From The New York Daily News:
Two girls who swam with pet turtles in a backyard pool were among 107 people sickened in the largest salmonella outbreak blamed on turtles in the U.S., researchers report.The 2007-08 outbreak involved mostly children in 34 states; one-third of all patients had to be hospitalized. In many cases, parents didn’t know that turtles can carry salmonella.
Despite a 1975 ban on selling small turtles as pets, they continue to be sold illegally.
Pets can be great for kids. However, many species of small turtles are endangered and do not make ideal pets for small children. It becomes difficult to discuss something like caring for the environment or conservation when an illegally acquired endangered species is sitting nearby in a glass aquarium.
Children need to be taught from a young age to wash their hands properly before eating or touching their mouth or eyes. A parent can be negligent and allow a pet turtle to wander on a kitchen counter which is also used to prepare food… unfortunately a pill has not yet been invented to cure that kind of stupid. Proper hygiene could have prevented this outbreak of salmonella.
If you want to get a pet for your child we recommend visiting and checking with a local animal sanctuary like Pets Alive first:
Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and place animals in need. Victims of neglect, abuse, and violence, many of them have special needs and have been rejected by other organizations.
Animals at the sanctuary range from dogs and cats to farm animals, exotic birds, and many others. Many of the animals at Pets Alive are older, have special needs or require special care.
Actually, it is possible to help out an awesome place like Pets Alive without leaving your computer or spending even a nickel.
The Animal Rescue Site is hosting a special challenge for shelter and rescue groups. The grand prize is a $20,000 grant, and they will be awarding many other grants to rescue groups with the most votes. Think how many animals we could help for $20,000! Help us win! All you have to do is click this link, and then vote. Enter Pets Alive (two words) and NY for the state and then click VOTE! There is no cost to vote and no registration required. But you need to vote once a day, every day, from September 14th through December 20th, 2009.