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A PLACE FOR ALL West Place now helps lost dogs in Tiverton and Little Compton, RI

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

Deborah Allard, Herald News Staff Reporter, came out to see what our new digs look like. Read below for the full content, or see the original photo gallery here.

By Deborah Allard

Herald News Staff Reporter

Posted Jul 16, 2018 at 6:33 PM

“We’ve been a sanctuary for 11 years,” said West Place Executive Director Wendy Taylor. “We want to service the local area as best we can.”

[Herald News Photo | Jack Foley]

TIVERTON — West Place Animal Sanctuary — the farm that rescued dozens of animals and fish from deplorable conditions at the Westport tenant farm two years ago — is now helping lost and neglected dogs and cats.

Animal control in the towns of Tiverton and Little Compton have contracted with West Place for kennel services. Neither town has its own animal shelter and for years used the Sakonnet Veterinary Hospital in Tiverton.

“We’ve been a sanctuary for 11 years,” said West Place Executive Director Wendy Taylor. “We want to service the local area as best we can.”

Taylor started West Place Animal Sanctuary, a non-profit organization, after a house fire took the lives of her nine pets, including dogs, cats and a goat. She said she wanted to “right the wrong” and help other animals in need.

And that’s what she’s done.

A menagerie of domestic farm animals, exotics and wildlife roam the 8-acre farm, some on their way back to the wild after rehabilitation, and others living out the rest of their lives in peace.

That includes the animals from the tenant farm, including goats, lambs, peacocks, partridges, pheasants and ducks, plus many fish that now swim in the pond on the West Place property.

“We still have all the animals that we took in,” Taylor said.

They share space with a pony, a herd of alpacas, geese and assorted game birds and water fowl that came in orphaned and are being cared for, along with Chester, a Narragansett heritage turkey and the farm’s “unofficial mayor.”

“We’ve added a new mission,” Taylor said.

A place for animals at West Place Animal Sanctuary

The new shelter is accessible only by police for animal control services. Taylor said it is not an adoption center and is not open to the public — except for retrieving lost pets in the kennel.

She said most animals coming in are lost and her priority is reuniting them with owners.

“We want to get the dogs back to their owners as soon as possible,” Taylor said.

The kennel’s first customer was canine — a German short-haired pointer — who was rescued from the Sakonnet River when a man saw the dog bobbing in and out of the water, clearly drowning. Taylor said he was thin and possibly neglected. He’s doing well now and will go to a new home soon.

So far, the shelter has taken in 10 dogs in its first 15 days into the contract that started July 1.

“We’ve been busy,” Taylor said.

Besides running the shelter, Taylor said she has plans to work on documentation and licensing procedures.

West Place runs with about 50 volunteers and offers educational programs and internships.

A fundraising campaign is underway to renovate the kennel that was formerly storage and a garage.

The public is invited to an open house at West Place, 3198 Main Road, on Saturday, July 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a meet and greet with the animals, educational tours all day, plus the greenhouses and gift shop will be open. Admission is a donation of $10 for adults and $7 for children.


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