Our History

The Potter League for Animals was founded in 1929 under the name, "Newport County League for Animals" in order to take charge of abandoned, sick, lame, overworked or cruelly treated animals. The three woman founders, Virginia Potter, Mary Van Beuren and Emma Norman were individuals of timeless vision. 

The League's first shelter opened in 1931 on Harrington Street in Newport. In 1958, Virginia Potter died leaving a bequest upon the condition that the League be renamed in honor of her late husband, Robert Potter.

In 1978, a facility was built in Middletown when the Newport shelter could no longer meet health department standards. In 1989 an addition provided much-needed office space and a multipurpose room allowing the League to increase programs to more fully realize our commitment to promote humane attitudes through community education.

In 2004, our Board of Directors realized that it was most cost effective to replace our worn, outdated and inefficient 32 year old structure with a new state-of-the-art shelter and education resource center. A new state-of-the-art facility opened in November of 2008 with homelike housing which replaced the old concrete and wire fenced kennels. In the fall of 2009, the new Potter League was the first animal shelter in the country to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification from the US Green Building Council for our environmentally friendly design.


Phone: 401-846-8276
Fax: 401-846-0681
Email Us


87 Oliphant Lane
Middletown, RI

Animal Control

Middletown: 401-846-1144
Portsmouth: 401-683-0300
Newport: 401-847-1306
Jamestown: 401-423-1212
Tiverton: 401-625-6277
Little Compton: 401-635-2311

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