Concerns Now Turn
To Shelter Animals
For my mom, Kenille Davies, the way she is leaving her position with the Worcester County/Ocean City Humane Society is hardly fitting. She has dedicated over 37 years to the organization she co-founded and has served our community and our areas homeless, neglected, abused animals with great leadership and compassion. As she leaves, I ask everyone to look past the events that forced her to make her decision and remember her for what she accomplished over her tenure as director of the organization.
Remember how many lost pets she has reunited with frantic owners. How many homeless, neglected and abused animals she has rescued and given a safe haven, where they received medical care, a warm bed, meals and unconditional love they would have never known. Remember how many animals found forever loving homes with adoptive families and became valued, loved members of the family. Think of all of the animals that were deemed “unadoptable” due to physical or behavioral problems that were given second chances and ended up becoming someone’s cherished pet. Those pets that never get adopted had a place to call home at the shelter where they lived a life filled with the love they never would have gotten. Remember all of the food that was given out and medical care paid for, for people who loved their pets but couldn’t afford it. This is what Kenille Davies has done over the years because of her love of the animals. She was the driving force behind the success of the humane society.
As many shelters open and close, especially “no kill” shelters, the Worcester County/Ocean City Humane Society has endured and thrived. She had strong support from the community, businesses and a legion of volunteers who helped make the shelter a success. This is quite an accomplishment considering they received little support from the county or the Town of Ocean City. Her love of animals has spanned her lifetime. My sisters and I grew up having this love instilled in us at an early age. We always had a house full of animals, most rescued by mom.
I remember very well, the organizational meetings held around our dining room table back in the 70’s between her, Katie Jenkins and a handful of others. I watched this dream become a reality as the first shelter opened in a barn at the Ocean City Airport. There are countless stories of Kenille and her group going out under the cover of darkness with the sheriff to rescue neglected and abused horses, dogs and cats. Sometimes it was done against the advice of law enforcement but done anyway for the good of the animal. It was always interesting to hear from a friend who was a police officer, “hey, I have to arrest your mom”.
I remember a new car my dad bought for her, having the leather seats chewed to shreds while she searched for the owner of a found dog. It was nothing to find her picking up a hit deer from the side of the road and there is a story of her knee deep in water in a ditch gathering up injured chickens. It is just what she did. Mom sacrificed a lot to make sure the shelter carried out its’ mission. There were delayed Christmas mornings, late Thanksgiving dinners and a lot of family functions she got to when she could after she finished her work at the shelter. But everyone understood. It’s what made her tick and fueled her passion. There was nothing she didn’t do at the shelter from scrubbing kennels and litter pans to working the Sunfest booth, to attending fundraisers and community events. She leaves a strong community organization that is that way due to her love and commitment.
Despite all of the claims made, the shelter is not in dire financial straits and what was done by her and the leadership of the shelter was to keep the place open and operating. Plain and simple. To the Weingards, who claim to be long-time and active supporters of the shelter, I say, you don’t know the first thing about Kenille Davies or what goes on at the shelter on a daily basis. If you did, you would never be doing or saying what you are. I have never met you or seen you at the shelter and I am there a lot. To their lawyer, Mr. Hammerschmidt, I say the same. I am sure you were paid a hefty sum for your involvement. Your words towards my mom were hurtful and insulting, especially your attacks on her character and integrity. To say to her “don’t hurt the animals on your way out” was probably the most painful thing she could ever hear.
It is clear that both the Weingards and your positions were formed by what you were told by the three directors. It is a shame you didn’t do a little research and investigation into things before you acted. To those directors, shame on you. Kenille leaves big shoes to fill with her departure. Shoes that none of you will ever be able to fill. You all must go to the shelter now and live with what you have done. I hope at some point you will realize all that she did for each of you on a personal level out of friendship and respect. It shows us all that sometimes , you just don’t know who your friends are.
