JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Pit Sisters, a Northeast Florida-based animal rescue group, is shutting down its operation after eight years, citing financial problems and a range of other issues.
"I have had things said about me and Pit Sisters that are pure lies and our corporate donors and foster families have also been contacted with those lies and as a result we no longer have the funding we need to continue on," Pit Sisters Executive Director Jen Deane wrote in a Facebook post Monday.
The organization's closure comes two weeks after Deane encountered resistance to her plans to build enough housing on her Nassau County property to shelter all the pit bull terriers the group looks after. The sticking point was that Deane's 22-acre property was zoned for residential use, not commercial.
Even though Nassau County Manager Mike Mullin said Deane's plans likely qualified for a conditional use permit that would have gotten around the zoning issue, she was told she must pave all of Marigold Lane to make that happen. For Deane, it appears the $100,000 price tag was too much to overcome.
"It is time to focus on my family more and it just isn't worth it anymore to do have what I have done for the last 8 years," she wrote. "Yes it is my passion to help dogs but not at the price I am paying. So it is through many, many tears and a broken heart that I inform you all that Pit Sisters will be closing down."
The organization is estimated to have rescued more than 1,500 over the years. Deane said she's working to find homes for the remaining dogs in her care. Anyone who knows of a reputable rescue organization is asked to contact Deane via email at email@example.com.