Guy Bilyeu Tribute Fund And Celebration Established

Friday, September 20, 2013

After the sudden loss of the Humane Educational Society's executive director, Guy Bilyeu, many of his family, friends, co-workers and animal welfare advocates have taken to social media to praise the man some call, hero. He passed away Saturday, Sept. 14, at age 54.

"It was so abrupt," said Dr. Tai Federico, a local veterinarian and HES Board president since 2006.  "Basically, he was just as fit as the rest of us and he was just out for a bike ride. So the sudden nature of it is really the biggest shock."

Dr. Federico, recently appointed interim executive director, said Bilyeu turned HES into the successful operation it is today.     

"Leading the Humane Educational Society for 10 years, Guy was the key man who allowed HES to go from its darkest days to its brightest days in just a few years," said Dr. Federico in a recent TV interview.

In 2005 HES won Tennessee's "Best Shelter of the Year Award."  In 2006 HES was inducted into the Tennessee "Animal Hall of Fame" and received an honorable mention award from American Humane Association for "Best Practices."  In 2007, his high standards were recognized with an honorable mention from Better Business Bureau, receiving a "Torch Award for Ethics." 

Bilyeu started the Getting to Zero program to end euthanasia for "treatable, adoptable and trainable (TAT) shelter pets." He achieved that goal for HES in 2008.  It rallied the community, staff, volunteers, donors, funders and other animal welfare groups to help him make all of Hamilton County a "no-kill" zone for TAT shelter animals.   For the first time people came out in force to support Paws-in-the-Park which provides funds to ensure this work continues.  

"We will do anything to help animals," said Mr. Bilyeu, in a previous TV interview.  Everyone knew he meant it  by his actions, words and deeds.     

"He was just one of the most, warmest, genuine people I have ever known," said Dr. Federico.  "We are going to work as hard as we can to make sure his legacy, the good work he has done in Chattanooga continues and grows going forward."

 Mr. Bilyeu's family asked in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the Humane Educational Society in his honor. 

A celebration and tribute to Guy Bilyeu will be held at Paws in the Park on Oct. 13.  We want the community to "stand dog-strong for Guy" and party in the delight of all he has meant to each of us.

Because the outpouring of support is so strong, HES has set-up "The Guy Bilyeu Tribute Fund."  To donate click here



Collegedale Celebrates First National Night Out Tuesday

The city of Collegedale will be participating in its first annual National Night Out on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at Southern Adventist University's Campus at Thatcher South and Iles Drive. The Collegedale Police Department will be joined by the Tri-Community Fire Department, Hamilton County EMS, Hamilton County 911 and Southern Adventist University's Campus Safety.   The ... (click for more)

United Way Supporter Goes Over The Edge

When Over the Edge starts sending Chattanoogans over the top ofthe SunTrust Building Thursday, KMT Creative Group’s Digital Brand Strategist Noelle Omer will be among those viewing the city from a whole new angle.   KMT Creative Group is a corporate supporter of United Way of Greater Chattanooga and its mission of advancing the common good.  “Supporting ... (click for more)

Teen, 17, Charged With Aggravated Rape In Attack On 69-Year-Old North Chattanooga Runner

A 17-year-old has been charged with aggravated rape in connection with an attack on a 69-year-old runner in North Chattanooga on Monday morning. The teen was identified by Juvenile Court officials as Diontae Smartt. Authorities said he has given a confession. Smartt has a detention hearing Thursday at 12:30. The incident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. ... (click for more)

Berke Implements New Pay Plan For Chattanooga Fire Department

Mayor Andy Berke joined the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and leadership of the Chattanooga Fire Department to unveil the department’s new pay plan Wednesday afternoon. At a press conference at Fire Hall #1 on Main Street, Mayor Berke and IAFF Local 820 President Jack Thompson signed a memorandum of understanding which sets forth regular raises for fire ... (click for more)

Leaders Lead On Amendment 1

This week the Hamilton County Commission was faced with what I believe may be one of the most important votes they have cast during their tenure.  Granted, the vote was over a "mere" Resolution that resulted in no overt action or new law in our county.  But there are times when simply speaking Truth and taking a stand on a foundational Principle is paramount and as such ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)