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Westport residents come out to reflect on animal abuse, with an intro by our Director

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

It's the day before my birthday, and I am looking forward to time off. It's been a LONG year since we took in 67 animals from the horrendous Westport MA case and I don't remember the last time I didn't work a ten-hour day. Then the phone rings. Because it always does. Christmas, birthdays, the day you're so sick you can't get out of bed. But the phone still rings. This time it is a woman from an organization called "Stop the Insanity, Westport." Not the catchiest thing to put on a t-shirt, but I would later learn they wear that straight-forward phrase with determination.

She was hoping that someone from our organization would be willing to come to a one-year anniversary reflection in front of their town hall to make sure that the lawsuit keeps it's forward movement. Shoot. We rescue and rehab. We don't get involved in politics. There just isn't enough time in the course of one day. It just has to be someone else's fight. One organization just can't do it all.

But we're the only local organization that kept the animals we took in and I round up a board member and a volunteer to head out with me.

Fast-forward to me with a microphone in my hand, giving a speech I never prepared...and making an announcement that in two weeks we would host our first Annual Visitor Day so that everyone can see how well our rescues are now doing. I am crazy. It's that simple.

It will take dozens of volunteers and days of preparation and set-up to make this happen. But it's time to show off the animals' progress. So I tell the press we're doing it and we mingled, met some amazing people, and celebrated all the hard work so many organizations did to rescue over 1100 animals (the ones that made it).

-Wendy Taylor, Director

One year after 1400 animals were found living in brutal conditions on the Medeiros tenant farm. See the full slideshow here or read below.

Wendy Taylor, owner of Tiverton’s West Place Animal Sanctuary, describes watching refugees from Westport get over the fear and become part of the group at their new home.

ASPCA first responder Pamela Holmes of Little Compton tells of weeks working alongside ASPCA in Westport.

By Richard W Dionne Jr Westport and area residents came out to reflect on and stop animal abuse, one year after 1400 animals were found living in brutal conditions on the Medeiros tenant farm in Westport. Five speakers including Kathy Feininger and Barbara Pontolilo from Stop The Insanity, Westport, a group against animal abuse that was formed after the tenant farm animal abuse incident last year, spoke to a large gathering outside Westport Town Hall on Monday evening. Selectman Shana Shufelt, chair of the animal action committee, also spoke out about animal abuse. Other speakers included Wendy Taylor of West Place Animal Sanctuary in Tiverton, who took in many of the abused animals and Pam Holmes of Little Compton, an ASPCA first responder that worked the Westport abuse case.

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