On Friday April 12th, the President of SHARK's Board of Directors paid a rare visit to the animal shelter the Board oversees in Marathon of the Florida Keys. Sheila Cook was not there for an inspection, or a walk-through, or an animal visit. She was there on accusations of neglect made by a volunteer. 

    The President of the Board for SHARK forced Katie's resignation without a single inspection, or an investigation, or any evidence, or an opportunity for Katie to disprove the accusations before the Board. Katie Bentley has worked at this location for the past eight years. When the non-profit she was employed by lost the shelter contract in 2010, she formed a non-profit and funded it with her own money. In the two years that followed (2010-2012), she spent only 4 days away from the shelter. She has clearly invested her entire being into the care of the animals at SHARK. 

     As an indication of things to come, a shelter representative stated that they will be shipping the pit bulls off to other shelters, as there really isn't a market for them here. He added that they would be sent wherever in the country they would be taken. I have personally volunteered at the shelter and know these dogs by name.  The soon-to-be discarded pit bulls may be any of the bunch: Molly, Zeus, Blue, Mojo, Hazel, Pache, Zuzu, Dixie, Judge, Baby, Copper, and Tippy... I have walked many of them, run with them, and touched them. In my experience, they were amazing and adoptable dogs. They deserve more than the same treatment that landed them at the shelter in the first place, a blasé 'throwaway' attitude. I would think a shelter employee would agree.

     This shelter is contracted by Monroe County, OUR COUNTY. This shelter is part of OUR COMMUNITY. These animals are in OUR CARE. Do not let false accusations undo the work of dedicated, selfless volunteers and employees and especially of Katie Bentley. Please, sign this petition and request SHARK's Board of Directors to Reinstate Katie Bentley, the founder of SHARK, as its Director.


Kimberly McConnell

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