Than You Might Think

Tall City Tortoises; A More Common Family Pet Than You Might Think

After Midland Police found a lost tortoise and returned it to its rightful owner, officials learned Midland is a tortoise friendly community.

In speaking with one Tall City tortoise owner, the reptile is easy to keep, they live long and don’t require any more attention than a dog or cat.

This could be why their pet population is growing in Midland.

Tortoises in the Tall City are becoming family members, something Victoria Corrales with A to Z Vet Clinic said is growing more and more common.

« Actually it’s a lot larger than most people would think, » Corrales said. « We see on average, maybe about one to two a week. »

The Midland animal clinic has about ten tortoises kept behind their building and Corrales said it’s perfectly legal to own one of these big guys as a pet.

« There’s not a lot of regulations on owning, for example, our African tortoises, » Corrales said. « So people can own them, the only problem is that unfortunately, they get too big for the owners. »

One of those Tall City tortoise owners, Pam Stoltz, said theirs isn’t too big and ‘Vernon’ is a huge part of their household.

« It’s like having a small cow, » Stoltz said. « He’s just constantly grazing. He’s taken over the backyard. »

Stoltz said they got Vernon from a neighbor eight years ago, who got the tortoise back when he was a little shell at a pet store.

« He has a water bowl like a dog, sticks his head in the water, » Stoltz said. « We bring him in in the winter and he sleeps in our kitchen all winter long, in a little manger. »

Since tortoises live much longer than humans do, Vernon is in the family will and Stoltz would like Vernon to even have some tortoise friends around Midland too.

« I’d love a little meet and greet here in the front yard, » Stoltz said. « If they’d bring theirs over, I’d love it [laughs]. »

If you would like a tortoise of your own, just contact the A to Z Vet Clinic, but be prepared for them to weigh nearly 80 pounds.

(Information from

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