Latest News Items:

Happy Valentine's Day! -- Wednesday February 14th, 2024

Right Click the link below and 'Save Link As' to download your free printable Valentine's Day Colouring Page featuring Arthur the Red Eared Slider [PDF]:


Spring Newsletter 2023 - Happy Audrey Day -- Sunday April 30th, 2023

Happy Audrey Day! 

To help commemorate this day, we've released our Spring Newsletter 2023 with special updates about Audrey's Legacy, Adoption Success Stories, Volunteer Highlights, and more. 

Click here to read the Spring Newsletter 2023 or right click Save Link As... to save it to your computer

You're Invited! -- Sunday August 7th, 2022

Last year was our first ever open house and rummage sale. It was such a success that we decided to hold another one this year!

You're invited to Little RES Q on Saturday August 27th 2022

Audrey's Legacy, The Grand Opening of Ontario's first turtle sanctuary -- Friday May 27th, 2022

Audrey’s legacy received its first wave of new residents on May 23rd, 2022.
103 turtles moved into their new home at Audrey’s Legacy, Ontario’s first red eared slider sanctuary. This was done with the help of Little RESQ volunteers and turtle friends throughout the day. It was a turtle-y magical experience.
While the nature of the sanctuary doesn’t allow us to be open to the public, we are able to share the day with you. Our turtle-friend, Gus, did a great job of putting a video together that captured the special day.
You can watch it on Youtube or visit our Facebook page for more information.
This is merely step one for Audrey’s Legacy. There is so much more to do at the sanctuary and for the turtles of Ontario.
Huge thank you to all of our supporters, the Toronto Zoo, The Invasive Species Centre, and all those who adore turtles.
This is a huge milestone and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Types of Sliders you'll find at Little RES Q -- Friday September 25th, 2020

At Little RES Q, we primarily help to re-home and rehabilitate red eared slider turtles across Ontario and surrounding provinces (with help from Critter Cabs). We’ve been known to extend our facilities to other reptiles and in this case, other breeds of turtles.

We have three kinds of sliders and one red-eared slider morph to showcase for you. Some of these turtles have already been adopted while others are having pizza parties at Little RES Q while waiting for their forever tanks.

We have a red-eared slider named Otto, a Rio Grande RES morph named Coolio, a yellow-belly slider named Spike, and a Cumberland slider named Britto to help us tell the differences between these types of pond sliders.


Red Eared Sliders

The first turtle is Otto, the Red Eared Slider. This type of turtle is known as Trachemys scripta elegans and is the main type of turtle that you’ll encounter at Little RES Q .


These turtles are characterized by a solid red band beginning behind their eyes; it can vary from bright red-orange to deep scarlet. They can reach sizes of 5 to 11 inches and well-kept turtles can live up to 50 years.


These friendly pets make great companions and Otto is up for adoption>>


"Rio Grande" Slider


Next up is our Rio Grande Slider, Coolio. He is what is known as a morph.


In the reptile world, this means an animal with colouration that is different from the original. Often, it’s a mutation that is seen as desirable and turtle breeders try to isolate that specific trait in future generations.


In this case, Coolio is still a red-eared slider ( Trachemys scripta elegans ), but he has a specific set of characteristics that identify him as a ‘Rio Grande’ Slider morph to other breeders and reptile-purchasers. These traits include brighter colours with more definition to the turtle’s natural patterns and often a broken red-ear. 


Most ‘Rio Grande’ sliders keep their bright colours as they age unlike regular sliders. Despite the pseudonym, these turtles are native to Southern Texas (specifically the Brownsville area).


‘Rio Grande’ sliders are not to be confused with a similarly named turtle that can be found in the waterways of the Southern United States and New Mexico: The Rio Grande Cooter ( Pseudemys gorzugi ). This turtle has unique bullseye designs on their shell in shades of olive, yellow, and black.


If you’d like to read more about Rio Grande Cooters,be sure to check out Herps of Texas>>: or an indepth look by inaturalist>>.


Click this link to view a side-by-side video comparison from above on Youtube>>


Yellow Belly Slider


Meet Spike. He’s what is known as a Trachemys scripta scripta, or Yellow Belly Slider. Spike is 10 years old and has strong opinions about leafy greens and basking.


These types of turtles are native to the Southeastern United States (Florida to southeastern Virginia) and are considered invasive in different parts of the world. 




