Rising from the Ashes
West Place Animal Sanctuary is East Bay’s largest and most diverse home to rescued animals. The sanctuary is located on eight stunning acres of historic farmland in Tiverton, Rhode Island, nestled between Weetamoo Woods and Pardon Gray Preserve.
Wendy Taylor lived on the estate long before transforming it into a sanctuary for injured or abused animals. With her were nine four-legged companions: a Doberman named Dobie, a Black Lab named Jake, her cats Alec, Mulder, Tweak, Maizey, Bailey, and Stewart, and her special goat Mo.
Tragedy struck in 2003 when all nine beloved pets perished in a house fire. Mo’s passing was especially heartbreaking as he had been on a miraculous road to recovery that inspired Wendy’s commitment to farm animals and helped her realize her passion for animal rescue and rehabilitation.
Months Before the Fire
Just three years old, Mo suddenly lost the ability to walk. He was examined by several vets - the majority diagnosed him with Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE), a debilitating goat disease for which there is no cure. Euthanasia was recommended. Convinced they were wrong, Wendy brought Mo to Tufts Animal Hospital which identified a septic abscess on his spine. His abscess could be cured with surgery that Wendy elected to pursue despite the risk and cost. Mo survived the surgery but his recovery would entail a six week rehabilitation at Tufts, including physical therapy to enable him to walk again. Two weeks before the fire, Wendy brought Mo home, turning her kitchen into his ‘sick bay’ where she continued his physical therapy and care.
Two days before the fire, Mo’s companion, Zelle, was brought in to see him for the first time in months. Their reunion was priceless, and the next day Mo walked for the first time in nearly a year. His steps were slow and calculated but the promise of his favorite crackers gave him the courage to cross the room. His remarkable recovery shocked and thrilled the veterinarians at Tufts, who planned to publish the success of Mo’s case in a veterinary journal. Just one day later, Mo perished in the devastating fire that destroyed so much.
Inspired by Mo, Wendy heeded the advice of a friend who suggested she launch a foundation to support animal organizations. Wendy took it one step further: she rebuilt her home and set out to earn a wildlife rehabilitation license with the goal of creating a safe haven for animals. In 2007, West Place Animal Sanctuary was born.
Today, with the support of dedicated volunteers and donors, West Place Animal Sanctuary answers the call when an animal is in need, providing refuge to farm animals, wildlife, and lost dogs. More than 15 species - alpacas to golden pheasants - call West Place Animal Sanctuary home.
Furthering its commitment to the community, West Place Animal Sanctuary also offers educational opportunities to students seeking to make a difference for animals.
To provide sanctuary for animals and cultivate a compassionate community
Honoring the lives of