Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sean Casey Animal Rescue and the Missing 2-Headed Turtle

Sean Casey has been doing amazing rescue work for many years, and he's known for his "variety" of animals, including exotics.

Well, not sure if exotic describes this particular rescued turtle, which has 2 heads. How much is that turtle in the window? Possibly $5,000, and on Sunday it was stolen right out of his aquarium in Casey's Hamilton Dog House store/shelter. If you have information, contact Sean!

Adoption Facility and Pet Supply Store!
155 E. 3rd St., Brooklyn, New York
Between Caton and Ft. Hamilton

While this is a tragic crime, the news story also highlights the unique rescue work that Sean Casey does for all animals, not just the furry ones. People disgard of their turtles and snakes just as they do their dogs. Most of the time these amphibious animals are not to be kept as pets in the first place.

Read this NY Times article, in which Sean reveals some very interesting facts about two-headed turtles and the reasons they must be in a protected environment, not in someone's bathtub, which is where it may be!

Missing Turtle Report: Watch for the Two Heads

Published: August 18, 2008

When Sean Casey called the police on Sunday to report that a nameless two-headed turtle had been kidnapped, the officer had him repeat the complaint two or three times.
Sean Casey said his missing turtle lived in a tank in the window of the Hamilton Dog House in Brooklyn. It was not for sale. “It comes off that I am a prankster,” said Mr. Casey, who runs the Hamilton Dog House, an animal shelter and pet supply store on East Third Street in Brooklyn. “Most people have never heard of a two-headed turtle,” he explained, much less a missing one.

But the turtle was indeed two-headed, and it was missing. The police finally took Mr. Casey seriously: “They said, ‘We’ll send somebody.’ And they did.”

The police arrived several hours later and took a stolen property report. The turtle, popular among the neighborhood children, had been kept by the window. Sometime on Sunday, between 11 a.m., when the store opened, and noon, when a child asked Mr. Casey where the turtle had gone, it disappeared.

“It looks like they searched the entire store and they could not find the turtle,” said a police spokesman. “I guess this qualifies as a missing turtle report, but I don’t think we’re out there looking for it.” There were no suspects in the case.

Two-headed turtles are rare, but they do have a chance of surviving in captivity, Mr. Casey said. “In the wild, they would have zero chance. In captivity, most die within a few days of birth.”
Mr. Casey said he obtained the turtle a few months ago from a man in Florida who had been struggling to take care of it. “They were trying the best they could, but the turtle was just starting to waste away. It wasn’t feeding properly.”

In 1999, an even rarer three-headed turtle was reported to have been found in Taiwan.
Two-headed turtles have to be watched carefully. “There is always a drowning risk,” Mr. Casey said. “They don’t have the ability to dive and swim the way a normal turtle will. If they are put into deep water, they will actually drown.”
Such turtles have maneuverability problems, he said. “They will flip themselves over and they can’t right themselves because one head is going one way while the other head is going the other way.” Feeding is also a problem. Turtle pellets must be broken into two pieces or the two heads will fight over the food, he said.

Mr. Casey said he suspected that the turtle had been taken by a neighborhood child, rather than a thief intent on selling it. He said he believed the turtle was worth between $2,000 and $5,000, based on what museums and zoos might be willing to pay. The store is offering a reward of at least $1,000, partially financed by donations.

The turtle was nameless. Mr. Casey said that was partly because he avoids naming animals, lest he get too attached to them. He said he had been planning to have a naming contest through The Daily News, which published an article on the turtle.
There was no rush, he said. “It’s not like a doggy needs a name. He won’t come when you call him.”

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