Yellow Belly Sliders can be identified by their “S” shaped facial markings, lack of red ears, oval shaped shell, and of course, their yellow bellies. These turtles can reach the same size as Red-Eared Sliders and enjoy the same omnivorous diet. They’re great pets and many enjoy being in communal ponds or tanks. Please note that the above photo is not Spike.


Spike is currently available for adoption. You can check out his adoption page here>>


Cumberland Slider


Britto is a Cumberland slider ( Trachemys scripta troostii) who has found their forever home through Little RES Q. These types of sliders can be found throughout the Southeastern United States, specifically the Mississippi and Tennessee River drainages.


This oval-shelled turtle has bright yellow markings on its ears, but is missing the “S” that the Yellow Belly Slider has. Sometimes these facial markings will have an orange or red tint that can help them pass as Red Eared Sliders. 


In this case, look at the shell - the top will have yellow vertical lines on each scute and their overall appearance will be darker. Cumberland sliders also have a pattern on their skin that varies greatly from the Red Eared Slider. 



If you’re interested in a more in depth comparison between a Cumberland Slider and a Red Eared Slider, check out this youtube video that shows the comparison between the two>>



These are only a few of the sliders that have come through the doors of Little RES Q. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment to meet a turtle, please contact us.


Please note: Morphs don't usually end up in shelters due to their desirability amongst reptile owners.

Little RES Q in Canadian National Geographic -- Sunday July 19th, 2020

Little RES Q's Founder Marc Ouellette was interviewed for an article in Canadian National Geographic entitled, Turtle dumping: Red-eared sliders are invading native turtle habitats in Ontario By

The article is accompanied by beautiful photographs of sliders by Madigan Cotterill.




Free Downloadable Guide to building a turtle pond for red eared sliders -- Friday June 5th, 2020

Welcome to Little RES Q's free guide to building your own turtle pond for red eared sliders

While we are a turtle rescue that is situated in Southern Ontario, many of these guidelines can be valuable through different climates and breeds of turtles.


We hope you enjoy this guide put together by our RES Q Volunteers. It's available in PDF format through the link below.


Click here to download the free guide





Celebrate World Turtle Day with us! [Freebie Colouring Pages] -- Saturday May 23rd, 2020


Celebrate World Turtle Day 2020 with Arthur and Little RES Q!


This year's world turtle day at Little RES Q is celebrating Arthur, one of our ambassadors and spokes-turtles.

He suffers from Metabolic Bone Disease, much like Audrey did, but he doesn't let it get the best of him. He's a curious little guy who enjoys basking just as much as the next turtle.

Click here to see a facebook video of Arthur getting back scratches and another one of him greeting Marc at the tank in the morning!

We've created two colouring pages of Arthur to help us celebrate World Turtle Day 2020.

Please share your finished creations by tagging our social media (@littleresq). You have permission to print, save, and share these colouring page as you like.


Click here to open the printable PDF for this colouring page

Click here to open the image file for this colouring page [Size: 727kb]


Click here to open the printable PDF for this colouring page

Click here to open the image file for this colouring page [Size: 727kb]


Not for resale.

Help - How do I transport an aquatic turtle? -- Wednesday March 25th, 2020

Basking Arthur

Help! How do I transport an aquatic turtle?

The best and safest way to transport turtles is in a dry box. Sloshing water can present drowning hazards in cars and can be stressful. These are the key points to traveling with a turtle.

  • Always use an opaque box / container (being able to see out is stressing, since the turtle will want to be out)
  • Keep the box or container small, only a little bigger than the turtle. Turtles find tight places comforting.
  • Too much space means stress and trying to wander a way out.
  • Extreme heat or cold can kill. Make sure the turtle in his transporter is the last item loaded into the car and the first item unloaded.

Since there are two perfectly good routes to take I will go over both: Using a cardboard box and using an opaque plastic container.

Cardboard Box:

  • Make sure to put 4 to six ¼” holes for air at the top of the box. Do not be excessive, we want to keep the box dark.
  • Put a dry kitchen towel or balled up paper towel at the bottom of the box to cushion the turtle.
  • Add turtle and cover with additional cloth or paper towel.
  • Close and even tape lid. A loose turtle in a car is not a fun adventure at highway speeds.

Plastic Container:

  • Make sure to put 4 to six ¼” holes for air at the top of the box. Do not be excessive, we want to keep the box dark.
  • Take a kitchen towel or plenty of paper towels, ball up and moisten with water. This will add cushioning and humidity for the turtle comfort.
  • Add turtle and place a second, dry kitchen towel or paper towels over the turtle.
  • Close lid… if lid does not snap or lock, use some tape.

