Frequently Asked Questions

Animal Help

I’d like to rehome my pig, rooster or other farm animal.  Do you take in surrendered animals?


Our mission is strictly to work with police, animal control and local authorities regarding farm animals that are victims of neglect, abuse or cruelty. Unfortunately, we get a lot of calls/emails from people looking to re-home their pets.

One good way to find your pet a home is to ask friends, family, coworkers and neighbors if they would consider taking them or if they know someone that would. No one can best market their pet better than their owner. Take a good picture and make a flyer giving as much information as possible (age, personality, etc.) and email it around to your contacts. People who know the person looking to find their pet a home are more inclined to help.

Attached HERE is a list of other sanctuaries/farms that may be worth trying.

We truly hope this helps find your pet a good forever home!




I’m looking to adopt a farm animal.  Does your sanctuary adopt any of your animals?


Most of our animals are from cruelty or abuse cases, so we do not want to cause them more trauma by moving them to another place. On occasion, some animals come to us by other means and may be for adoption. Many people also contact us looking to re-home their farm animal, so we try to connect them with other people looking to adopt.




I’m looking to adopt a dog/puppy/cat/kitten.


We are a farm animal sanctuary but also have the Tiverton and Little Compton town contracts to house lost dogs. Most of the dogs are returned to their owners, but every now and then, the dog is not claimed. Our social media pages would have any information about any potential dogs for adoption. ********* WE HAVE A LIST OF OTHER SHELTERS FOR DOGS, NEED TO GET ON HERE***** Petfinder.com, Adoptapet.com and your local animal shelters are great sources to adopt a pet.




Do you accept surrendered dogs or cats or other domestic animals?


We do not. Though we run a small temporary holding facility for lost dogs for two nearby towns, we are not a shelter that is open to the public. HERE is a list of local shelters that may be worth calling. We hope this information is helpful.





Getting Involved

I’d like to volunteer or intern. What are the requirements?


Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us. You can find all the information you need, as well as applications, on our VOLUNTEER TAB.




I’m looking to do a eagle scout project, student project, or looking for a mentor, or to interview someone at West Place.  What are the requirements?


Thank you for your interest. You can find all the information you need on our VOLUNTEER TAB. Please see our dropdown menu under EAGLE SCOUT or INTERNSHIPS for details that address each one of these requests.




We’d like to do a corporate or group volunteer outing.  What are the requirements?


Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us. You can find more information on our VOLUNTEER TAB. If you are from a business, see CORPORATE GROUPS on the dropdown menu to find answers that specifically address your request. If you are with a different type of group, please click HERE.





Donations

Can I make a donation in someone’s honor?


Yes, you can do so through our GIVE tab, under the dropdown menu for DONATION.




I’d like to donate items of old horse saddles, sheets, towels, pillows.  Do you take donated items?


Thank you for offering to donate items to us and we do sometimes need the above (and sometimes we have plenty). Contact us for our current needs. A full list of items we need can be found through our GIVE tab, under the dropdown, GREAT IDEAS TO HELP.





Visiting

I’d like to come for a tour. When are you open?


We are an all-volunteer organization and do not have a paid tour guide, so we are only open to the public twice a year for our summer and holiday open houses. You can be added to our list by emailing us at westplaceinfo@gmail.com and you will be notified when we schedule our open houses.

We also offer private tours for groups of 10 people or more, and you can find more information under our VISIT tab.




Can you come make a presentation to our classroom? What are the requirements?


Thank you for your request. For all the information you need, please see our CLASSROOM information.





Other

We’d like you to come to our event, fair, etc. Are you able?


Thank you for your request. We wish we could attend every event we are asked about, but we are an all-volunteer organization and we currently do not have anyone available, as all of our volunteers are busy taking care of the animals. We are, however, hoping to get a community outreach volunteer to be able to attend events like yours in the near future and we look forward to having the ability to be involved in more events like yours soon. Please do keep us on your list for future events.Thank you again for the invite and for giving us the opportunity to bring further awareness to animals and our mission. That's a great thing!If you desire our Executive Director to come speak at an event, please contact scheduling at animalsanctuarywestplace@gmail.com.




