Fertile Turtle ‘rescue’ not registered as non-profit or business

Company at center of investigation into hundreds of missing animals
The investigation into how hundreds of animals ended up being misplaced by the Humane Society is still underway.
Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 6:43 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2023 at 7:03 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - The investigation into how hundreds of animals ended up being misplaced by the Humane Society is still underway.

Evidence shows those animals may have been frozen and fed to reptiles.

As it stands now, there are still more questions than answers. The main one is why the Humane Society of Southern Arizona would choose to work with the company Fertile Turtle.

The last anyone knows they were handed over to Fertile Turtle, which may be owned by a man named Colten Jones.

According to the Arizona Corporation Commission’s website, there is no record of “The Fertile Turtle” or any business owned by Colten Jones.

Nothing came up when the Security and Exchange’s website was checked either. After the discovery, 13 News asked the Humane Society why it would hand animals over to a company without accreditation.

Due to an ongoing investigation, the Humane Society declined to be interviewed but it did provide the following statement in an email:

“The decision to work with the Jones brothers was made by the previous leadership and this question is at the heart of the investigation. When the board learned of who these two were, they immediately put them on leave and launched the investigation.”

Several reptile breeders and stores in Arizona share some of the same thoughts.

None were willing to give formal statements, but all said something similar. At least five businesses said they have all cut ties with Colten Jones.

This isn’t the first time HSSA has worked with the Jones family.

According to Board Chair Robert Garcia, the Human Society worked with Colten’s brother Trevor on a “transfer of a relatively small number of birds and reptiles and approximately eight rabbits. The board did not learn of Colten Jones until Sept. 29, the date on which HSSA suspended the former employees.”

The HSSA also noted there was no money paid for the transfer.

13 News sent a list of additional questions to the Humane Society and the group said they will be answered when the independent investigation report is released next month.

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