You hear about missing dogs and cats all the time, but a Rome man is searching for his missing tortoise who somehow escaped - and as the temperatures turn colder, time is running out.

Joe Piazza says his family's pet, a Russian tortoise named Igor crawled out through a screen door in the living room, and while he's been spotted a couple of times, he still hasn't found his way home. When asked if Igor can survive in Central New York's winter, Joe says "If he digs in and hibernates for the winter he should survive the winter but he’s never been exposed to that situation. He was bred in captivity but hoping that his instincts will take over," so he's still very worried.

Credit: Joe Piazza

Joe says Igor is not aquatic - he can't swim, and he won't bite you if you pick him up. He and his family just want their pet home as soon as possible. Igor is small, about the size of half a softball. If you see him, please scoop him up, put him in any container and contact Joe on Facebook.

Igor is missing from the Millbrook Road area, so he could be in the area of Mayberry Rd, Culverton Rd, Cayuga Street, River Road, or Floyd Road. 

What's the difference between a turtle and tortoise like Igor? 

Technically, all tortoises ARE turtles - but tortoises are distinct. The biggest difference is that while some turtles are aquatic, tortoises are NOT. If you put Igor in water, he'll sink and drown.

There's no one simple way to tell turtles and tortoises apart, but turtles have webbed feet and a brighter, slightly flatter, smoother shell. A tortoise's shell will be more muted in color, more contoured, and their feet aren't webbed - and are a little stumpier, like an elephant's.

Credit: Joe Piazza