City Commission Awards Tallahassee Non-Profit Dedicated to Aiding Animals

Tallahassee Non-Profit Dedicated to Helping Animals and Pet Owners awarded Over 60 Thousand Dollars

Be The Solution (BTS), a Tallahassee non-profit organization, has provided assistance for more than 10,000 spay and neuter surgeries in the last seven years. On September 22, BTS was granted $65,000 by the city and county to continue their program.

BTS president, Gerry Phipps, went in front of the commissioners to present her powerful research presentation. Within her research she found that the animal shelters were taking in 10,500 animals a year and fifty percent of them are being euthanized.

Before they were awarded the money by the commissioners, BTS was raising money on their own by fundraising, applying for grants and operating a volunteer ran boutique store they have located in the Tallahassee Mall.

“We just got to the point where we realized we’d have to cut some of our services if we didn’t ask for help,” Phipps said.

In July, they began writing letters to all the commissioners. Finally, on the last budget meeting of the year it was approved.

Kristen Dozier, Leon County Commissioner, thinks highly of Be The Solution.

“They have been working for years on their own and have done a phenomenal job.” says Dozier.

Be The Solution teams up with local veterinary clinics, doctors donate their time, and BTS pays for spay and neuter surgery.  On average, there are at least 25,000 feral (domesticated and then turned wild) cats in the Tallahassee area.

“If you just spay and neuter your pets, it stops,” said Phipps.

Twice a week BTS and its volunteers canvas “target zones” in Tallahassee, where the majority of stray dogs and cats are picked up by the animal shelter. The highest target zones they see are near the universities. Students often times let their pets go in the wild when they have to relocate.

Miracle Donaldson, a Tallahassee resident, never heard of the voucher program, but after hearing about it, is likely to get her dog neutered. “I think it’s a great idea, a very cheap alternative. I look forward to using them,” said Donaldson.

However, Phipps says their biggest challenge is men.

“Men don’t want to hear about their animal being castrated, because that’s what happens,” Phipps said.

The results of the program have been remarkable, the number of intakes and euthanized animals in the Leon County area have been dropping.

“It’s just a program that’s running really, really well – and is based off a really simple concept.” Phipps says.