Grant ID: 1415
Title of Proposal: Community Outreach
Agency Type: Non-Profit
Total Funding Requested: $25,000.00
Check Payable To: Be The Solution, Inc.
Application Information
Demographics
Name of Applicant Agency: Be The Solution, Inc. Website Address: bethesolution.us
Person Submitting Proposal: Sarah Haney Position: Executive Director
Person Submitting Proposal Email Address: bethesolution.inc@gmail.com
Agency Head: Sarah Haney Agency Head Email: bethesolution.inc@gmail.com
Organization Business Address: 1400 Village Square Blvd.#3-306 City: Tallahassee
State: Florida Zip: 32312
Phone (xxx-xxx-xxxx): 850-545-2043 Fax:
Cell: 850-524-0303    
 
Agency Details

Date of 501(c)(3) Incorporation:
Dates of Last Fiscal Year: Begin: 06/01/12    End: 05/31/13
Organization Income in Last Fiscal Year: $142,786.00
Organization Expenses in Last Fiscal Year: $231,022.00
Number of Paid Employees: Full Time: 0  Part Time: 4
Number of Active Volunteers: 20
Total Volunteer Hours per Week: 44.00
How did you learn of the 2009  Florida Animal Friend grant competition? previous grant recipient
Year(s) of previous Florida Animal Friend grants (if applicable):
Previous Florida Animal Friend Applications: Years Funded:  Year(s) denied/incomplete:
Auto-Generated (Previous Applications):
Grant #Proposal YearProposal TitleStatus
2112011Spay and Neuter Student Pets Today!Denied
14152014Community OutreachFunded
14722015Community Outreach ProjectDenied
16712016Caring for CatsDenied
Describe your Organization:
Services Provided Organization Structure:











List your current board of directors:

NameTitlePhoneOccupation
Ann CampMember850-385-1023none
George SimmonsMember850-385-5141Veterianrian
Gerry PhippsPresident850-545-5145none
Sarah ButtersVice President850-425-5648Attorney
Tim PhippsTreasurer850-562-6030none

Applicant Qualifications
For your organization, in the last complete fiscal year:
0  cats and 0  dogs were admitted.
0   cats and  0   dogs were adopted.
0   cats and  0    dogs were euthanized.
1542   cats and  1309    dogs were sterilized.
  
Briefly describe your animal programs:



 
If your program performs adoptions, are all animals sterilized before adoption? 
Yes
If not all, what percentage of animals are not currently sterilized before adoption? 
If not all, how are animals selected for sterilization before adoption? 
If not all, describe your sterilization policies and procedures for assuring sterilization after adoption:
 
Give additional background information on your organization's programs as they relate to this application and the qualifications of the personnel who will be in charge of this program. Show that you have the ability to carry out this program. 
Be The Solution, Inc. (BTS) has a spay/neuter voucher program where we distribute spay/neuter vouchers from our Tallahassee Mall store location, at outreach events throughout the county, and by going door to door. These vouchers are distributed by our voucher coordinator who sets up all vouchers distribution times, our Transport driver who drives our transport van for pets without transportation, our Director who oversees everything, many volunteers, and promoted by our PR/Marketing person. Last year BTS completed 2,851 surgeries with 70% of vouchers distributed being redeemed for surgery. This sets us apart from other voucher programs as this is a very high redemption rate. This year we have a goal to complete 4,000 surgeries to lower the intakes to our local shelter even more than we have been seeing over the last few years. There are 17 participating veterinarian hospitals in our program who perform these surgeries on cats and dogs at an average price of $54 per surgery. Two of these vet hospitals will take an unlimited number of our vouchers each month which means we have an unlimited surgery capacity. As long as funding is in place, we have the staff to educate and motivate area residents to sterilize their pets and to distribute vouchers. We also have the vet capacity to get the surgeries completed. Currently, our organization's greatest need is for additional funding to help low income and poverty residents of Leon County and the direct surrounding counties that contribute to intakes at our Leon County Animal Services Center. These residents of the direct surrounding areas do not have assistance in their own small counties, so they are constantly coming to BTS to receive assistance. These are residents that do not fit into any of our other grant funding categories, but desperately need the help.
If you currently have a program for sterilization of cats and/or dogs, describe your current level of funding and productivity and why additional resources are needed? 
Currently, BTS has funding for 2,648 surgeries with a goal of completing 4,000 surgeries in 2014. Funding has been secured through grants for pets in a high intake area, dogs only, feral/free roaming cats, and funds raised through our thrift store, fundraising, and personal donations. All of these funds total $143,000 leaving $73,000 more needed to fund the remaining 1,352 to reach our goal of sterilizing 4,000 animals in 2014 goal. The people we are currently having to turn away because we are lacking funds for them are the low income residents of Tallahassee and the surrounding counties that contribute to intakes at our Leon County Animal Services Center(shelter) that do not fit into one of the above grant categories. These residents that we need funds to help are required to give us proof of low income status through their most recent income tax return, EBT/Food stamp card, disability check stub, or unemployment check stub.

