This is Wilson, our pet turtle. He is a 9 year old Red-eared Slider. The pictures are from when we first got him, almost 3 years ago- but he hasn't changed much!!
He came from a local humane society. I am active in that world, so when I was asked if I knew anyone who wanted a turtle, we decided to take him. Ostensively, he was free... but his tank and the super-dooper filter that he needs cost over $400! My husband gets a lot of mileage out of the "free turtle cost $400" story.
Let me say right now that I don't recommend turtles as a pet... UNLESS you are:
1) willing to shell out (get it?) the money for an adequate-sized tank,
2) able to get a really good filter for that tank- otherwise, the tank will really smell,
3) happy to have this critter in your home for, oh, about 30 years! Yes, they can live that long, if they are taken care of properly.
If you can do all that, turtles are neat to have around... we see him kind of like a living "water feature" in our front room- and he's certainly a conversation-starter. Plus, he doesn't bark, doesn't shed on the floor, and doesn't really eat a whole lot!
IF anyone reading this ever does decide to get a turtle, please check with your local SPCA or other animal shelters first. There is a continuous problem with people purchasing Red-eared Sliders and other exotic pet turtles and then thinking that they can "release" them to the nearest pond once they get tired of them. This is REALLY a BAD, BAD idea- introducing a non-native species into a pond system can mean very bad news for the other wildlife native to that system. SO, sometimes they get rescued. And, rescued animals are just fine, thank-you very much!