HomeFrom the MayorCarter County Receives a Tremendous Gift of Love

Carter County Receives a Tremendous Gift of Love


Today, December 25, is a day that many people celebrate Christmas and give thanks for the year past. As families and friends gather together in fellowship and exchange gifts, many families include their beloved pets in their celebrations. Many people treat and love their pets like children and many people who don’t have children consider their pets their children. One Carter County Citizen exemplified this love, the late Glenda Taylor DeLawder. Mrs. DeLawder so loved cats and dogs that she left her estate, $1.2 million to be used exclusively to help care for Carter County’s cats and dogs. The administrators of Mrs. DeLawder’s estate have bestowed a gift of $540,000 to the Elizabethton Carter County Animal Shelter to expand the dog and cat holding areas and to purchase a van to use to transport the Shelter’s cats and dogs to off-site adoption events and to spay and neuter clinics.

Carter County and the Shelter is truly blessed and honored to be given such a tremendous gift, one of the largest private gifts ever given to the County for our citizens (human, feline and canine). Construction will begin on the Shelter expansion on January 9. The van is scheduled to arrive by March 1. 

I am very pleased to report that with all of the improvements made this year, the Shelter is now a wonderful place to adopt a cat or dog and the public feedback and support has been tremendous. At the National Adopt-A-Thon Event at Petsense on October 1stand 2nd, we adopted approximately 20 cats and dogs. During our first ever Empty the Shelter Event held on November 5th, we adopted approximately 60 cats and dogs, and since making changes focusing on improving the quality of the care of the animals at the Shelter we have adopted approximately 400 cats and dogs as of today with over $5000 in sponsorships received since October to date to cover the public’s spay and neuter costs so cats and dogs could be adopted from the Shelter sooner. The public responded. We have less than $200 remaining but sponsorship donations are received regularly. If you want to adopt or sponsor a cat to be adopted the public’s spay and neuter cost is $35 and for a dog it is $45. Every sponsorship received, no matter the amount, goes to helping the animal find a forever home faster.  

We have many wonderful plans for the Shelter in the new year in addition to the expansion project. We will be working with a national Rescue organization and the ASPCA and other non-profit organizations with the hope that they will establish a base of operation in Carter County to serve the County and region. We are also working on setting up a Veteran Companion Animal Program.

Mrs. DeLawder’s family asked me to share with you that she loved her cats and dogs so very much and wanted her love and care of them to be her everlasting gift. I think Mrs. DeLawder would be very pleased that her gift will be able to provide for future cats and dogs at the Shelter for as long as the Shelter exists. 

I want to personally thank Mrs. DeLawder and her family for their gift and thank each of you for your continued support of the Shelter. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and pray that 2017 will bring good health, joy and prosperity to you and your families.

Please feel free to contact me at or by phone at 423-542-1801if 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