Jamie Hollandsworth has had pets all her life, but she wasn't quite sure what to expect when her nephew asked her to take in a turtle he'd bought on vacation. Then the size of a quarter, Franklin came to live in Hollandsworth's Bel Air home in a tank and settled in pretty nicely. But life with the turtle hasn't come without surprises.
"I thought Franklin was a male when I got him seven years ago," she says. "But this past March, I found 10 eggs in her tank. We now know that Franklin is a female." Whoops.
And then there were the goldfish: Franklin, a female red-eared slider turtle, seemed a little lonely in her tank, so Hollandsworth added four goldfish to the water for company. Two of them met their end as snacks (whoops again), but two managed to outsmart their tankmate and have now grown too big for her to eat. Franklin has also grown: The tiny little girl is now the size of a standard dinner plate and has gone through four tanks and two sizes of filters.
She's great company and entertainment, Hollandsworth says. "She loves to sit on her rock under a heat lamp where she stretches out. Every morning as I pack lunches, she'll jump off her rock into the water and swim, scratching at the sides of the tank until I hand her a few pieces of lunch meat." Franklin's favorites are Boar's Head turkey and ham, if you're wondering.
Most red-eared slider turtles live for 20 to 30 years, although some can live for more than 40; they are definitely long-term commitments. They're also classified as an invasive species and can't be set free after living in captivity. But Hollandsworth is grateful for the opportunity to share life with Franklin.
"She's a wonderful addition to the family," she says.
To have your pet ¿ including hamsters, snakes, horses, guinea pigs and the like ¿ considered for Collared, email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
¿Kim Fernandez, for The Baltimore Sun (Christopher T. Assaf, Baltimore Sun photo /March 4, 2014)
Clean out your basement then shop for cool stuff and save lives in the process. The Humane Society of Harford County hosts a two-day yard sale, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 benefiting the adorable animals in its shelter, including Louis the rabbit (she's a girl) and Queenie a sweet 2-year-old kitty.
There are many ways to get involved. Here, the most obvious:
1. You can make donations for the sale. Bring your household items, pet supplies, holiday decor, games, books and what-have-you to the shelter. (No clothing, TVs or computers).
2. You can shop the sale.
3. You can shop the bake sale, held concurrently with the yard sale.
4. You can adopt Louis, Queenie or any of the other animals hoping for new homes.
The sale runs 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. both days. The shelter is located at 2208 Connolly Road, Fallston, Md. See the shelter's website for more info and directions.