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:

Bob Korts
President (Vonore)

Bob moved to Tennessee in 2016 from NY;  joined MCFA in 2008 and has been active ever since, managed the Thrift Store from 2018 to 2021 and has been on the BOD since 2018 and a member of the New Shelter Planning committee since 2018.  At present we have 5 dogs that we rescued and have fostered over 600 puppies. MCFA is our life. When not caring for our dogs and MCFA we enjoy boating on the beautiful Tennessee River.

Cheryl Ulmer
Vice 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.  

Glenn Edwards
Treasurer (Sweetwater)
Glenn graduated from Miami University (Oxford, OH) in 1969 with a BS in Business, majoring in Accounting.  Served in the USAF 1969-1972.  1972-1977 worked at Standard Register Co in customer service and accounting.  1977-2006 worked a Robbins & Myers Co as Manager in cost and financial planning. Glenn’s community activities include 1973-1975 as an advisor for Junior Achievement with an inner-city school in Dayton, Ohio. 1977- 1980 as an advisor for Junior Achievement with The Springfield City High School. 1980-1991 Big Brother/Big Sister volunteer, 1984 Big Brother of the year. 2013-Present, Board member of Sweetwater Valley Citizens for the Arts. 2013-2015 acted as Treasurer and now currently acting as President. 1973-1975 I was an advisor for Junior Achievement with an inner-city school in Dayton, Ohio. 1977-1980 he was an advisor for Junior Achievement with The Springfield City High School. 1980-1991, Big Brother/Big Sister volunteer, 1984 Big Brother of the year. 2013-Present, Board member of Sweetwater Valley Citizens for the Arts. Acted as Treasurer and currently acting as President.   2013-2015, Board member for Sweetwater Main Street, served as Secretary. 2020-present, Board member for MCFA, serving as Treasurer.   Currently volunteering at the MCFA Thrift store and as a previous dog owner has a soft spot for animals and their welfare.  
Deborah Smith
Secretary (Vonore)

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 as secretary on the BOD, Deborah is active at the Thrift Store and helps tracking MCFA membership records.  She and her 2 cats, Dixie and JJ (adopted from our shelter), love living in East TN

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.  

Tom Smith
(Coker Creek)

Tom retired from the construction field in 2008 and in 2009, moved to Tennessee. Shortly thereafter he got involved with the animal shelter. Since then, he has fostered, installed the electric gate, built the puppy play yard, and helped Jim Barrett build the puppy house and various other projects.

Bill Kelley
(Oak Ridge)

Bill worked for a MN company for 30 years in many positions (US & Asia) and volunteered with non-profits in CA & WA.  Have lived in TN for 3 years and worked with MCFA doing whatever was needed on the Board.

Marni Sorrick

Marni relocated to Monroe County in 2018 after retiring from commercial banking. She volunteers at the MCFA thrift store two days a week. Marni and her husband enjoy camping with friends and family, and live with two dogs, four geese, and a small flock of chickens.

Teresa Underwood
Executive Director (Knoxville)

Teresa is a native of East Tennessee with family ties that go back to the 1600’s.  She brought 25 years of experience with her to MCFA  working with nonprofits through fundraising, marketing, and events along with over 15 years in animal rescue (dogs, cats and potbelly pigs).  Her hobbies include working in the garden, hiking in nature, playing her guitar and living healthy through yoga and dance.  Her two amazing  fur-babies are Weetzie and Bijou.  They are 12 years old and have been with her since their rescue 4 years ago. Teresa also loves spending time with her 3 children and 3 grandchildren who also reside in East Tennessee.

Contact the Executive Director Teresa Underwood at tunderwood@monroecountyfriendsofanimals.org

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