Kay-Lynette Roca, founder of Safe Harbor Animal Shelter, fired abruptly after 28 years of work

JUPITER, Fla. -- The woman who founded Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary in Jupiter 28 years ago has been fired. Apparently, she was not the only one involved in the shelter shake-up alone.

"Wonderful, caring people were fired today," said Kay-Lynette Roca, who was terminated this week from her job.

Roca says at least five employees at Safe Harbor were fired in 24 hours. Roca had been serving as Executive Director of the 'no-kill' facility for years.

"They simply decided that they wanted to go in a different direction," said Roca. "I can't really tell you what their motives are."

A statement from lawyers representing the newly formed Safe Harbor board of directors did not provide many answers either. Only saying Roca  - who had a $50,000 salary, according to documents - was no longer executive director and that board member Carol Verdigi would serve in Roca's place until a permanent replacement was found.

"They just said the reason she's not here - she's no longer with us," said 'Samantha', an employee at Safe Harbor. She, too, was wondering about the abrupt shake-up. "I don't know if it was financial issues or if it was just a change."

When asked if she ever failed to follow regulations when spending donation dollars.

"No. Anything that I do, I do through my board of directors," Roca said. "You don't get to where I've been in 28 years doing things underhandedly or secretly."

The facility has had financial hardships in the recent past. According to Safe Harbor's tax records, the shelter ran a $184,000 deficit in the last filing year. Safe Harbor also received one star out of four when it comes to financial transparency.

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