To Snoop, Butchie, Codie, Duece, Teddy and all of the animals left behind, I pray for you. You have lost your guardian angel, your protector and your voice. We all can only hope that somewhere waiting in the wings, there is another Kenille Davies that will step up and take care of you all and continue with her dream of keeping a “no kill” shelter operating in our community.
To you mom, it’s time to take a deep breath and finally relax. Enjoy your time with family and your true friends. You deserve to do that. Be proud of your life’s work and all of your accomplishments at the shelter. We are all so very proud of you and on behalf of all of the animals, we say thank you and we love you.
Letter On Point
I would like to respond to Mr. Don Ratigan’s letter to the editor in Nov, 15th edition. Mr. Ratigan is 100% right.
Mr. Tudor should drive through the county and look at all the run down properties that effect property values and stop worrying about a neatly stacked wood pile on Mr. Mariner’s property. There are run down, dangerous, abandoned houses and buildings all over Worcester County. Why doesn’t the County Commissioners and the County Administrator direct Tudor and his staff to do their jobs in a more productive manner instead of worrying about a wood pile?
If I recall, years ago Mr. Tudor adopted an amendment to stop Mr. Mariner from having a haunted Halloween event and hayride. I went to the hayride and it was a great time and was extremely popular. I guess the county got jealous that someone was making money (and the county wasn’t)
and the residents were having fun. The county seems to frown upon that. This seems obvious and apparent that Mr. Tudor is once again harassing Mr. Mariner and has a personal agenda with him.
I have heard that others feel the same way about Tudor and some of his staff. If he does not like something and he “legally” cannot do anything to stop it, he creates an amendment and the County Commissioners go along with it. The county seems to not want to mediate as Mr. Ratigan mentioned. The county creates resolutions and/or amendments to put a stop to it behind closed door meeting with the commissioners instead of trying to work things out amicably. There are more important things to be doing in the county than worrying about Mr. Mariner’s wood pile.
Tudor should be directed to get out of his office and perform more important tasks, like starting with the sex shop, the Red Light District in West Ocean City. These people are in direct violation of permitting and square footage requirement issues which Tudor is supposed to be on top of. It took four phone calls for Tudor and staff to check out Mr. Mariner’s neatly stacked wood pile, but all the complaints made against the Red Light District, who were and still are not compliant with county resolutions, go ignored. What a great entrance to Ocean City isn’t it?
It is time to clean house once again in Worcester County. It seems the people in charge have gotten out of control and it is just a matter of time until there is a huge lawsuit filed against the county and certain employees, due to their actions.
I would like to thank those members of the Worcester County Bar Association who contributed to the Bar’s Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. I also thank the Humphrey’s Foundation and the Ocean City Lion’s Club for contributing funds, as well as the staff of Super Fresh markets for facilitating delivery of our food.
This year, we were able to provide 400 less fortunate families with a complete Thanksgiving dinner which they could prepare in their own homes, consisting of a 15 pound turkey, potatoes, stuffing, yams, green beans and cranberry sauce. We united once again with Worcester County Gold and Pocomoke, Snow Hill, Buckingham and Showell elementary schools to identify those families with children to attempt to reach our goal that no one in our county should go hungry on Thanksgiving.
I acknowledge that our goal is a lofty one that perhaps will never be completely met. We are proud, however, that as our Thanksgiving Food Drive has grown over the past 15 years, we are getting closer.
Thank you for being our brothers/sisters keeper and attempting to take care of our own.
David C. Gaskill
(The writer represents the Committee On Charitable Endeavors with Worcester County Bar Association.)
Shocked By Ousting
We were shocked and outraged to read about the actions taken by the three members of the Board of Directors and the Winegards in cruelly and stupidly ousting Kenille Davies.
We worked at the animal shelter as volunteers for years, and have never known a kinder or more dedicated person than Kenille. She has always been the heart and soul of the shelter, totally focused on the welfare of every animal there. We are afraid to think about what will happen now.
The upkeep of any animal shelter is expensive and requires lots of hard work. A “no kill” shelter is even more costly because (like us) as animals age they require more care. There are a number of older dogs and cats there living in comfortable retirement.
