4 min read

Tortoise And Dog Find Out They Have A LOT In Common

Puka and Rocket Larry aren't the same species, but they sure have a lot in common.

For one thing, they share a favorite human - their owner, Christine Hilberg, whom they live with in Los Angeles. For another, they both found their loving home through adoption.

"My boyfriend, Davis, and I adopted Rocket Larry [an African spurred tortoise] from a couple that could no longer care for him," Hilberg told The Dodo. "The couple was caring for many different species of animals and needed help."

Larry was only 9 months old then, and small enough to fit in the palm of Hilberg's hand. Now, he's 6 years old and weighs over 20 pounds.

Puka's story is a little different - even a little serendipitous. Hilberg told The Dodo that a friend of hers came across Puka perched on a bus stop bench with a homeless man. "Puka was only 14 months old and she was wearing a bow tie!" Hilberg said.

Eventually, the man struck a deal with Hilberg's friend: He would give up Puka in exchange for 100 dollars.

"I adopted Puka immediately after her rescue and we have been inseparable ever since," Hilberg said.

Now, Hilberg takes cheerful photos of her two pets for her Instagram account. But the pictures are more than just fun snapshots - they also paint an encouraging picture of what can happen when rescue animals are given proper care and attention.

"Puka and Larry's friendship is very special because, even though they are two different species, they have a strong understanding of each other's personalities," she said. "Having these two together as animal friends shows that in a good environment where animals feel safe, happy and are allowed to thrive, their innate pacifism flourishes."

"If we provide loving homes for our animals, we are giving them a greater chance of having success in positive relationships with other species different from them," she added.

And Puka, Larry and Hilberg want to spread the word. They are involved with many pro-adoption projects, often working with the Best Friends Animal Society. Next month, they're co-hosting a fundraiser to benefit the animals hosted at No-Kill Los Angeles.

They'll be hanging out, playing and snapping pics all the while - just like best friends do.

If you'd like to donate to the Best Friends Animal Society, you can do so here.