A search is on for "Pokey," a brown African spurred tortoise that wandered off from the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA entrance after it had been dropped off by a Good Samaritan who found the missing pet.
The tortoise was originally reported missing July 9 when he escaped from owner Audrey Throgmorton's Foster City yard. A local resident found Pokey 10 days later and contacted Throgmorton, but left the tortoise loose at the main entrance hours before the shelter's opening.
Officials said the tortoise wandered off and has not been located.
The shelter has a designated area after hours where people can drop off missing pets. Officials said the man who found Pokey likely did not see the area or signage directing residents to it.
The shelter did not learn about Pokey until Friday, July 19, when Throgmorton contacted the PHS/SPCA, officials said.
The owner, who has had the tortoise for 18 years since he was a hatchling, and shelter staff have searched the area Pokey was last seen for days, with no luck.
Officials estimate the tortoise was left in the parking lot on July 10 or 11.
Pokey is approximately two feet in diameter and weights 25 to 30 pounds. He is described as being very gentle and does not bite. The tortoise also makes a hissing sound when frightened and will go into his shell, but is used to people and being handled, according to Throgmorton.
Anyone with information should contact Throgmorton at email@example.com or 650-619-0517. She is offering a $100 reward for the safe return of her tortoise.