Call it the ‘101 Dalmatians’ effect. After the live action movie starring Glenn Close came out in the 90s, parents rushed out to buy dalmatian puppies for their kids only to discover that that breed of dog wasn’t the best for young children and abandoned those pups.
The American Tortoise Rescue, a nonprofit based out of California states that after the previous ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movies were released in the 90s, hundreds of thousands of turtles were purchased for kids, but “Unfortunately, children do not realize that real turtles do not fly, perform stunts or do any of the exciting moves fictional movie turtles do. Parents, trying to please their children, purchased live turtles which ended up languishing in tanks.”
The organization states that 90% of these turtles were dumped, deliberately killed or flushed down toilets after children lost interest. In other words, DON’T buy your kids a real turtle after they see the live action movie. Stick with action figures, which can’t be killed.
If being humanitarian wasn’t enough, there’s another threat to your children… salmonella. This can result in diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal cramps. The CDC urges parents of children under five years of age to avoid amphibians and reptiles as pets, as these children’s immune systems are still developing and are more likely to put their fingers in their mouths after handling these pets.
Pediatrician Claire McCarthy says “A pet shouldn’t be an impulsive purchase — that’s not fair to anyone, including the pet.” She further noted that buying a pet depends on the personalities of all those involved, pointing out that some kids are gentler with animals than others.
Once again, the previous ‘Turtles’ movies have resulted in thousands of turtles being killed or abandoned. These animals are very slow moving and not exciting like the characters in the film. If you really want a turtle, fine, but think about it before buying for a small child.