The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is planning to spend $40,267 in taxpayer funds to provide the public with a centralized drop off location for pet tortoises and tortoises found in developed or urban areas and provide for their temporary care.

“We have a unique circumstance where we have a species that’s protected under the Endangered Species Act but can also be kept as a pet domestically,” Ted Cook, Nevada state supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told CNSNews.com.

“After 20 years or more of this, we find every year there’s hundreds of unwanted pet tortoises and folks looking for an opportunity to do something with them – give them away, get rid of them – and so The Animal Foundation has agreed to receive them and then try to adopt them back out again,” Cook said.

The grant recipient – The Animal Foundation (TAF) in Las Vegas – “will accept pet tortoises and tortoises found in developed or urban areas from the public at the Lied Animal Shelter, and will provide for their temporary care until they are picked up by FWS, or designated representatives.”

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