Can I get something from your gift shop year-round?


Unfortunately, no. We do not have a regularly functioning gift shop. Most of our items are made by our dedicated volunteers to help us raise funds by encouraging donations. We only have our items readily available when our open houses, events, or private tours are running.




I’d like to start my own non-profit. Can you teach me everything I need to know?


Thanks for your inquiry. We wish there was an easy answer or a step-by-step guide on starting a non-profit but we don't know of one.

If you want to file for non-profit status the best thing you can do is hire a lawyer to file for you. Our Executive Director was a lawyer at the time West Place began and even she hired one who specialized in non-profit set up and registration so that it was done correctly.

We applaud your desire to start a non-profit and hope you have the energy and commitment to see it through – our director work 10-12 hours a day, seven days a week and our supervisors work 7-10 hours a day. It never stops and it is exhausting. You also have to be great at raising money, unless you are lucky enough to already have a lot of it left or donated to your cause. We weren't that fortunate and started with nothing. If that's the case with you, start small, let it grow naturally and don't push it faster that you are financially able to grow.

Come up with a clear mission statement and stick to it. For example, our mission is that we take in animals from cruelty and abuse cases. When we get a call from the public because they just got tired of their goat, that doesn't meet our mission...so we give them resources and ideas to help them find a new home for their goat. But we get a call every day of the year from people that want to get rid of a pet. Our focus is to help the authorities and SPCAs that need us when cruelty cases arrive. We've chosen to help the worst of the worst and need to have room for those cases, so even though we wish we never had to say no to someone, we have to point them in a different direction so we can do the job we exist to do.

Hope that makes sense. When you choose your specific mission, no matter what that is (maybe rescuing animals from auction, or maybe it is taking animals from the public) just stick to that so you don't get in over your head. 95% of all non-profits don't make it five years. We started in 2007 and are still going strong, and it takes knowing your clear goals to be able to make it that long.

You will also need a large, loyal and committed volunteer base. You cannot do it all yourself.

You will also want a social media following, though fair warning, that is not where your donations will come from. That takes much more. Social media is where you’ll build your following, but that is only ONE avenue you’ll need to raise the funds to keep you going and growing.

We hope this helps and everyone here at West Place wish you the best of luck…Now, if you are willing to give us one day a week for a year, read on…

We have a very exclusive program for the right candidates who volunteer for a full day once a week for a one year. And we will teach you the following:

  1. Hands on an animal care in every aspect of all the species we handle;
  2. When you have been comfortable Learning how to be an animal care volunteer, you will learn to become a supervisor and supervise both morning and afternoon shifts on you’re a given day;
  3. You will be given the opportunity to work with our other types of volunteers, like our handyman, the green thumbs, social media manager, Tour guide, kennel manager, administrative assistant and more in order to gather an appreciation for all the different types of skills that are needed to run a nonprofit;
  4. You will be invited to sit in at a board meeting and have the opportunity to work side-by-side with a board member on a current project;
  5. And finally, you will have access to the Executive Director who will teach you a basic understanding of fundraising it and Grant writing, managing a budget, overseeing people, QuickBooks, working with an accountant, and all of the other responsibilities and obligations that the director sees throughout the course of a year.

This program is not for the faint of heart. It is not for you if you’re not committed, dedicated, a self-starter, and willing to apprentice with us for an entire year.

If you think you have what it takes and you’re willing to put in the work, contact us via email or phone and tell us why you are the right person for this customized program.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for those accepted. The last apprentice that came on now works for us part-time.




I was driving by and wanted to know what is the color of the house?


Strangely enough, we get this question a lot! It is a Cabot opaque stain. We believe it is the color dark green or forest green and it would have been available about seven or eight years ago. It may not be a stock color anymore, but if you ask someone to look it up they should have luck finding it.





Wildlife Found

I found wildlife and don't know what to do, can you help?


