Dancing Turtle Rescue was founded by Debbie Philp, a wildlife rehabilitator in New York’s Adirondack Park who chose to work primarily with freshwater turtles because of her spiritual connection to and love for them. Then she learned that more than half of the world’s 350 turtle species are threatened with extinction.
After surviving for 200 million years, turtles are now among the most threatened vertebrates on Earth. Many turtles die on the roads, but loss of their wetland habitats, pollution, and over-harvesting for food and pets are the big causes of population decline. Debbie, with a great board of directors backing her up, started Dancing Turtle to expand beyond rehabilitation into pet turtle rescue, public education, and wetlands preservation advocacy to address those issues and save our Adirondack turtles.
Currently, Dancing Turtle Rescue operates a nonprofit, home-based pet turtle rescue, using space in Debbie’s house and yard and in a converted bus “wildlife clinic,” in addition to continuing wild turtle rehabilitation. Debbie presents a variety of environmental education programs to teach the public about turtles and other reptiles and amphibians, with a focus on those found in the Adirondacks, and awareness-building programs about wetland habitat conservation.
Dancing Turtle Rescue and Education Program, Inc. is a New York State nonprofit corporation pending Federal 501(c)(3) status.
The mission of Dancing Turtle Rescue is to save native freshwater turtles and their wetland habitats in northeastern New York State by providing care for injured, ill, neglected, and abandoned turtles and by cultivating interest in and advocacy for turtle and wetland conservation through public education programs.
As we work towards our vision of a world where abundant and thriving wetlands sustain biodiversity and contribute to the resiliency and well-being of all, we strive to uphold these values:
- Optimism – We believe our vision is possible. We are hopeful and courageous in pursuit of our goals.
- Justice – We are committed to finding fair and equitable solutions to all challenges.
- Inclusion – We welcome a diversity of lived experiences and sources of wisdom.
- Well-being – We strive to reduce suffering and to promote physical and psychological health for all beings.