Target Population
Geographical target area (name of city, county, zip codes, geographical Information service (GIS), etc.):
son Counties 
Total human population in target area: 375371 
Percent of residents living below poverty in target area: 21.3 
Estimated number of pet cats in target area (human population divided by 3.3): 113749 
Estimated number of pet dogs in target area (human population divided by 4.0): 93843 
Estimated number of feral cats in target area (human population divided by 6.0): 62562 
Number of cats admitted to animal control shelters in the target area last year (if known) 3549 
Number of dogs admitted to animal control shelters in the target area last year (if known) 3719 
Number of cats euthanized in animal control shelters in the target area last year (if known) 2102 
Number of dogs euthanized in animal control shelters in the target area last year (if known) 1153 
Please explain if you believe your target area animal population is significantly different than above.
The above is probably a correct estimate.
Please explain what you believe are the most substantial sources of dog and cat overpopulation in the target area:
 The most substantial sources of dog and cat overpopulation are low income residents who are also uneducated about the need for sterilizing their pet. We have learned over the past few years how to go into these people's neighborhoods and educate them about the benefits and reasons for the spay or neuter surgery. Sometimes these people don't even know why they would ever do that to their animal, but then listen and learn and are wiling to do it with our help. Others know they should do it, but don't even have enough money to put food on the table for their family so they cannot possibly pay for the surgery them self.
What kinds of spay/neuter services are currently available in the target area and in what ways are these resources currently insufficient to meet community needs?
There is a discounted veterinary hospital that will perform the surgery for less than a regular vet hospital, groups called TREATS and ASF(Animal Services Foundation) that give out about 20 spay/neuter vouchers per month, and a group called IMON that helps with TNR. Other than that, Be The Solution is the only other organization that helps with sterilizing pets when the owners cannot afford to do so. When we were part of our community ASPCA partnership, the ASPCA determined that in order to solve the pet overpopulation problem in our area, we would need to have a community total of about 7,000 animals sterilized each year. The organizations mentioned above will complete around 500 surgeries this year, which leaves the rest to BTS to fund. Our goal this year is 4,000. Currently, BTS has funding for approximately 2,648 surgeries in 2014 which makes a baseline for our community of 3,148. This leaves us shy of our goal. Funds from Florida Animal Friends would help us get closer to reaching our goal for 2014. We plan to complete more surgeries each year until we reach the tipping point with the overpopulation problem and intakes to our shelter.
Florida Animal Friend is highly supportive of proposals that are focused on animal populations that are identified as substantial sources of dog or cat overpopulation rather than being diluted over too broad of a geographic area or diverse animal populations. Describe the specific target animal population of the spay/neuter project proposed for this grant:

  
 
TNR Managed Colony Feral Cat Program/Community Cats (Free-Roaming and/or Owned) Program
Define the precise boundaries of the colony or targeted area, including estimate of square miles.
 
What is the criteria used for determining the target area(s) and/or eligibility for this program?
 
Describe whether the targeted area is rural, suburban, or urban. Is it commercial, residential, agricultural, or a designated special land use?
 
Estimated number of cats in the target colony area :  
Estimated number that are currently sterilized: 
Projected reduction after utilizing the grant:  
 
For TNR program, describe the ability to maintain lifelong care for remaining cats, commitment level of volunteers/organizations, etc.
 
Do current city/county ordinances address TNR or free-roaming cats?


Please explain what is allowed:

(NOTE: FAF will not fund any program this is inconsistent with local ordinances.)
 
For TNR program, list any groups or government agencies who support this TNR effort:
 
Describe any effort to lessen the negative impact on local wildlife.
 
Describe efforts that will be made to mitigate current or potential nuisance issues.
 
Will the cats be ear-tipped?
Will the cats be microchipped?
 
Provide any additional information that will help the grant selection committee understand how this program will operate to achieve its goals.
 
