OVERVIEW: The Found Animals Foundation aims to reduce the number of euthanized animals through adoption, microchip identification, affordable sterilization, and the study of reproductive biology. Its Michelson Prize and Michelson Grants support research in pursuit of non-surgical sterility for female and male cats and dogs.
IP TAKE: Grantmaking predominantly supports research on reproductive biology. In addition, should someone create a one-dose, non-surgical sterilization solution that Found Animals seeks, there's $25 million waiting in the wings.
PROFILE: The Found Animals Foundation, established in 2008, seeks to "save pets and enrich lives" and to reverse "the outcome for the 3 to 4 million animals euthanized each year in the United States." It was founded by Los Angeles-based Gary Michelson, an orthopedic and spinal surgeon turned inventor, investor and philanthropist. In 2005, he became a billionaire after reaching a $1.35 billion settlement with medical device giant Medtronic over patents. The foundation focuses on research, pet identification through microchipping, responsible adoption and low-cost spay and neuter programs.
The foundation's investments in research include two major grants. Michelson Grants in Reproductive Biology offer 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." According to the foundation's website, it has approved "over 30 percent of proposals submitted" and committed over "$15 million to nearly 40 approved projects across the globe." Similarly, the foundation's Michelson Prize offers $25 million to the first organization to provide Found Animals with a "low-cost, permanent, nonsurgical sterilant for male and female cats and dogs." The prize-winning product must be single-dose, permanent and nonsurgical. Applicants should study the detailed list of requirements for both awards.
Past Found Animals grantees include FixNation Inc. in Woodland Hills, and Kitty Bungalow Charm School in Los Angeles. Recent microchip funding has supported the AngelDogs Foundation in Santa Clarita, and Augusta Animal Services in Georgia. The foundation seems to prioritize programs in Los Angeles and the greater Southern California area, but supports organizations and individuals around the world. To read more about them, click here.
Michelson Grants are 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