For the second method I did not mention air holes. Most of these storage containers have holes, especially around the handles and around the lid.

If you do not see air holes, use a drill to place a few in the lid. Remember, turtles don’t breathe like warm blooded animals, if this turtle needed to he could go a half hour without taking a breath.


On the day of the move

After your turtle has been boxed up, keep them in a quiet place until everything is loaded and ready to go.

If done perfectly, he will take a nap during the trip.

In the car, do not place the box directly in line with an air conditioning vent, car cabin temp is perfect. If he is a scratcher in the box, and some are, try not to give in and open up the box during the journey. It will not comfort him and he will be just as impatient being held.

Finally, in all cases short of hatchlings, turtles should be transported one turtle per container. You can divide a larger box to have to compartments, but two scrabbling turtles in one container can cause eye injuries.


If you have any additional questions or concerns, please reach out to us.


Author: Marc Ouellette, The Little RES Q President

Animals At Home: The Red-eared Slider Problem Podcast -- Friday December 7th, 2018

Marc Ouellette on The Animals at Home Podcast

If you cannot play the podcast above, your browser doesn't support iframes. Please visit The Animals At Home Podcast to listen.

Toronto Zoo's Annual Frogwatch & Turtle Tally Appreciation Event -- Saturday November 18th, 2017

An Excerpt from Toronto Zoo's Media Weekly:

"Every November, Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Programme invites participants of our citizen science programs, Ontario Turtle Tally and FrogWatch Ontario, to join us for a day at the Zoo.

There were 125 citizen scientists in attendance at the appreciation event, which included informational booths from Toronto Wildlife Centre, Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre and Little RES Q, and presentations from Toronto Zoo Staff, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Trent University as well as public stewards including Flow Learning Group and Conservation Queens.

Participants were provided with an overview of accomplishments from the past year and highlights of how their participation contributed to amphibian and reptile conservation projects in Ontario."

Click here to read the full article and many others from the Toronto Zoo


Turtles face a threat from one of their own: red-eared invaders - The Star -- Wednesday June 24th, 2015

Here is an excerpt from the full article by Michael Robinson of The Star:

“They literally muffle out other turtles that live here,” said Marc Ouellette, the founder of Little Res Q, a Toronto reptile welfare organization. “They fight for resources and basking areas to the point where native turtles either die out or move on because the sliders have taken over.” - The Star

Please click here to read the full article.




Turtles Turtles, yah yah yah! - Beach Metro -- Wednesday November 30th, 2011

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"In February, 2008, Little RES Q came out of its shell! Marc had become the proud founder of a highly regarded rescue organization for pet turtles and other reptiles.

While a variety of reptiles, including Geckos and even a six foot Boa Constrictor, continue to slither their way into the rescue’s expert care, it is the turtle and especially the Slider holding the majority. In fact, ‘RES’ of the rescue’s name stands for Red-Eared Slider.

To date, Little RES Q has rescued 600 turtles with 100 currently in Marc’s personal care and 50 more on a waiting list."


To read the full article, please click here.

Toronto Zoo celebrates 5th Adopt-A-Pond appreciation day -- Saturday November 26th, 2011

An excerpt from the article:

"Toronto Zoo is also one of the main hubs for knowledge, research and initiatives with respect to the protection of nature, and it runs a plethora of projects to that effect.

Several conservancy projects are brought together under the Adopt-A-Pond umbrella that aims to protect wetlands. Two of the most endearing projects are Turtle Tally and FrogWatch. Given that Ontario has a cold climate, there aren't all that many reptiles and amphibians in Ontario and this makes it quite possible for most of us to learn to know them all. We have 13 types of frogs and toads and 9 or 10 species of turtles in Ontario." - Digital Journal

Click here to view the full article.


Relief TV features Little RES Q (Fran├žais) -- Friday October 14th, 2011

Relief TV presents Little RES Q

Marc Ouellette est passionné pour la sauvegarde des tortues. En effet, il a transformé son appartement de Scarborough en un refuge pour les tortues abandonnées. Il tente de sensibiliser l'opinion publique sur le sort de ces petits reptiles et, surtout, à propos de leur impact sur le milieu écologique quand elles recouvrent leur liberté. Un reportage de Stephen Deraucroix.

If you cannot play the podcast above, your browser doesn't support iframes. Please click here to be redirected to the youtube video.