Turtle abuse? A disturbing finding of a turtle that was impaled by a wire flag stake and then tied to a street sign near East Lake in Bridgeton Wednesday has caused alarm with South Jersey animal rights groups.

The South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter posted a message on Facebook Wednesday saying that a woman had brought a turtle to the shelter that she found tied to a street sign on Commerce Street in Bridgeton.

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The turtle was found impaled by a flag stake near East Lake in Bridgeton. The wire appears to have been purposefully pushed through the turtle's body from the top of the tail and exiting between it's head and leg.

Although it may seem unfathomable that anyone would harm a wild turtle, a quick online search found reports of turtles being packed together in cramped tanks; handled by people with sunscreen on their hands, which is toxic to turtles; and having their shells broken by people dropping them on their backs.

This report from the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter seems even more despicable in its cruelty.

Bev Greco, the South Jersey Regional Animal Shelter executive director, gave the Vineland Daily Journal her opinion of the report.

"It's mind-boggling. Just when you think you've seen it all, it's just sickening"

It has been reported to the NJ Department of Fish & Wildlife's law enforcement division. Anyone with information about this horrible act of cruelty is urged to call the shelter at 856-691-1500 or NJFW at 856-629-0552

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