JUPITER, Fla. - The former executive director of Safe Harbor Animal Shelter is suing to get her job back -- and refuting claims that she sent dogs from her shelter to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control to be euthanized.
Safe Harbor is now Furry Friends -- and its executive director said that they have never called Animal Control to take animals. But according to county documents Animal Care and Control was dispatched to the former organization known as Safe Harbor run by Kay Lynette Roca hundreds of times.
During the 20 plus years the organization was located in Jupiter, county records show Animal Care and Control euthanized more than 400 animals that were taken from Safe Harbor.
About three dozen of the animals were feral cats. Roca says they would only call when dogs and cats were left at their doorstep and they were full. She says she never sent a Safe Harbor animal to ACC.
Animal Care and Control officials say it is not uncommon for rescues to call them.
“They are able to cherry pick and only accept those animals that have a pretty good chance of being adopted and if it doesn't have a pretty good chance of being adopted it is going to come to our shelter and we are going to take the blame ultimately of having to put it down when no one else will take it,” said Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control Captain David Wolesky.
Roca said she had no other choice but to call Animal Care and Control in certain situations. "I will not deny the fact we have called when there are stray animals left here and we have no room for them."
Animal Care and Control does not have access to the detailed records that would explain why each animal was taken from safe harbor.
Roca also said one of her employees went behind her back and called the county to pick up animals. “He would say, ‘So what would you want me to do Kay Lynette? We have no room.’ That's not the point I want to know what is going to Animal Control."
Former volunteers at the shelter say Roca had a hard time turning animals away.
“They thought ‘oh she will never do anything bad to an animal so if we dump it here she will figure it out.’ But when money is low...when there is absolutely no space...what choice do we have?” said former Safe Harbor Volunteer Jody Pearce.
Roca says she never once turned over a registered Safe Harbor animal to the county. “That is a lie. That is a lie. I will take a lie detector test.”
Many of the animals sent to Animal Care and Control were adopted out. Roca is in the middle of a lawsuit with Furry Friends to get her job back.
Animals Safe Harbor sent to Animal Care and Control from 1991 to 2012, and the outcomes. App users click here.