Shelter Founder, Worker Bee Deserves Respect

Although there are certainly a number of unknowns fogging the situation, there is no question long-time Worcester County Humane Society Director Kenille Davies has the support of the local community.
For the past 36 years, Davies has been the glue that has held the no-kill shelter located off Route 611 together. She has devoted about half her life to the Worcester County Humane Society. In fact, she along with a few other local animal lovers, formed the Humane Society in 1977 when it was determined a glut of stray and abandoned animals needed loving homes.
Over the last couple months, Davies’ leadership abilities have been called into question. Additionally, her moral compass and ethics have also been discussed by members of the board that apparently govern over the shelter.
All of this questioning and controversy came to a head at last Friday night’s shelter fundraiser at Adolfo’s when her departure from the shelter was discussed and the fact it was not her decision was broached with much passion. It was unfortunate that the situation played out as it did at the fundraising dinner. That is why this week none of the parties involved would discuss the situation with this newspaper. That’s why attorneys are now reportedly involved on both sides.
With little to go on beyond some informant offerings, there was little to reveal this week as far as why Davies is being forced out of her post. It’s now a legal matter that will have its own course to chart.
What we do know is Davies’ treatment has left a sour taste in the mouth of many this week. Her steady leadership of the shelter was touted by many in an online forum, and she discussed a couple years ago what leadership meant to her when she was honored with a community award called Women Leaders.
“Leadership means being willing to make decisions when others won’t,” she said. “As it pertains to me, it means setting high standards for the care of the animals and enduring the criticism when others sometimes disagree with your judgments. I have to be the voice of the homeless animals and decide what is best for them and the shelter.”
Davies has long been the face of the Worcester County Humane Society and in many ways has been the only constant over the years as volunteers have come and gone, interest surged and waned and donations ebbed and flowed.
Davies is a jewel in this community. She has been the face of the shelter for decades and has done just about every job there is to do at the shelter, including scrubbing the surfaces and cleaning up feces.
Critics and those who were behind negotiating her severance package, which admittedly appears generous from sources in the know, maintain she was disorganized in managing the facility and too lenient when it came to a number of fiscal matters, such as shelter accounts at local veterinary offices. Additionally, critics maintain in the off-the-record conversations that some donations were never recorded properly and that some money may have been utilized off the books.
Surely, there may be some facts that substantiate those claims and it’s possible disorganization might be the cause. What we do believe is there was no malfeasance on her behalf. It’s simply not in her character. That’s why we believe community is right to be giving her the benefit of the doubt and expressing their support for her.