Objectives
What do you hope to accomplish with these funds (objectives should be specific and quantifiable)?
With $25,000 we expect to spay or neuter 463 cats or dogs at an average surgery price of $54 each. This will put us 463 more pets closer to our goal of sterilizing 4,000 pets this year.
How does this program increase the number of sterilization surgeries above the existing baseline?
Currently, BTS has funding for approximately 2,648 surgeries in 2014. This leaves us shy of our goal of 4,000 surgeries. This additional funding would increase the existing baseline by 463 surgeries and help complete more surgeries than ever in our community!
Methods
What criteria will you use to determine eligibility for your program? 
For an applicant to qualify for a spay/neuter voucher for this low income part of the BTS program they would have to provide proof of low income status by providing a picture ID and any one of the following: -Most current income tax return showing less than $25,000 per year for a single return or less then $40,000 per year for a joint return. -EBT/Food stamp card -Disability check stub -Unemployment check stub
How will you advertise the program? Explain how the advertising will reach the target audience.
Our PR/Marketing Director promotes all BTS programs and events. For this program specifically, she will add the information on our website's voucher page, run Facebook blasts and ads, include in our constant contact emails, notify our community animal groups and shelter so they can spread the word, create PSA's to run on two different radio stations, create and post flyers in local businesses in these low income areas, add to our door hangers and flyers that we are already handing out door to door, and create a press release announcing the grant as soon as we have confirmation the grant is received.
How will you address barriers to full use of the program such as transportation, illiteracy, and cultural hurdles? 
BTS has a transport program that already exists for pets whose owners have no transportation to get them to the vet for surgery. Residents receiving assistance through this low income target program would have access to use this transport van. As for illiteracy, each applicant has to be approved by a BTS employee or volunteer so if they cannot read, then the person approving the application can read it to them and help assist in completing the application. Cultural hurdles are always an issue that we have to deal with. This is where the education part of our program comes into play. The residents from cultures that have not been educated about the need for the spay or neuter surgery, have misconceptions about it, and do not realize the benefits to their pets and themselves have to be educated by our staff and volunteers in a respectful and nonjudgemental way. We have seen first hand that when we take this approach to talking with these residents, they are willing to listen and eventually most of them will take action and complete the surgery.
Does this project involve the transportation of animals by someone other than the client? If so, describe the vehicles, methods for confinement, personnel training, liability releases used to assure the safety of the animals and handlers.
Voucher recipients in this program will be able to use our BTS Spay and Neuter Commuter if necessary. This van is a GMC Cargo Van that was used by the City of Tallahassee Animal Control Officers in transporting animals so it is fully equipped with cages and all necessary supplies for transporting cats and dogs. Our transport driver has been transporting animals for over 15 years and has been driving this BTS Spay and Neuter Commuter for three months already. All pet owners are required to sign liability waivers before having their pet transported and complete and sign all veterinary intake forms that would normally be completed at the vet hospital upon arrival for surgery.
Veterinary Services
 

What arrangements have you made with veterinarians to perform the surgeries? 
We currently have 17 veterinarian hospitals participating in our voucher program. Each hospital has a signed agreement with BTS stating that they will accept our vouchers for a set surgery price which is $74 plus $5 copay from client for a dog spay, $60 plus a $5 copay from a client for a dog neuter, $49 for a cat spay plus a $5 copay from client, and $34 for a cat neuter plus a $5 copay from client. BTS issues the voucher and the pet owner makes their own appointment with the vet and uses the voucher within 30 days before it expires. Attached are the veterinarian agreement letters from the two main private practices that perform the most and unlimited amount of surgeries for our program. These are the hospitals that will perform all surgeries for this low income target Community Outreach grant. Each veterinary hospital will perform an average of 20 surgeries per month for these target pets.
Are they:  
 

Veterinary Practices
Practice NameAddressCityStateZipPhoneLead Practice
Animal Aid2270 Boone Blvd.TallahasseeFlorida32303850-386-4148
North Florida Animal Hospital2701 North Monroe StreetTallahasseeFlorida32303850-385-5141

Fee Range
What is the fee range to be paid for spay and neuter and what is the distribution to be paid by the client vs. the grant program? Keep in mind that Florida Animal Friend grant funds may only be used for costs directly associated with sterilization surgery (including anesthesia and pain control) and not for other items such as vaccines, testing, licensing, and capital purchases.
Amount Paid by Client Amount Paid by Project Total Amount
Range for Male Cats
Range for Female Cats
Range for Male Dogs
Range for Female Dogs
Please check each item below to indicate additional services offered at the time of surgery, whether the client is required to pay for them, and if so what the fee is. For example, if an examination is required for surgery but is not charged to the client it would be marked: Required  Yes, Fee to client No
Required, Optional, or Not Offered Fee to Client?
Examination   
Rabies Vaccination if Due   
Other Vaccination if Due   
Pain Medication   
Parasite Medication   
HW Testing   
Feline Leuk/FIV
County License   
Ear tipping   
Microchip
Other   

