Domestic Turtle Dispute Is Defused By Ohio Police, Records Show

A family dispute over custody of a pet turtle required police intervention this week.

Cops were called Tuesday morning to an Ohio residence to deal with competing claims on an African Sideneck Turtle, according to a sheriff's report.

Devin Staugh, 28, told deputies that he left the turtle with his parents when he went out of town for a few days with his girlfriend. “Devin stated that he was now there to retrieve the turtle with his parents refusing to return the turtle to him.”

Staugh claimed he had “receipts for when he purchased the turtle” and also had “photos of him and the turtle on Instagram.” As seen above, a photo of the apparent turtle in question was uploaded last year to Staugh’s Facebook page.

Staugh’s parents gave cops a different account of why they were caring for the turtle (who is not named in the sheriff’s report). “Both advised their son...had requested the couple keep his turtle as he was going to be incarcerated and unable to care for the turtle.”

[According to jail records, Staugh, seen at right, was arrested in late-February on misdemeanor assault and domestic violence counts, and was subsequently freed on $4100 bond.]

Staugh’s mother told cops that the turtle was in poor health when the couple began caring for the pet and “had to receive medical attention.” Additionally, cops noted, Staugh’s parents said that their son “was aware the couple was going to keep the turtle permanently.”

The domestic dispute ended with the reptile remaining with Staugh’s parents. And after Staugh’s mother declared that her son was not permitted at the residence, deputies “advised Devin he is no longer welcome on his parents property.” Staugh, cops added, then “departed the area without incident.” And his turtle.