WESTPORT — Fepo the Rooster was born for the slaughterhouse. He was on steroids and so top-heavy that walking became an issue for him.
Now, this rooster is 230 days old, sleeps in a bed, and is a child’s pet, according to volunteers from the Dartmouth animal sanctuary “Don’t Forget Us, Pet Us.” In fact, his breed is known as a “broiler chicken” and is killed for food at six weeks. Fepo, a white-feathered chicken with a bright red coxcomb, has an acronym-type name — “For Educational Purposes Only.”
This was one of the animal rescue stories shared Saturday morning by members of the Stop the Insanity Westport and volunteers from animal sanctuaries in Dartmouth and Tiverton. These animal advocate groups gathered at the Town Hall Annex Farmer’s Market to celebrate some of these stories around the two-year anniversary of the Medeiros Tenant farm tragedy — dubbed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as one of the worst animal abuse cases in the northeast.
This tragedy received national attention and circulated disturbing images of squalor and animal suffering, and led to the rescue of nearly 1,400 animals from this farm. It also led to the farm being shut down and ongoing animal cruelty charges from the state attorney general’s office. The owner, Richard Medeiros, died earlier this year but many of his tenants are facing animal cruelty charges in court.
Sixty-seven of the tenant farm animals were brought to the West Place Animal Sanctuary in Tiverton.