- - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I love the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movies, but I also love turtles. Real turtles are not ninjas, not appropriate pets for youngsters and not legal to sell if their shells are less than four inches in diameter.

Real turtles also carry salmonella, which transmits to children and adults when hands are put in mouths, eyes, etc., without serious washing in between. Salmonella can be fatal to the young, elderly and immunologically vulnerable. Turtles also don’t provide the type of sustained interaction that children like, which often results in the turtles being flushed, illegally dumped in ponds or accidentally killed. Who needs that?

In California and other places, it is illegal to sell animals on the street. Therefore, if you see a vendor selling turtles, large or small, on the street, report it rather than buy one.

Unfortunately, history tells us that whether a featured movie animal is a Dalmatian, Chihuahua, cat or turtle, the ending is always the same: Parents are exploited, pets are harmed, children are left unsatisfied with the wrong lessons learned, while the breeders or vendors laugh all the way to the bank.

Let us not be doomed to relive history. Stick with the toy turtles and enjoy the film.

MADELINE BERNSTEIN

President

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles

Los Angeles

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