breaking news

Flood advisory in effect as rain hammers Jupiter

Jupiter's Safe Harbor animal shelter announces new name, board members


Saying the Safe Harbor no-kill animal shelter has been in disarray, the nonprofit’s new president announced a new name and a new board Thursday.

The name is Furry Friends Adoption & Clinic. The new president is Herb Baum, a retired Campbell’s Soup executive who donated a $1 million Martin County property to Safe Harbor in 2010 when he served as board president.

Since then, “Safe Harbor has been in disarray, both from a managerial standpoint and a financial standpoint,” said Baum, a north county resident for 13 years.

In May, Safe Harbor borrowed $250,000 against the 28-acre Martin County property. In June, it sent potential donors an urgent call for financial help.

Baum, who said he has contributed $2 million to Safe Harbor, also issued a plea.

“The community we live in needs a trustworthy no-kill animal care and rescue organization,” he said. “Our status right now is that our operating funds are extremely low. We need donations. We need food and blankets and cleaning materials and paper towels and we need volunteers.

”“We are here as a new board to serve you. Write our names down. If you come to this organization and you are not getting the very best of service, see me or anyone on the board.”

Aside from adoptions, Safe Harbor has a full-service clinic with three veterinarians. It has about 100 dogs and more than 100 cats on hand.

While Baum emphasized that he did not want to dwell on the past, he blamed Safe Harbor’s current troubles on the administration of longtime director, Kay-Lynette Roca, who was ousted in January. However, Thursday’s announcement came after the resignation of the three board members who forced out Roca amid vague and as yet unproven criminal allegations.

Gone are Carol Verdigi, a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office special events coordinator; sheriff’s detective Cassie Kovacs; and retired sheriff’s office worker Dianna Nelson.

In their place are Baum; Bob Burg, an author and inspirational speaker; Monika Krumback, a banker at Seacoast National in Jupiter; Ellen D’Aracangelo, a labor lawyer; Patricia Deshong, a columnist with Seabreeze Publications; and Linda Gore, a member of Safe Harbor’s founding board in the 1980s.

Also listed on state documents as board members are Patty Amoroso, the executive director who worked with Verdigi to oust Roca, and lawyer Scott Kerner, another holdover.

D’Aracangelo and Deshong served as board members with Baum in 2010. They did not comment on the reasons for their departure. Baum, who did all the speaking at a news conference, said they came back together because they are “unapologetic, unabashed animal lovers.”

Among the problems he cited with past management: financial questions about where millions willed to Safe Harbor went.

“The trustworthiness of this organization has been significantly tarnished by the nepotism and financial misdeeds allegedly committed within this organization,” he said.

After Roca’s ouster 10 months ago, the board made vague allegations of criminal behavior against her. A subsequent investigation by Jupiter police has turned up nothing but police refuse to release details, saying they have handed the case to the Internal Revenue Service.

Attending the news conference, Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control director Dianne Sauve said she believed the move is in the right direction. “If this change had not occurred, the organization would not have survived,” Sauve said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Boynton leaders agree: Condos are out, luxury apartments are in
Boynton leaders agree: Condos are out, luxury apartments are in

The builder of a development going up on the city’s west end may not be able to quench Boynton Beach’s need for homes people can buy, but promised that the apartment complexes it will build instead will be luxurious and half as dense, putting less strain on city roads and services. With that promise in hand...
JUST IN: Florida teens caught trying to rob same online seller twice
JUST IN: Florida teens caught trying to rob same online seller twice

Two 16-year-old boys were arrested this week after they allegedly tried to use an online marketplace to rob a man twice, Boynton Beach police said. Police arrested the boys Wednesday after arranging what they thought was a meeting to purchase a cellphone that was being sold through the website OfferUp. The Palm Beach Post is not identifying the teens...
LOOK: Florida woman’s dog so malnourished that its ribs, spine showing 
LOOK: Florida woman’s dog so malnourished that its ribs, spine showing 

A Florida woman’s dog was so malnourished one could count its ribs and see its spinal column. The woman tried to cover up her abuse and neglect of the animal by having her friend report the dog as an unknown stray, but a microchip revealed the 4-year-old pup belonged to Brittany Osborne, of Sarasota, according to the Sarasota County...
LATEST: West Palm police seek man, 70, missing since Tuesday
LATEST: West Palm police seek man, 70, missing since Tuesday

City police are searching for a missing 70-year-old who could suffer a medical emergency if he fails to take his prescribed medication. James Howard Magee was last seen Tuesday by a neighbor, the West Palm Beach Police Department said. He left his home on 11th Street, just south of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard, without his medication. Anyone with information...
Florida woman stole $80K from boyfriend’s mother healing from leg amputation
Florida woman stole $80K from boyfriend’s mother healing from leg amputation

A woman in Sarasota County allegedly stole more than $82,000 from her deceased boyfriend’s mother who was recovering from a leg amputation, deputies say.  The 73-year-old mother granted Carrie Stanfield, 36, the power of attorney to attend civil hearings  over a settlement check of $96,000 following the death of her son, the Herald...
More Stories