Skip to main content

Turtle Rescue Team

As a volunteer veterinary student organization, we rescue and rehabilitate turtles in the Triangle area. Through educational outreach programs, we strive to show the importance of conserving and protecting our native wildlife and ecosystem.

The NC State Turtle Rescue Team is a volunteer organization run by veterinary students at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. We provide medical, surgical and husbandry services free of charge in the hope of releasing rehabilitated turtles back into the wild. Currently, Turtle Rescue Team sees and treats over 500 wild turtles, reptiles and amphibians each year. With such a high caseload, veterinary students involved with Turtle Rescue Team have the opportunity to not only learn, develop, and refine their medical skills on “exotic” species, but they also have the chance to contribute to protecting North Carolina’s native wildlife.

Additionally, Turtle Rescue Team is involved with various public outreach programs including Reptile and Amphibian Day at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, Tails and Scales at the North Carolina Aquarium, and Turtlefest at Bass Lake Park in Holly Springs.

Please note that because of state laws and our permits, it is illegal for us to treat or accept pet turtles.

Get Help for an Injured Turtle

If you find a sick or injured turtle, please contact us and leave a message via phone or email (options listed below.) Please note that it is illegal for us to treat or accept pet turtles due to our permit.

 Call: 919-397-9675
 Directions: 1060 William Moore Dr, Raleigh, NC 27607


Volunteers Lead Renovation of Turtle Rescue Team Headquarters

Today, the Turtle Rescue Team’s bustling center of reptile and amphibian healing occupies a newly renovated headquarters in the NC State Veterinary Health and Wellness Center, courtesy of generous supporters and volunteers. But it’s been quite a journey to get there. 



Donate to the NC State Turtle Rescue Team!

Use this form to mail in a donation.  Make your check payable to North Carolina Veterinary Medicine Foundation (NCVMF) in the subject line write “Turtle Rescue Team,” or use our online gift site below.

Mail checks made payable to the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation to:
Turtle Rescue Team
c/o North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation
1060 William Moore Drive
Raleigh, NC 27607

Volunteer Externship

Position Description

The Turtle Rescue Team (TRT) is a veterinary student-run wildlife rescue organization under the mentorship of NC State CVM Faculty. TRT intakes 500-600 patients a year, including turtles, snakes, lizards and amphibians. There is a higher caseload over the summer months from June through September. NC State veterinary students are responsible for intakes, procedures, and treatment plans for each patient. 

Volunteer externs help with the daily husbandry and treatments of these cases. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Subcutaneous and intramuscular injections 
  • Wound care and bandage changes 
  • Cleaning enclosures, general husbandry, and feeding of the patients 
  • General cleaning and upkeep of the Turtle Rescue Team lab 

This program is open to veterinary and pre-veterinary students of any year. Volunteer externships are a minimum of 4 weeks, and a maximum of 12 weeks, depending on the availability of the student and the team. Stipend and housing are not provided. Housing and transportation are the responsibility of the student. Although there is no housing available on the CVM campus, public transportation is readily available and relatively affordable. 

Veterinary experience is not required for this position, however, training and responsibility is individualized to the comfort level of the student. English proficiency is not required, but non-English speakers should plan to have a way to communicate without an interpreter (e.g. smartphone app, etc). 

Applications are reviewed on a rolling admission basis and the application is open year-round. 

Applications can be submitted to


To be included in the application

  • Curriculum vitae or resume 
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation 
  • Proposed timeframe and length of externship 

If the application is reviewed and found to be satisfactory 

  • Zoom interview for volunteer externships lasting longer than 4 weeks