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September 19, 2013

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It is said that dog is man’s best friend, and for the past decade in Chattanooga, Guy Bilyeu has been dog’s best friend. 

While serving as the executive director of the Humane Educational Society in Chattanooga since 2003, Bilyeu has been one of the foremost proponents for animal advocacy in Hamilton County. Under Bilyeu’s leadership, HES was named Animal Shelter of the Year in 2005 and was inducted into Tennessee Animal Hall of Fame in 2006. Through his efforts and advocacy, Bilyeu has saved and improved the lives of thousands of animals.

Bilyeu’s ever-present smile and seemingly unending energy for life was the engine that drove HES.  Listening to him talk about new developments at HES such as ending euthanasia for treatable, adoptable, and trainable animals in 2008, or going cage-less in 2010, his passion for his furry friends was contagious.

Bilyeu passed away Saturday afternoon after suffering injuries from a bicycle accident days earlier. His impact in the Chattanooga area will be long remembered, and he will be very hard to replace. Although friends and loved ones on two legs mourn the loss of Guy, it is the ones on four legs that will miss him most. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Humane Educational Society, 212 North Highland Park Avenue, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37404.

—Keith King

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