Long-Time Humane Society Director Forced Out After 37 Years

1 HS-Kenille

WEST OCEAN CITY — Amid allegations of coercion and duress, long-time Worcester County Humane Society Director Kenille Davies last weekend confirmed she was stepping down after 37 years on the job at the West Ocean City facility during an impassioned speech at the organization’s annual fundraising dinner.

At the annual fundraising dinner at Adolfo’s, Davies addressed the fact she was stepping down as director of the Worcester County Humane Society and made it clear it was not her decision.

According to Davies, two Board of Directors members and their attorney are forcing her out after her years of service running the organization’s facility in West Ocean City near Eagle’s Landing and replacing her with an unnamed individual at a salary of $50,000.

Davies told those assembled for the annual fundraising dinner she was resigning effective Nov. 30 after a seven-page letter left her little choice but to step down rather than deal with a protracted and expensive legal battle.

“This is what happens when you have a bunch of a certain kind of people who want you out and they can afford to pay you to get out,” Davies told those assembled for the fundraising dinner. “I have been forced to leave as of Nov. 30 because I don’t have the money to get a lawyer involved.”

During the dinner, Davies did not go into the circumstances surrounding her decision, but indicated it was not of her own volition.

“When you get a seven-page letter of slander from two people and a lawyer from the other side of the bridge and the last line of the paragraph reads ‘when you leave the shelter, please don’t harm the animals,’ that hurts me more than anything because I can’t imagine myself ever harming an animal. That’s the kind of commotion I’ve gotten from these people and I hope the public here can help in some way, because I feel sorry if that shelter is going to be run like that,” she said. “It’s just awful. I can’t describe it in any other way than that because I did it for the love of the animals. I didn’t do it for money or prestige.”

Davies’ son-in-law, Hal Adkins, who is the director public works for the Town of Ocean City, spoke during the dinner last Friday and described her abrupt decision to resign as coming under “duress”.

“Unfortunately, Kenille has been put in a position where she has to legally defend herself with her own money and she’s not in a position to do that, so she is choosing to resign on Nov. 30,” he said. “They may have won the battle, but I assure you with the friendship that is here this evening and the support for Kenille, they may well lose the war.”

The Dispatch is working to speak to members of the Board of Directors about this decision and will report more on this developing story in the days to come.

39 comments on “Long-Time Humane Society Director Forced Out After 37 Years

  1. Kenielle is a HERO….. She could never be replaced ! “God Bless the Animals” ! Ocean City Folks … Stand Strong Together!

  2. This is terrible! how can such a thing happen to a loyal loving person such as Kenielle.So sad…We need to find a way to correct this.

  3. Sad. Had the pleasure of meeting Kenille a few years back when our son volunteered around the kennels for boy scouts. She was such a good person who actually cared more for those animals than herself or gain. Good luck Kenille. While this is a set back, what comes around in life goes around, and you deserve a lot of good which WILL come your way.

  4. I think it is important to note that my mother, Kenille Davies, has either worked for free or more recently for a very small salary of about $15,000. The animals always were more important than the money.

    • Alison Adkins, your mother is very admirable and many people look up to her. What these people did is just awful.

      • Alison, the huge amount of public support for your mother Coupled with absolutely no support for the opposing women speak highly as to who should prevail in this disgraceful matter. I hereby call for their resignations!!!! Let’s put that to a vote!!!!!

        • There is no good reason why the women are hiding. Only people who are either lying or have exaggerated their claims have reason to hide. The Dispatch should not have to reach out to the Board Members. If their intentions were honorable they would be reaching out to the media to air their concerns. As it stands now, this appears to be nothing more than a power struggle undertaken by those who will stop at nothing including an attempt to smear the reputation of a great lady.

  5. Kenille is the most wonderful, caring person there is and worked harder than anyone I have ever known for these animals. It’s sad what has happened to her after all the years of service. I truly wish a lawyer would step up out of the kindness of their heart to help her get what she deserves. If I was an attorney, I’d do it in a heartbeat! Maybe we should start a donation fund to help her fight this…

  6. This is so sad but it is what is happening in today’s world. Hopefully a local attorney, out of the goodness of his/her heart, will come forward and help her fight this battle. Personally, I wish M’s Davies all the luck in the world and hope she doesn’t let a few people get to her. The majority of Ocean City thanks her for her dedicated service.

  7. Dear Kanielle we are with you… in our hearts we turn to Amos 5:24 for prayer. You are the heart and soul of the Humane Society! I will lift you and shelter up daily. prayers
    up blessings come down!

  8. I’m curious that if a system and it’s employees are doing such a great job of taking care of these unfortunate homeless animals, why are we getting rid of it? Who made this decision and who decided to make this a $50,000.00 job! I will be watching this story very carefully as it unfolds and I’m sure I won’t be alone…absolutely disgraceful….

  9. This is a crying shame.. I hope the names of those people come out that are doing this to her.. Karma is a b…

    • Kennelle has allway worked for the animals! I volunteered for a decade with this woman and she taught me to care for all animals without having to think about it! She is a hero to me.

