DeLawder estate presents county with new animal shelter van

Published 4:49 pm Monday, April 10, 2017

The late Glenda Taylor DeLawder’s love for animals will be forever memorialized through the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter.
Members of the family joined together with Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey to present the keys to an outfitted van Monday afternoon that will be used to transport animals to adoption events, spay/neuter trips and rescue operations in and out of the state.
Administrators of DeLawder’s estate, worth $1.2 million, donated approximately $540,000 earmarked to the county to benefit expansion at the shelter and the van.
“We would never be able to do this relying just on taxpayer dollars,” Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey said Monday. “This is such a great gift to the county. This gift is the equivalent of what city and county came together with to initially build the shelter. We realize the shelter was not adequate. We lived within our means and did the best we could but saw there’s such a greater need. The family of the estate seems to be excited with the overall progress and we hope that Ms. DeLawder would be pleased. We paid tribute to her on the van and to make sure that everyone who comes in contact with the van knows it was a gift from Ms. DeLawder and her estate.”
The van is customized to transport from 15 to 20 plus animals to different locations and was modified on the outside to honor DeLawder. Also pictured on the van are different felines and the saying “Little Lives Matter Too!”
“We’ve just developed a great relationship with Lincoln Memorial University. This will be the transport vehicle to take us there and back,” Mayor Humphrey said. “We’ll be able to take these animals down to be spayed and neutered for low-cost to the county which will result in tremendous savings as far as our budget is concerned.
“Also, it will give us an opportunity to do transport to other rescues inside and outside the area,” he continued. “We are doing our utmost best to do what’s in the best interest of the animals. We don’t ever want to go back to euthanizing for space. We want to do the most humane type of treatment and care and do everything we can to find forever homes for these animals. Without this gift, we wouldn’t be able to do some of these things. It’s just taken us to a new level at the animal shelter.”
DeLawder’s brother, Estill Taylor, and sisters, Sherry Taylor Miller and Dallis Taylor Knight, were on hand for the presentation and stressed the importance of having the vehicle in place to benefit the animals — which DeLawder would of wanted according to Estill.
“This has been all about the care of the animals to start with,” Estill said. “Mayor Humphrey has done a real good job and he’s been able to work it out with (LMU) to be able to have animals spayed and neutered for half the price. They keep them overnight and that’s something you don’t really see around here. This is a way to get the animals down there safely and save the county money. That’s the purpose.
“It’s going to be great anytime we see it,” he added about the decals on the van. “It has been a year since we lost her. If she could see this going on she’d be so elated.”
Shannon Posada, who serves as the director at the shelter, added the DeLawder gift of the van, and the expansion at the shelter, has been a great asset.
“We’re very blessed to have the van,” Posada said. “It is going to make a great impact on the animals’ lives here. It is a huge asset to Carter County that we have this blessing from Ms. DeLawder and we want her legacy to carry on and spread the love for the animals. We want everyone to know that she gave this from her heart and that we will do our best to carry her legacy.”
The van’s first trip is tentatively scheduled for Monday, according to the mayor.
“If everything goes well, we’ll be taking a load to LMU and then shortly after we’re going in schedule with Kentucky Humane Society,” he said. “We’ve already made some trips with the county van and other vehicles but this will give us an opportunity to transport more animals in one trip.”
Expansion at the facility, which is being used to assist the cat population at the shelter, is nearing completion. A special open house will be held following the completion to the public.

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