None of the anticipated grant funds can be used for any of the above services, except for pain medication.
If necessary, please explain the procedures and fees described above: 
The only required fee is the rabies vaccination. All other fees are optional to the client. The above prices are discounted by the vet hospital for our voucher recipients only. They recognize our clients are low income and in need of assistance so they are willing to cut prices on these items for them.  
Is this a voucher program? Yes
 
If so, how will you assure compliance with the program?
For the past two consecutive years, BTS has had a 70% compliance rate on all vouchers distributed. We attribute this to the education and follow up calls. We educate each recipient by talking about the benefits and need for this surgery at the time the person is receiving the voucher. We also make a follow up call two weeks after each voucher is distributed to make sure the person is going to use the voucher before it expires in the thirty day period.

 
For your voucher program, how have you determined the capacity of the veterinarians listed above to handle the projected capacity?
All but two of our veterinarian hospitals have a set number of surgeries they will perform each month. They range from 2 per month to 20 per month. As we distribute vouchers, we keep as spreadsheet on the number sent to each hospital so we can track the numbers. The two that have no limit have specifically stated that they will "take as many surgeries as you can send to us."  
 
Will you have the ability to report the number of vouchers issued and the percentage that result in S/N surgeries?
Yes. We currently have an extensive data base of all vouchers distributed including pet owner's name, address, phone number, number of pets owned, pet's name, pet's age, pet's gender, type of surgery, and source of funding for the voucher. Once the vet invoices BTS for the surgery, this data base is then marked for that voucher as completed. We compile data on this at the completion of each month for grant reporting purposes and to report to our board of directors.

 
Community Collaboration
To assure the success of your program, are there any local groups (such as rescue groups, animal control agencies, TNR groups, local businesses, local media, social service agencies,etc.) other than your organization and your cooperating veterinarians who are committed to assist?
 
 
Please list them and detail their level of involvement with the proposed effort.
NameLevel of Involvement
City of Tallahassee The City of Tallahassee assists by having the city animal control officers distribute BTS vouchers to residents in need when they are out in the field. The city also assists by having their Director of Parks and Recreation, which is the department the shelter is under in Tallahassee, hold monthly meetings of certain animal advocates so we all stay in communication and assist each other with any current issues.
Cumulus BroadcastingThis business donates half of the value of radio ads on all of their radio stations.
Gadsden County Humane SocietyGadsden County Humane Society refers people to our dog grant and our regular voucher program. We were able to assist approximately 800 Gadsden County residents in 2013.
IMONIMON (It's Meow or Never) is a TNR group that assists residents in the TNR process. They assist our "community cat" recipients in this process when needed.
Jefferson County Humane SocietyJefferson County Humane Society refers people to our program when in need of financial assistance with the spay or neuter surgery.
Leon County Animal ControlLeon County Animal Control Director Andrew Seltz has his officers distribute BTS vouchers when there is a present need in the field. They distribute an average of 40 vouchers per month. They have also let our volunteers ride along in the field to observe the most needy areas for assistance with personal pets and have allowed us to educate and distribute vouchers as we go. Director Andrew Seltz holds monthly meetings for all animal groups in the Leon and surrounding county areas.
Leon County Animal Services CenterWe are community partners with our local shelter. We distribute vouchers from the shelter location on the first of each month, they refer people to us when in need, they provide all intake and other data as needed to us on a monthly basis, let us partner with them at their outreach events such as rabies clinics where we locate our staff and volunteers to distribute vouchers, and provide their volunteers to assist in our outreach efforts.
Leon County Humane SocietyWe are community partners with the Leon County Humane Society. They distribute our vouchers from their location, have information about BTS on their phone hotline, and are always available to assist in any way.
Minuteman PressThis printing company discounts all printed materials for us including brochures, flyers, posters, door hangers, and our vouchers.
Opus BroadcastingThis business donates half of the value of their radio ads that BTS runs on all of their radio stations.
Tallahassee MagazineThis magazine runs articles on BTS once or twice every year.
Wakulla County Humane SocietyWakulla County Humane Society refers people to our program to receive vouchers.