If you find a bat, fox, raccoon, skunk, or woodchuck DO NOT TOUCH. These species are rabies vector species. Call the Wildlife Rehabilitators of Rhode Island at 401-294-6363 or the DEM at 401-222-3070. If you touch them, they must be euthanized by law. If you have found a different type of wild animal for which we do not have facilities or expertise, or an INJURED animal, please call 401-294-6363, as they have a vet on staff. If you have a question about an animal you see, we are happy to speak with you. Please know that not every wild animal needs your assistance or will be removed from property and we do not have the right to go on private property. Our very busy volunteers are already caring for many animals and we do not often have the ability to travel to pick up wildlife from you. NOTE: If an animal looks difficult to catch, it is also difficult for us to catch. We wish we had magical powers, but we cannot climb trees, we do not have a boat, and we do not run as fast as birds. Please consider this before calling.




I found a bat, fox, raccoon, skunk or woodchuck. Can I touch them?


If you find a bat, fox, raccoon, skunk, or woodchuck DO NOT TOUCH. These species are rabies vector species. Call the Wildlife Rehabilitators of Rhode Island at 401-294-6363 or the DEM at 401-222-3070. If you touch them, they must be euthanized by law.




There is an animal in the water or in a tree that may need help. What can you do?


If an animal looks difficult to catch, it is also difficult for us to catch. We wish we had magical powers, but we cannot climb trees, we do not have a boat, and we do not run as fast as birds. Please consider this before calling. For animals in the water we suggest calling the Harbor Master in your town or the DEM.




I found baby bunnies with no mother, what should I do?


Nothing. Please do nothing unless you have a belief that the mother got killed. Baby bunnies are not easily rehabilitated by humans and they have a high mortality rate in human hands. Chances are the babies are fine and do NOT TOUCH. Mother bunnies only come to the babies certain times during the day. They do not stay with them the entire time. If you live in the area of the babies, you can keep an eye out for the mother. It is also a good idea to keep your cats and dogs away from the area. If you really feel that the babies need help, call the wildlife clinic at 401-294-6363 to be directed to rehabbers that specialize in bunnies. We do not and cannot assist with bunnies.




I found a fawn curled up in the grass with no mother in sight, what should I do?


NOTHING. Deer and their fawn cover a great deal of ground during their daily travels. The baby fawn get tired and curl up for a nap in a spot where they feel safe (even if you see them while hiking, etc. they do not realize that). Their mother is nearby and she is watching you. Unless the fawn seems to be in distress, including its ears drooping and curling, leave the fawn and do NOT TOUCH. If you have touched the fawn by mistake, you should rub your hands in the grass and then on the fawn to remove the scent of human. When the fawn has rested, it will get up and find its mother and they will continue on. If you believe the fawn truly needs help, please call the wildlife clinic at 401-294-6363 to be directed to a rehabber that specializes in deer. We do not have facilities to care for deer.




There is a baby bird on the ground, what do I do?


First, you want to determine if the bird is a nestling (recently born, not fully feathered) or a fledgling (fully feathered). If a FLEDGLING, it is possible that it was time for the mother to "kick" the fledgling out of the nest. The mother knows that the bird is just a day or two away from learning how to fly. She is watching, and still feeding the bird. If this is the case, the best thing you can do is keep your pets away from the area for that short period of time. If a NESTLING, look up and look around. Chances are the nest is above your head and nearby. The best thing you can do is to get the bird back to the nest. Mother birds do not reject their baby if it has been touched by a human. Their sense of smell is not that heightened. If the nest is too high to reach, the next best choice would be to make a nest (a tiny box or lined tupperware would work) and attach that box as close to the area as you can. The mother will start feeding both nests. Please note that baby birds need to be fed every 15 minutes from sun-up to sun-down and it is better for the mother bird to get to continue that then to put that onto a human unless absolutely necessary. If you cannot reunite the bird, please call the wildlife clinic at 401-294-6363. Please do not bring the bird to us as we do not have staff on every hour during every day and could not meet the needs of the bird.





     West Place      

Animal Sanctuary

3198 Main Road

Tiverton, RI 02878

p: 401-228-6800
f: 401-625-1425
e: info@westplace.org 
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