Tortoise attracts attention, provides comfort at Wayside Christi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Tortoise attracts attention, provides comfort at Wayside Christian Mission

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- For six years, William Duncan has had an unusual roommate at Wayside Christian Mission in downtown Louisville. He shares his space with 12-year-old Spike, an African-spurred tortoise. It’s a responsibility Duncan welcomes.

“He’s like a therapy turtle,” said Duncan. “He really is.

Duncan says Wayside Christian Mission has helped him battle inner demons. He’s lived at the mission for thirteen years and now works there, too.

“I’ve got everything that’s in my favor if I stay away from alcohol,” he said.

Nina Moseley, chief operating officer, says Spike was originally a birthday gift for her son. As Spike grew, he needed a new home. Moseley says Duncan’s love for animals made him the perfect choice for a caretaker.

“Having a pet around kind of gives people something to take their mind off their troubles sometimes,” said Moseley.

“Spike has become a part of us,” said Duncan. “He’s become an interesting and comforting thing around Wayside.”

Spike attracts a lot of attention at the mission and on the street. He and Duncan take lengthy walks several times a week.

“He can walk four hours straight and not even take a break,” said Duncan. “He wants to get where he wants to go. If he wants to go across the street, he’s going to try to cross that street.”

Their walks may become difficult in the future. Spike’s weight is expected to reach 240 pounds.

“I’m sure the guys at the mission here will be glad to help out,” laughs Duncan.

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