We are worried that people who could behave so inhumanely to so good a person as Kenille will not have the patience, kindness, and dedication to keep the shelter “no kill” as it is now. We, along with Kenille, fear for the animals now in care there.
Jacques and Janet Read
To Lower Taxes
I imagine one day in the future, long after our society has crumbled into obscurity, some archaeologist will unearth the ruins of our Performing Arts Center and ruminate on what it was and what it did. Why it was here when, within an hour’s radius, were four other Performing Arts Centers —or, more properly, said, four Underperforming Arts Centers. Oh, what the heck, one more, give or take, couldn’t possibly matter. Rome built a lot of coliseums, after all.
Last week, Zack Hoopes wrote a telling piece on homeless people in Ocean City. On this day after Thanksgiving, as we sit around and seek stimulus from our electronic devices, we should contemplate the sharp contrast between the proliferation of expensive and redundant Arts Centers and the relatively new appearance of homelessness at our seaside resort. The comparison with the reality of Worcester, a rural county, is stunning.
This occurs while the town’s entrenched politicians hunker down by adding security to their inner chambers, begging the question: security from whom?
We at Ocean City Taxpayers for Social Justice (OCTSJ) are volunteers that dutifully work to reverse the 30-year decline in year-round residents. We believe Ocean City should be a place where people want to live, not leave. We believe in bringing back the middle class family for summer vacations. We want to return Ocean City to a sunny seaside resort and stop pretending we are a year-round city. This will only happen when the people exercise their rights and tame the suffocating government, returning it to part-time seasonal service and lowering the staggering price of its overhead for our residents, businesses, and guests.
Have a peaceful Thanksgiving weekend, a joyous Christmas, and for the New Year resolve with us to lower taxes to help encourage people to move here, and to give relief to residents who are thinking of moving out. Also resolve with us to cap the out-of-control debt obligations which, with the current Performing Arts Center, will surpass $150,000,000 and, with accounting changes, recent raises, and road and sewer expenses, will be over $200,000,000 by as soon as the end of 2015. As debt goes up astronomically, operating expenses rise due to higher taxes and more expensive pensions and wages for ever greater numbers of city employees, fewer guests come, vacancies persist, and the town continues to die—completely at the hands of the politicians and their destructive governance.
OCTSJ extends to the voters, residents, and taxpayers of Ocean City a very merry and peaceful holiday season, and an invitation to join us in recapturing our sunny seaside resort. It will take time to reverse 30 years of pandering politicians. It is a process, but join us and we will eventually prevail in creating a positive environment for all in Ocean City and stop the destructive governance.
During this season of Thanksgiving, it is important to reflect on the blessings of our families and community. The recent Dennis-Bowen tragedy that occurred at Route 113 and Bay Street is a terrible misfortune. We extend our heart-felt condolences to the loss of Tymeir Dennis and the injury of Tyheim Bowen.
The Route 113 safety initiatives proposed recently at the community meeting held at the Flower Street Multi-Purpose Building would benefit the town of Berlin and our local residents as they travel on that portion of the highway. Countdown crosswalks would allow pedestrians to cross safely. Reducing the speed limit would help motorists to realize that Berlin is a town divided by the highway and its citizens frequently cross the road for exercise, shopping, medical appointments and other activities.
The Democratic Club of Ocean City/ Berlin (DCOC/B) supports the safety measures. If you would like to sign the Rt. 113 Safety Initiatives petition, please access the pdf file on the Berlin town website.
We wish to thank all our family and friends for their cards, flowers and many other acts of kindness at the time of the death of our beloved sister, Joan W. Collins.
Also, we would like to thank all the doctors, nurses and techs, especially Dr. Zeeshan, Dr. Sayal; nurses – Kelly, Anne and Jennifer and tech, Leslie for all their TLC during Joan’s stay in the ICU unit of Atlantic General Hospital.
A special thanks to Gail of the Palliative Care team for helping us through this sad and difficult time.
Carole and Maurice Jones
Grover and Debbie Collins