Found Animals Foundation: Grants for Animals & Wildlife

OVERVIEW: Founded by billionaire Gary Michelson, the Found Animals Foundation aims to reduce the number of euthanized animals through adoption, microchip identification, and affordable sterilization. Its Michelson Prize and Grants support research in pursuit of non-surgical sterility for female and male cats and dogs.

IP TAKE: Annual Michelson Grants award up to $250,000 towards research. As well, should someone come up with the one-dose, non-surgical sterilization solution that Found Animals is looking for first, there's $25 million waiting in the wings. It's a little tougher to figure out how organizations apply for non-research funds.

PROFILE: Los Angeles-based Gary Michelson is an orthopedic and spinal surgeon turned inventor, investor and philanthropist. In 2005, he became a billionaire when he reached a $1.35 billion settlement with medical device giant Medtronic over patents. 

Michelson has several key interests in his philanthropy and several philanthropic vehicles to carry these interests out. One of those is Found Animals Foundation, which is focused on "reversing the outcome for the three to four million animals euthanized each year in the United States." The foundation focuses on areas such as pet identification through microchipping, responsible adoption, and low-cost spray and neutering. According to its website, the foundation has provided millions in funding toward nonsurgical sterlization technology, and low-cost spay and neuter initiatives.

Recent funding towards spay and neuter efforts have gone to FixNation Inc in Woodland Hills, and Kitty Bungalow Charm School in Los Angeles. Recent microchip funding has gone to the AngelDogs Foundation in Santa Clarita, and Augusta Animal Services in Georgia. The foundation seems to favor programs in Los Angeles and the greater Southern California area, but outfits across the country have received support. To read more about them, click here.

The foundation's Michelson Prize and Grants program offers Michelson Grants of up to $250,000 per year for up to three years of funding for research in pursuit of a "single-dose, permanent, nonsurgical sterilization product or technology for use in male and female dogs and cats."

Michelson Grants is an international program open to any entity, "including academic institutions, biotechnology firms, research institutes, and well-qualified individuals or groups." However, there are a number of criteria that applicants should heed when applying.


  • Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director, Found Animals Foundation
  • Shirley D. Johnston, Scientific Director, Michelson Prize and Grants
  • Becky Cyr, Program Manager, Michelson Prize and Grants