A former telephone operator from Tennessee left her entire $1.2 million estate to the cats and dogs of Carter County.
Most of it, $540,000, will be used to expand and improve the Elizabethton Animal Shelter in Carter County, and to buy a new van to transport cats and dogs to be spayed and neutered. The rest will be go to local agencies that help animals.
Glenda Taylor DeLawder was an “avid animal lover,” according to her obituary. The funds will be used to expand the dog and cat holding areas, to allow more room for the cats and dogs to run and play while their pens are being cleaned, according to the shelter’s Facebook page.
“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,” Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey said in a statement.
“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.” Construction will begin on the shelter expansion on January 9. The van is scheduled to arrive by March 1, Humphrey said.
DeLawder was a 1961 graduate of Unaka High School and member of Dungan Chapel Baptist Church. She was the daughter of Carnie and Fay Taylor and the wife of Roy Chester DeLawder. She worked as a telephone operator for AT&T in Washington, D.C.
The new room for cats will be a 1,002-square-foot masonry block addition to the shelter. It will also include 1,234 square feet of outdoor sidewalks and slabs. The story was reported in the Johnson City Press and news outlets abroad.