LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – A unique family pet decided to get out of his shell. The animal had a long journey home before the Longview Animal Care and Adoption Center picked him up.
The Animal Services Manager, Chris Kemper, describes their shocking discovery.
“We tell everyone all the time that animal shelters are never just dogs and cats because that’s what everyone thinks, but we always, traditionally at some point or another get something unique,” said Chris Kemper.
50-pound Rupert was venturing outside of his Longview home.
“This was not what they expected to have a giant African tortoise walking down highway 80,” said Kemper.
The Longview Animal Care and Adoption Center received a call reporting the lost animal.
“It was very obvious that it was somebody’s pet and that somebody was going to be missing it. So we immediately went to take pictures which is what any normal person would do when they find a 50-pound tortoise and started posting them,” said Kemper.
Hopeful the owner would see the photos, which eventually helped reunite the tortoise with his owner, Neal Tipton.
“We are very relieved they found him and actually pretty quickly because when they found him, he was actually a block from home,” said Tipton.
A special day for this special pet.
“To be honest, this tortoise was purchased by one of my best friends and given to his wife, and he passed away, and they had to leave, and they were not able to keep him. So we kinda inherited Rupert, so he’s special to us for a couple of reasons. Sentimental reasons. So we got kinda attached to him over the last 14 years anyway that’s how he came into our path,” said Tipton.
Thankfully, he was not harmed and is now safe at home with his family.
“At an animal shelter, there’s no better feeling than reuniting an animal with its owner. And that doesn’t matter whether it’s a dog, a cat, or a giant tortoise,” said Kemper.