West Place Animal Sanctuary in Tiverton held a very special birthday party for one of its longest-standing residents over the weekend.

Crested Pekin Ducks have a typical life span of eight to 12 years, but Erna celebrated her 17th birthday surrounded by her friends at the farm, and she’s the last of West Place’s original farm animal rescues from 2007 when the non-profit organization was established.

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What Is West Place Animal Sanctuary?

West Place Animal Sanctuary in Tiverton provides a permanent home and lifelong care to farm animals rescued from abuse, neglect, and cruelty situations, allowing them to live naturally in peace and tranquility while recovering from physical, mental, and emotional trauma. The sanctuary also offers educational opportunities to students seeking to make a difference for animals.

Tragedy Led to a New Start

Wendy Taylor called the eight acres of historic farmland in Tiverton home before transforming it into a beloved sanctuary with her nine original animals.

In 2003, all nine of her beloved pets perished in a house fire, and Taylor was heartbroken.

Inspired by her late pets, Taylor took the advice from a friend to launch a foundation to support animal organizations.

In 2007, with a new home and a wildlife rehabilitation license, Taylor unveiled West Place Animal Sanctuary, East Bay’s largest and most diverse home to rescued animals.

READ MORE: Tiverton Animal Sanctuary in the Running to Win Custom Land Rover

Erna Has Been There Since the Beginning

“Since starting West Place in 2007, there hasn’t been a day without Erna,” said Taylor. “She’s an incredibly special duck, and her motherly instincts have helped us save lives and raise orphaned birds at the sanctuary.”

Erna has helped raise hundreds of baby birds, including ducklings, goslings, chicks, poults and cygnets.

“Her incredible life and longevity exemplify what farm animals are capable of when given proper care, nutrition, and love,” said the sanctuary.

Erna Turns 17

Erna’s special day included special artwork and decorations, singing, and a birthday cake fit for a duck.

She even got her driver’s license to celebrate the milestone:

West Place Animal Sanctuary
West Place Animal Sanctuary

“This is a major milestone for Erna,” said Taylor. “For a variety of reasons, farm animals do not often make it to old age. She has given the humans and the animals of West Place so much, and in turn, West Place has given Erna the greatest gift of all – the opportunity to grow old.”

Help Erna Celebrate Her Birthday

While Erna’s celebration was on Sunday, her real birthday is on Monday, April 1st, coinciding with Rhode Island’s statewide giving day known as 401Gives.

West Place relies solely on the generosity of the community to care for nearly 100 farm animals, and West Place encourages donations in honor of Erna to be made to their 401Gives donation page.

Show love to these wonderful animals and the special birthday duck.

Happy Birthday, Erna!

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