Two terminated Pet Pal Rescue employees are each suing the nonprofit, claiming they were illegally terminated.
Shannon Still began her employment at Pet Pal in early 2013 as Clinic Manager, where she served until her termination June 13, 2016.
Brittany Raisch worked for the rescue from October 2014 to March 10, 2016, as a kennel technician and veterinary assistant.
Both women filed separate suits less than a week apart.
Still is accusing the rescue of one count under Florida’s Private Whistleblower Act. She seeks compensation for damages including humiliation, pain, and suffering along with lost wages, employment status and benefits.
Pet Pal faces two counts from Raisch: defamation and another under Florida’s Private Whistleblower Act. Raisch claims to have suffered humiliation, damage to her reputation, loss of wages and emotional distress.
In February, Pet Pal Executive Director Scott Daly, learned Raisch was pregnant. Raisch’s suit asserts that Daly told Raisch: “You should find another job.” He proceeded to tell Still he couldn’t “deal with another pregnant employee,” referring to Raisch as “worthless.”
The following month, Daly requested a drug test from Raisch, which she took March 10. It came back negative.
According to the suit, the test’s negative results didn’t stop Daly from spreading a rumor among Pet Pal employees that Raisch was using heroin and other narcotics.
Raisch asked Daly if all employees underwent a drug test, accusing him of targeting her because she was pregnant. She was fired that day.
Daly didn’t provide a reason or cause for the termination. It was assumed by Raisch that her termination had to deal with her pregnancy and inquiry of whether all employees were tested.
Despite persistent requests for the results, Raisch failed to receive a copy of the test for more than a month.
Daly further dug the hole deeper when he falsely reported that Raisch quit after failing a drug test.
During this period, Raisch lost her child. Daly responded by telling Pet Pal employees she did not deserve a baby because of her drug use. While making those claims, Daly was aware Raisch tested negative for all drugs.
In May 2016, Still and Daly interviewed a veterinarian for a position at Pet Pal.
Still searched arrest records online for the interviewee as part of the regular hiring process and found a blemish on the doctor’s record. The unnamed doctor had been arrested for a controlled substance felony. Daly was informed of the record. However, he ignored it and hired the doctor anyways.
The suit states that the unidentified veterinarian and Daly “shared a close friendship.”
A week after being hired, a team member informed Still that the doctor obtained her phone number and was texting her inappropriately. One night, as that team member was taking out the trash, the doctor sexually assaulted and battered her by forcibly kissing her.
Still viewed one of the messages confirming the allegations and sent an email to Daly with the information.
Just five days later, Still was terminated without cause or reason. Still concluded the termination was due to her opposition of the doctor’s illegal behavior.
Pet Pal Rescue is a no-kill animal shelter and clinic for dogs and cats. The clinic is at 1900 34th St. S in St. Petersburg. To help cover funds for the shelter They also operate a thrift store at 1500 34th St. N #8 in St. Petersburg.