  10. Lets think about this : why would someone need a $50,000 salary to take care of the humane society shelter. Something smells dirty to me, I would be glad to it for a lot less. And I am sure someone would do it for free…

  11. This just makes me sad! Our last few dogs are rescues – thanks, in part, to Kenille – and they’ve brought immeasurable joy to our family. Kenille always did this job for the animals, and for no other reason.

  12. I just can’t believe that this is happening. Kenille has worked tirelessly for so many years making the Humane Society a safe haven for animals who had no one else to love them. She was paid next to nothing and poured her heart, soul and life into caring for those animals. She has been such a model of selflessness to me and to my daughter. I can’t imagine what underlying motive these people have for wanting her to leave, but people who treat another human this way seem unlikely to be the right people to run a shelter. THANK YOU KENILLE!

  13. She is a true Champion for the less fortunate animals. She worked hard for those animals and in return got the love from the animals, which is all she ever wanted!!! I love you too and miss you, Kenille and hope you continue to work for the animals. This is a tragedy!!!

  14. someone please set up a “kick starter” account to raise the legal fees and FIGHT the good fight! She should be able to leave on her own terms!

  15. I just hope all of the great organizations in Town which donate to the Humane Society and those who consistently participate in Spring Boardwalk Dog Walk will remember that their money is now going to support at position which requires a $50,000 salary, plus I’m sure a benefit package. It’s a shame the Board is willing to take that money away from the care of the animals! Thank you Kenille for helping me find and adopt two wonderful dogs and 2 cats over the past 25 years! You will be greatly missed!!!

  16. follow the money, it will end up in the hands of a family member or close friend of the 2 that forced her out.

  17. We adopted a dog from the shelter last summer. Kenille is a lovely person who does a wonderful job taking care of the animals and making sure that they are going to good homes. All of the people who work there are giving up their own time to do this, and should be praised, not penalized.

  18. I sure hope the Dispatch publishes more on this tragedy. It would be very interesting to know the names of the folks forcing Kenille to resign. My guess is that they own and operate a business(es) here in Ocean City. Kenille has made and EARNED enough friends over the years to begin an effective boycott.

    My wife and I have the Humane Society as the sole beneficiary of our will(s), this will change within the week.

    Several years ago, there was common piece of trash using Kenille and the Humane Society as a sponsor for charity poker games, and not turning the proceeds over to the Humane Society. As a law enforcement officer, I spent countless hours investigating and surveilling this guy, eventually I applied for and received a search warrant and we busted this guy in a raid on his “poker palace.” It was a real pleasure to “place” him up against the wall and tell him he was under arrest, never, for me anyway, have the sound of handcuffs ratcheting shut been so sweet.

  19. The persons that want her out…fine..you do a better job AT HER PAYSCALE!!! Watch how long it takes before the facility shuts down. FOR THE TWO STARTING THIS NONSENSE….Be true WOMEN and men and put your mouth where your money is!!Mrs. Kennille rallied for pets not position..hope these other people do the same. Disgusting!!!

  20. s.o.b. – this changes everything I’ve been planning. the brand new family charitable trust has Worcester county humane as a prime benefactor; but the organization has to be volunteer and not 50k per year. I hope this change falls flat on its face. I don’t want to go back to the drawing board.

    • The organization has to be volunteer? Under the guidelines of your family charitable trust would it allow for the veterinarians to be paid? Or would their services and say, the services of the accountant and legal counsel need to be all volunteer? Kinda wondering where you draw the line with volunteers versus those who would require payment.

  21. does she get a pension after 37 years of service I bet not.why would you get raid of a 15000.00worker and replace with a 50000.00went the lady was doing a great job

  22. Kenille,
    You have served this area a long time. Let someone else take the leash and pray it is for the best.
    Sounds like you will have more time to share with your furry friends. Enjoy what is handed to you and feel blessed.
    Sheri

  23. Once again those on the western shore try to dictate to us here how things are to be done…Kenille is such a fine, wonderful woman who has always put that shelter and those animals before herself. I could never imagine her harming any animal, she has done nothing but love them and provide for them. Someone needs to take a step back and realize what is wrong with this picture…

  24. Money talks. There has got to be an attorney who will take her case pro bono. The beach is my heart, however, with type of choice, I may reconsider. Thankfully, due to my parents, I can come to the beach whenever I want. To the typical vacationing family. They can get an all inclusive vacation, for less then a week in OC costs. Hopefully, wherever they go, they do not have to look at plumbers crack and boxer’s. Watch what you are doing to a family resort. Locals and tourists pay attention. 50K. Are you serious?

    • Actually, the amazing firm of Scott and Shuman from Bethany Beach did step in to help though they didn’t know until a few mtgs. had already occured. But you’re right, it is a bit deflating that with all the talent in OC there aren’t more stepping up. WHo knows………at least she IS NOT ALONE ! Thanks to everyone’s support @ Freinds for Kenille Davies FB page.

  25. I was heartsick to hear this news. I met Kenille last year when I joined the women’s bowling league in OC, then started to volunteer at the shelter this past February after I put my Yorkie down. I never found a more caring, compassionate person regarding the animals. This whole thing is a God-damned disgrace— all about money and power, not about the welfare of these homeless creatures. I hope the vermin responsible for this are exposed as the money grubbing bastards that they are and get a public crucifixion!!!

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