Pet Stores Prepare for 'TMNT'-Inspired Buying Spree

Fans of the dormant Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film franchise rushed theaters this weekend to make the movie number one at the box office.

The studio behind the film already is promising a sequel, but that isn't the only fallout from the robust ticket sales.

California pet stores are preparing to be inundated with requests for turtles, with or without ninja powers.

Bay Area animal shelters are bracing for what they fear may be an ill-advised rush to acquire pet turtles and tortoises after the box office success of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

"Owning a pet takes planning, equipment, food and commitment. Sadly, many people do little research before acquiring a pet and don't understand and commit to the responsibilities of lifetime ownership," East Bay SPCA President Allison Lindquist said.

The East Bay SPCA says turtles need a specific diet and habitat in order to thrive, elements not spelled out in the new action-packed adventure. The creatures also can live for decades, meaning the adoption process can be a long-term commitment.

Adopting a pet turtle to one's home could be more than a pet disaster. It might bring a health risk into your home.

In addition, the public is advised to be aware that some turtle and tortoise owners illegally sell the animals and may sell animals with compromised health or turtles carrying salmonella or other bacteria.


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