Abandoned ‘Grandma’ Turtle Smiles At Everyone, Hoping They’ll Take Her Home

On a cold weekend this past December, an elderly turtle named Grandma waited in a dumpster, hoping someone might find her.

The special needs reptile, who’s missing both her right legs, knew she probably couldn’t escape on her own. Nevertheless, the resilient senior navigated the garbage, looking for a way out. Soon enough, a Good Samaritan looked in the dumpster and noticed the trash was moving. There, cowering in her shell, was Grandma.


When Grandma arrived at Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, the staff was devastated to learn that the sweet turtle, who loves people, had been thrown away like litter.

“We were all really upset when we heard about her coming in from the trash,” Jennifer Gordon, Carolina Waterfowl Rescue executive director, told The Dodo. “Knowing she especially needed a special home, since she only had two legs, and someone just left her in the trash, likely for her disability, was heartbreaking.”

Safe at the rescue, Grandma’s enduring spirit revealed that she wasn’t going to let anything stop her from living the life she deserved.

“She doesn’t let her past hardships slow her down,” Carolina Waterfowl Rescue wrote in a Facebook post about Grandma. “She is so friendly and sweet.”

turtle smiling

Grandma soon grew to love life at the rescue. She delighted in begging for treats and was thrilled to munch on produce from right out of people’s hands. When she wasn’t busy snacking, Grandma made a habit of swimming to the edge of her tank to smile at anyone walking by.

“When she gives you those big turtle eyes, it’s hard to walk away!” the rescue wrote in the post.

turtle smiling

After months at the shelter, Grandma was spotted by a woman looking for a new companion. The woman wasn’t intimidated by Grandma’s special needs — she wanted to give Grandma all the extra love and care she needed.

Comfortable with her new family, far from the dumpster she once called home, Grandma is ready to live out her golden years surrounded by love.

“She’s a senior turtle who just wants to live the good life,” Carolina Waterfowl Rescue wrote in the post. “We want that for her too.”

To help other animals like Grandma, make a donation to Carolina Waterfowl Rescue.