 
Other Information
Provide any additional information that will help the grant selection committee understand how the program will operate to achieve its goals.
 There is an overwhelming need for assistance to low income residents in the Leon and directly surrounding counties. These residents from Leon and the three counties adjacent to Leon contributed to the 7,453 intakes to our local animal shelter last year. We are currently having to turn people away from these areas because of lack of funding. If BTS receives this additional funding, we will advertise through methods mentioned and word of mouth from our partner and other animal organizations. We will also get into their areas through outreach events and tabling so we make a clear presence and aid in the process for these people to obtain a voucher.
Budget
Total number of sterilization surgeries projected:
Cats: 232    Dogs:  231 
Total budget requested (Budget should not exceed $25,000): $25,000.00 
Average cost/surgery projected: $54.00 
Describe any expenses that are not included in the grant and how they will be paid for (for example, vaccines, microchipping, ear notching, etc.):
Any expenses other than the direct exam and spay/neuter surgery cost will have to be covered by the client. The client will be responsible for the $5 copay for surgery and the rabies vaccination for $5 or $10. The vet will discount this vaccination to $5 if the client expresses no more means to pay. All other services are optional at the client's expense.
 
Describe any other funding sources for this program, i.e. other grants, targeted fundraising efforts, budget allocation, etc.
BTS does not have any other grants specifically to cover these low income residents. If these residents do not have a large dog, a community cat, or live in our targeted high intake part of the county, then we have to use fundraising dollars to fund the surgery. We plan to apply fundraising dollars earned to these targeted low income residents in Leon, Gadsden, Jefferson, and Wakulla counties, but currently we do not have enough to cover the great need.
 
What percent of the total cost of the program would this projected grant cover?
50
Timeline
All projects must be completed within 12 months of receipt of funding.
Projected start date: 08/01/14/     Projected end date: 07/31/15
 
Unexpended funds
Any unexpended funds must be refunded to Florida Animal Friend within 30 days of the end of the project.

Requests for extensions
Requests for time extensions are discouraged and not often granted. If it is imperative to request an extension, such request must be made in writing at least 30 days prior to the end of the project. It is FAF’s policy to seldom grant more than a 30-60 day extension.

Failure to submit reports and requests within the required time period will impact your agency’s future grant applications.
 
Future Funding to Sustain Public Spay/Neuter
*Explain how the organization plans to fund this program in the future. Having sustainable plans including other grants, local donations and other services generating revenue enhances the chances of receiving this grant.
Be The Solution, Inc. has established four ways to maintain and fund our spay/neuter initiative. They include fundraising and local donations, donations from our thrift store, city and county tax dollars, and grants. BTS holds one major fundraiser annually and two to three other smaller ones during the course of the year. We also have mass mail outs two times each year requesting personal donations. Our biggest fundraiser is called Tally Top Pet and is an online pet photo contest where the pet with the most votes wins the Top Pet title winning a $1,000 prize package and a ride on our Springtime Tallahassee float in March. We have been doing this fundraiser for four years now and it alone has helped spay or neuter 800 to 1,000 animals each year and is growing every year we hold it. This contest not only brings in funds, but also raises awareness about spay/neuter and our program as it is advertised and promoted all throughout our area. BTS also has a thrift store that was started, and continues to be run, solely by a group of volunteers that named it the BTS Boutique. It is located in the Tallahassee Mall where we meet with the public to distribute our spay/neuter vouchers. We take in donated items and then turn them around and give them away for whatever price the customer wants to donate to BTS. In a little over a year since opening the store, the Boutique has helped fund almost 300 surgeries and is continuing to grow and bring in more funds every month. BTS, in collaboration with other animal organizations in the Tallahassee area, is working to get our city and county to pass a budget amendment for a small portion of three to five dollars of each resident’s tax dollars annually to be given to an animal welfare fund to be distributed according to each organization’s specialty. This has been successful in other communities and would make a huge impact on our community’s animal welfare as a whole. Lastly, BTS writes for grant support from charitable organizations. We have been in an ASPCA partnership, have received grant funding for dogs only, grants for low income residents, grants for targeted high shelter intake areas, also funds for community cats only. Unlike other voucher programs throughout the country, BTS has been able to really make a difference here in the Tallahassee area with unlimited vet support and a steady 70% completion rate on all vouchers distributed!
Promotion of Florida Animal Friend Spay/Neuter License Plate
*Applicants selected for funding are expected to publicize their grant in support of their spay/neuter program and promote the sale of the Animal Friend license plate via press releases, newsletters, website links, social media, etc. Please describe your plan to promote the Florida Animal Friend Spay/Neuter License Plate. Grantees are required to submit documentation of promotional endeavors with their final report.
BTS's PR/Marketing Director promotes all of our programs and this would be another element to our program's promotions. We will create a press release once the grant is awarded to advertise for voucher distribution and license plate purchases, include the ad for purchasing the license plate in our constant contact email, website, facebook ads and blasts. We will also advertise the sale of license plates at our Tallahassee Mall store location where we distribute vouchers and have our thrift store.