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.