The Hermit Crab Rescue
Hermit crabs are inexpensive pets that are often purchased as "trinket" pets, compared to goldfish or small mice. Their cheap price and minute size make them easy to buy on impulse at petstores. Hermit crabs, however, actually require a great deal of care if they are to survive for more than a month in captivity.
This hermit crab rescue offers an excellent home for any crab without one. We can accept crabs from most locations in Southern Minnesota and Iowa. If you are located somewhere else in the midwest, please contact us and we may be able to make special arrangements.
All crabs are accepted, regardless of how old or sick they may be. Sick crabs are cared for in isolation and introduced to the main habitat once they are well again.
The goal is to provide the pervious owners with peace of mind, knowing that their crab is in a safe place, as well as to provide a superior environment for the crab to thrive in. No judgement is passed on the crab owners - we take in crabs that people just lose interest in, as well as crabs that have been dumped at shelters/nature offices.
Hermit Crab Experience
I got my first hermit crab when I was 10 years old. My younger sister was going to get a hamster from our local Brink's Petstore, and I wanted something different. Of course, I couldn't leave the other crabs alone in the cage, so we left with all four of the petstore's hermit crabs. Their names were Sandy, Redfoot, Gizmo, and Raptor. I set up an elaborate cage, looking at pictures of mangroves and tropical beach forests for inspiration.
As I got older, I learned more about crabs, some through reading and online forums, and a lot through personal experience.
I've had about 50 crabs that have been personal pets over the years, each with its own name and personality.
Silkweed was what started the desire to start saving animals. She was my first rescue, and was a very beautiful Strawberry Crab saved from a filthy Petco. She was living with about a dozen other large Strawberry Crabs and I remember bursting into tears when I saw her in the store. Several of the crabs sitting in there were already dead - there were gnats flying around the tops of the tank and crawling on their food. I bought her knowing that I was most likely just giving her a good place to die. I cleaned her of mites, as she had the worst infestation I've ever seen. She was too weak to move her claws to feed, so I held food and water droplets up to her mouth and she ate that way. She survived for just over a week before she passed away.
The worst case of abuse that I have seen was in a Walmart in Punta Gorda, Florida. In a forgotten aisle adjacent to the pet section, there were probably 40 hermit crabs being housed individually in those plastic "betta fish containers." In each container was the crab and a small square sponge with some type of mystery food (?) on it.... Each container had a hole in the top of it the size of a pin. When I first saw these completely by chance, I didn't realize they were hermit crabs at all, because each hermit crab was completely covered in long strands of fuzzy mold. Some of the crabs were so incased in the mold, that you could not even see their shells anymore. I opened every single container for signs of life and ONLY ONE crab remained alive. He was covered in mold and he reeked, but remarkably, Lucky survived and lived for three years with my grandmother in Florida.
Since then I have been a fierce hermit crab educator, teaching petstores the proper care of crabs and offering free information they can hand out. Some stores have adjusted their care, but as new workers filter in and out, the cages often go back to their original set up and the cycle starts again.
If anyone has questions regarding hermit crab care, please feel free to contact me here and I will be glad to help.
I am a member of the Hermit Crab Association.