Turtle ownership jumped 86% from 2001, to a pet population of 2 million. DeHaven cites a big increase in domestic breeding of turtles free of the salmonella that once plagued imported turtles.
In our case, Om was acquired not because of salmonella-free chelonians, but rather because of an encounter with a beach ball-sized example. Don't worry, Ellen, you've already got one. :)