Paws in the park continues in memory of Executive Director - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Paws in the park continues in memory of Executive Director

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The "Paws in the Park" is an annual dog walk event that benefits the Humane Educational Society, to help animals get new homes. While many people showed up in support, the event was still missing a very special person.

"It's left a big hole in our hearts and we've had to muddle through," said Tai Federico, Interim Executive Director for HES.

After the sudden loss of the HES's executive director, Guy Bilyeu, Tai Federico says it hasn't been the same.

"He was with us for over a decade and he took our facility from one of the worst in the southeast, to one of the best," said Federico.

"Paws in the Park" was only one of many events Bilyeu dedicated himself to; all to help animals in need.

"It's been hard for us, not only emotionally, but physically because guy did so much of the leg work for this event," said Federico.    

Although he wasn't there in person, Federico tells Channel 3 his memory will live on.  

"The event is dedicated in his memory, for all of the good work he did for the humane society," said Federico.

Federico says they hope to continue the legacy he left behind.

"The best thing we can do is find someone to fill his shoes to keep doing the good work that he was doing here in Hamilton County," said Federico.

Federico says it's an ongoing process. They've had many applicants and will start the interview process this week to fill the executive director position.

The Humane Society hoped to raise $40,000 today.

All of the money will go towards operation costs and special programs, like getting cats and dogs spayed and neutered, but ultimately to find animals the homes they need.

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