Our Mission: “Provide for and continuously improve the health, happiness and fortunes

of the homeless and abandoned cats and dogs in Monroe County”

The Monroe County Friends of Animals (MCFA)  is a not-for-profit volunteer organization with 501(c) (3) status located in Monroe County, Tennessee.  Our organization was created in 2004 by concerned citizens who recognized a dire need throughout the county for animal welfare.  At that time there was no animal shelter, no place to go to adopt, no place to surrender animals that could no longer be cared for, and stray and abandoned animals loose everywhere in the community.   

Partnering with the county, together we opened the Monroe County Animal Shelter, located at 170 Kefauver Lane, Madisonville, TN (MAP).  The county leased the site from a retired veterinarian and with a lot of volunteer help, converted it into the shelter that we continue to use today. Since its formation, MCFA has supported the Monroe County Animal Shelter monetarily with the costs of operation shared.   The cost of animal food, medicine, and medical treatment is borne by MCFA.  The cost of staff salaries, rent and utilities is borne by the county.  

More than 25,000 animals have been adopted from the shelter or rescued since we started in 2004. Through the years, with grants and the labor of our volunteers, we’ve been able to make significant enhancements to the shelter, but our ultimate goal is to build a new shelter. 

Volunteers are truly the backbone of our organization   One of the most important roles we serve is coordinating the many volunteer-staffed programs — all of which are critical to helping us care for the animals at the shelter and finding them new homes. These volunteer initiatives include:

  • Hands-on animal care, socialization and training at the shelter
  • Fostering/providing temporary homes for dogs and cats from the shelter
  • Providing spay and neuter vouchers to local low-income pet owners (through our Spay Neuter Assistance Program [SNAP]), enabling them to have the surgeries done.
  • Transporting animals to shelters and pet rescues in many different states  where there is greater demand and they are quickly adopted.
  • Providing special care for elderly or disabled pets through our Second Chance Pals program.  Over 200 of these animals have been saved to date.
  • Providing pet food for families of limited means through our Food Pantry program.

Board Member Profiles:

Cheryl Ulmer
President (Vonore)

Cheryl is a lifelong animal advocate, with over 25 years’ experience volunteering in non-profit dog and cat rescue.   Her experience ranges from cleaning cages at rescue centers, providing adoption counseling, raising funds through off site events to serving as Board President.  Cheryl spearheaded a major effort as Board President with the completion of a plan which laid the groundwork for a capital campaign to build an $8 million center.  

Scott Shapiro
Vice President (Tellico Plains)

In 1979 Dr. Shapiro was accepted in to the 77th Police Academy in Broward County Florida.  During his 25-years with the sheriff’s office, Scott obtained his Batchelor’s degree in Business from Barry University.  Later he got a master’s in nutrition and two Doctoral degrees, one in Naturopathic Medicine and a second in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from Westbrook University.

Dr. Shapiro currently owns two successful businesses, a private investigation firm and a construction and remodeling company.  He lives in Tellico Plains with his wife of 38 years, their two children and two grandchildren on their farm with over 50 animals.

Glenn Edwards
Treasurer (Sweetwater)

Glenn has been volunteering at the MCFA Thrift Store for several years now. “By helping out at the store, I can help with the objective of making money to support the shelter operations,” Glenn said.

Before retiring, Glenn worked as manager in cost and financial planning at Robbins & Myers C. from 1977-2006; in customer service and accounting at Standard Register Co. from 1972-77; and in the United States Air Force from 1969-1972. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Business, majoring in accounting from Miami University (Oxford, OH).

When asked why he volunteers, Glenn said after being a pet owner, he realized just how dependent dogs and cats are on us.  “I can’t imagine any animal having to spend time in a scary place like a shelter and not having a home to go to.  So, I feel in a way, I am helping provide for them while they wait for their forever home.”

Sabrina Huffstetler
Secretary (Maryville)

Sabrina Huffstetler is a native of and currently resides in Maryville, TN. Sabrina spends a lot of her spare time giving back to her community and surrounding communities in East Tennessee. Volunteering at numerous nonprofit organizations within surrounding communities over the past few decades has been a priority and especially working with organizations that help animals. Sabrina is an approved Foster Mom with Monroe County Animal Shelter, Campbell County Animal Shelter, Tennessee Tails Rescue, and was most recently approved to foster with the Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association (ACDRA). Her family includes 3 wonderful children and two beautiful grandchildren.

Sabrina has been a Registered Nurse for 28 years, and a Family Nurse Practitioner for 11 years. A goal throughout her career is to give people tools on how to help themselves through education, and this can help anyone at any point in their lives, this may mean how to take care of themselves or simply how to care for their pets, and help control population by educating the community on of the importance of spaying and neutering all pets. Sabrina has fostered 37 dogs and 34 cats within the last four years.

Jim Barrett

Jim and his wife, Cathy, are natives of Chicago & moved to Tennessee in 2009.   Cathy started volunteering at the shelter and shortly thereafter they started fostering puppies.   Jim has a BS in Business Admin and an MBA from Northern Illinois University.   Most of his business career was with Lucent Technologies with management in business planning, engineering, production, and distribution organizations.  Jim is a Vietnam vet, a buck Sgt paratrooper and Purple Heart recipient.  

Ed Roeber
(Tellico Village)

Edward H. Roeber,  a native of Emporium, PA, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Gannon University in 1967.   He enjoyed a successful career as a healthcare executive and consultant specializing in finance and management for nonprofit hospitals ranging from 20 to 1,000 beds.  In addition, he was Chief Financial Officer for several major health systems and related entities including Humility of Mary in Cleveland, OH; Mercy Health Partners in Cincinnati, OH and oversaw other health care related entities.

Ed held leadership roles in various professional and local nonprofit organizations’ boards and committees during his career.  He is a past fellow in the Healthcare Financial Management Association.  He was previously on the MCFA Board 2012-2018, serving as President for two of those years. 

Deborah Smith

Born and raised on Long Island, NY Deborah went to college in MO and had a 30 year career in middle management at Caterpillar Inc.  She retired in 2004 and moved to Vonore 2005.  She has been involved with MCFA ever since she became friends with its founder, Anja Hammersmith in 2007.  As well as serving on the BOD, Deborah is active at the Thrift Store and helps track and promote MCFA membership and helps for special events.  She and her 2 cats, Dixie and JJ (adopted from our shelter), love living in East TN.

Tom Smith
(Coker Creek)

Tom retired from the construction field in 2008, moved to TN in 2009. He got involved with the Monroe County animal shelter soon after.  He has many talents for fixing things:  He installed the shelter’s electric gate, built the puppy play yard, helped fellow volunteer Jim Barrett build the puppy house and has spent countless hours cleaning cages and walking dogs.  He also fills in at the MCFA Thrift Store when short handed.

He currently focuses on shelter needs: general maintenance and maintaining the PetSmart transport van. In his spare time, Tom and his wife, Kathy also foster dogs –more than 300, so far.  When asked why he volunteers with MCFA, Tom said, “Animal welfare is a priority for me.”

Marni Sorrick

Marni relocated from MO to Monroe County, TN in 2018 after retiring from commercial banking.  She manages the MCFA Thrift Store and the 40 some people who volunteer their time working there.  Marni and her husband Darrell enjoy camping with friends and family, and live with two dogs, two cats, four geese and a small flock of chickens in rural Madisonville.

Contact the Board of Directors at info@monroecountyfriendsofanimals.org

Monroe County Friends of Animals, PO Box 106, Vonore, TN 37885

Or Call: 423-520-6887