HomeFrom the MayorCarter County Commission and Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter Partners with Veterans’ Buddies’ to Save Lives and Help Veterans!

Carter County Commission and Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter Partners with Veterans’ Buddies’ to Save Lives and Help Veterans!








Elizabethton Star – April 16, 2017

I am very happy to report that the Carter County Commission voted at their March 20, 2017 meeting to approve a partnership with Veterans’ Buddies to allow approved honorably discharged Veterans to adopt a cat or dog from the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter (ECCAS) at no cost to the Veteran, a savings to the Veteran of $45 to adopt a cat or $55 to adopt a dog.

According to Veterans’ Buddies founder and retired Army veteran Chris Prince, “We are a non-profit organization that exists solely to help local veterans either adopt a cat or dog from a shelter, or help them keep an existing dog or cat.The health benefits of owning a pet are well known, and include reducing anxiety and depression, and blood pressure. Pets also help increase exercise and physical activity, and provide a renewed sense of purpose.Their unconditional love and acceptance and lack of judgement means a lot especially to a veteran who may be lonely or suffering from PTSD.


  • Negotiate discounts for our program participants with local shelters and businesses that provide pet services
  • Assist in finding and applying for grants when needed for pet related expenses
  • Use donations to fund a pet pantry and help with unexpected pet medical bills
  • Assist in registering a pet as an Emotional Support Animal
  • Will build a community of veterans and their pets

In order to apply to join in the program, the Veteran must be a local veteran with:

  • A DD214 (honorable discharge) or a DD form 2 (active duty ID card)
  • A driver’s license or photo identity
  • Proof of home ownership, a rental agreement allowing a pet, or you have/can get a letter from a medical professional stating you need an Emotional Support Animal”

If you meet all of the above requirements, you can contact Veterans’ Buddies at 1-423-218-2159 or email them at Veterans’ Buddies serves Veterans and their companion animals in the Upper East Tennessee Region with Carter County Veterans as their initial focus.”

Veterans’ Buddies is a new 100% volunteer non-profit organization founded by Carter County Citizens Chris and Sue Prince because of their love of animals and their desire to help Veterans in the region. Chris is President of the organization and is a retired CSM and served in the Army for 24 years, including Desert Storm. Sue came to the USA from the UK 25 years ago. Her father, Tom Dobney, is in the Guinness Book of Records as the youngest ever military pilot – he joined up during WW2 at the age of 15. Chris and Sue have 4 dogs, 2 cats and a foster black lab.

Duane Gilbert joined Veterans’ Buddies as Vice-President. He is also Commander of VFW Post 2166 and is a Vietnam Veteran. He and his wife, who is a Master Gardener, have always had Dobermans. Dr. Kate Zimmerman, DVM, also joined Veterans’ Buddies as Vice-President. She runs the Tri-County Veterinary Hospital. Several of her patients are Emotional Support Animals owned by local veterans.

For more information about Veterans’ Buddies, please go to their website at or their facebook page at .

Veterans’ Buddies will be representing the ECCAS at the upcoming Northeast State Dog Days of Summer pet adoption event on Saturday, April 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75.


Hosted by the College’s Office of Scholarship Programs and Student Needs, this free, open-to-the-public event provides the opportunity to adopt dogs and cats from several area adoption agencies including the ECCAS. Veterinarians will also be on hand to provide vaccinations and microchipping for current pet owners and offer tips on how to choose and care for animals.

“We will have lots of animals to choose from,” said Joshua Johnson, coordinator of County and State Scholarships at the College. “We want this to be a fun event that will get the community involved in a worthwhile cause.

Our event partners include Appalachian Animal Hospital, Airport Pet Emergency Clinic, Natural Pet Supply, Humane Society of Washington County, the SBK Animal Center, Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter, and The Bridge Home No Kill Animal Rescue. Adoption fees are determined by the participating partners. Vaccination fees will be $15.00 for distemper and $10.00 for rabies while microchipping will be $15.00. Leashed dogs and cats are welcome to attend.”

Please join me and my office, the County Commission and the ECCAS in supporting Veterans’ Buddies and the Northeast State Dog Days of Summer Pet Adoption Event on April 22. Please feel free to contact me at or by phone at 423-542-1801 if you have any questions or if I can be of assistance to you. My office is located at 801 East Elk Avenue, Suite 201 located in the County Courthouse in Elizabethton. I have an open-door policy and everyone is always welcome.

Leon Humphrey

Carter County Mayor