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Remembering the Birds of West Place

UPDATE: February 26, 2023

Birds of West Place apparel and accessories are available now from our online print-on-demand storeDesigned by volunteers and inspired by the poem Birds of Pray (see below), written by board chair Thomas Humphrey, this lineup honors the memory of the birds who will always be a part of our sanctuary. A variety of colors and styles are available and all proceeds go to the Birds of West Place Memorial Fund to support our recovery efforts, including the construction of a new chicken coop.


UPDATE: February 23, 2023

Staff and volunteers spent hours renovating the duckhouse in order to provide the best care to future waterfowl rescues, including ducks and geese. Now, we must prepare to provide that same level of care to gamebirds like chickens and turkeys. For the safety and comfort of all birds, we now need to construct a new, stand-alone chicken coop. The new building will be optimized for chickens and turkeys who need perches, nesting boxes, and other features. With a barn renovation already in the works and the cost of building materials at an all-time high, this new building is a neccessity that still needs to be funded.


Until West Place owns the property it occupies, obtaining grants for new construction and capital improvements is very difficult. We need individuals and businesses to lend their support through the Birds of West Place Memorial Fund if West Place is to rescue hens and roosters again. The artist's rendering below shows what can be possible with the support of the compassionate community on the farm coast.

UPDATE: February 21, 2023

After 123 days, West Place is once again able to welcome abused and neglected domestic birds to our sanctuary. Since losing nearly 40 birds to the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and the mandatory mass euthanasia, staff and volunteers have been diligently working to sanitize and sterilize the sanctuary in preparation for this day.

While the surviving birds, like peacocks, were quarantined, the property entered what is called a fallow period. During this four-month period, West Place was unable to accept new birds despite growing demand for our services. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in West Place's history. We commemorate this milestone by paying tribute to the geese, swans, turkeys, ducks, and chickens who perished.
We will never forget our beautiful birds and we will continue to honor them by helping others in need of care, love, and a safe haven.


Thanks to ongoing contributions through the Birds of West Place Memorial Fund, we are slowly but surely recovering and rebuilding so that our birds will not have died in vain.

UPDATE: December 8, 2022

Birds of Pray
By Thomas Humphrey
Chair, Board of Directors


You came into life unwanted, uncared for

Some broken, some beaten, some thrown out the door

I don't know how you made it this far

You smile at me, baring every scar


All I want is for you to stay

Live your life as birds of pray

All I need is for you to be

Always in my memory


I woke up and you were gone

It felt like all the good was done


I keep on for those still here

Knowing that your soul is here

Fate deals a joker in every hand

But I'll keep doing all that I can


All I want is for birds of pray

To live their life every day

All I need is for you to be

Forever in my memory


All I want are the birds of pray

All I want are the birds of pray

UPDATE: November 29, 2022

The Birds of West Place Memorial Fund has been established to honor the lives lost to avian flu by helping West Place recover, rebuild, and once again rescue domestic birds in need.

After the crushing loss of nearly 40 birds, West Place suddenly faces a growing number of unexpected challenges and unforeseen expenses. The Birds of West Place Memorial Fund will support our organization's recovery efforts and the ongoing care of future domestic bird rescues. Specifically, the Fund will immediately help with:

  • cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to decontaminate the duck coop and sanitize the 8-acre property;

  • gutting and sterilizing the 80,000-gallon pond and installing protective netting to deter wild birds and future carriers of avian flu; and

  • constructing a new, separate building for chickens and turkeys that is customized to their needs.


We will also establish a permanent memorial to honor the birds of West Place, but right now our focus is protecting the birds that remain and safely providing sanctuary to future residents.


Donations to the Birds of West Place Memorial Fund will help us improve upon our sanctuary that has provided second chances to thousands of animals. Thank you for your kindness.

October 22, 2022

Friday, October 21st was the darkest day in the history of West Place Animal Sanctuary. In 15 years, we have never experienced anything so devastating, heart-wrenching, demoralizing, and catastrophic. In the span of just a few days, our world has been turned upside down and West Place will never be the same. Despite more than 8 months of precautionary measures, safety protocols, limited intake, and vigilance, the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has infiltrated our bird population and claimed the lives of gamebirds and waterfowl. The State of Rhode Island euthanized any remaining domestic birds at risk of contracting the deadly illness.

During this unfathomable tragedy, we ask that you please respect our privacy as we grieve the untimely loss of dozens of extraordinary souls who deserved better. We are still providing care to barn animals and surviving birds, and we are still working to rescue Jared, the baby calf, but our sanctuary has been forever changed. The lives of our staff and volunteers will never be the same. We will never forget the beautiful birds of West Place.


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