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FOUND ANIMALS’ HISTORIC MONTH HIGHLIGHTED BY MICHELSON PRIZE & GRANTS’ FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY AND MILESTONE $18 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR SPAY NEUTER INITIATIVES

Non-Profit Continues to Innovate in Support of Its Mission to Decrease Euthanasia in Animal Shelters

- Found Animals (www.FoundAnimals.org), an independently-funded non-profit working to find the big ideas that reduce euthanasia in shelters, is celebrating the five year anniversary of its Michelson Prize & Grants initiative by announcing that it has approved $15 million in grant funding since the program’s launch. Reaching this milestone brings Found Animals’ total investment to more than $18 million in international, national and local grant funding for spay neuter initiatives.

Michelson Prize & Grants, Found Animals’ most innovative program, incentivizes and supports researchers to develop an alternative to traditional spay neuter. The objective: a low-cost, single-dose, nonsurgical sterilant for cats and dogs. This product would allow shelters and animal welfare organizations to address populations of animals not currently served by surgical spay neuter procedures due to barriers of cost and transportation, and limited availability of trained veterinarians.

Of the $18 million granted by Found Animals, $15 million was awarded directly via the Michelson Prize & Grants to more than 30 nationally and internationally esteemed research teams, including those at Yale University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania. These teams are critical in the path toward finding a nonsurgical sterilant for cats and dogs, which is a key to eliminating shelter euthanasia of healthy, adoptable pets.

Michelson Prize & Grants is a groundbreaking program that will one day lead to an alternative to traditional spay neuter,” said Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director at Found Animals. “In the meantime, we are dedicated to supporting low-cost spay and neuter, as it remains the most effective form of birth control for cats and dogs; but dramatic reductions in shelter intake will only come from investing in research to find new avenues to minimize unwanted litters. We are proud to spearhead action on this critical issue.”

As a national leader in advocating for more access to low-cost spay neuter, Found Animals continues to invest in programs aimed at reducing shelter intake. With support from its partners, Found Animals is launching several new initiatives, including:

· Hosting the North American Spay Neuter Conference in partnership with PetSmart Charities, to bring together animal care professionals to share best practices around spay neuter. Held August 14-16, 2014, in Austin, TX, the conference will be the largest of its kind in North America, with attendance estimated around 700.

· Piloting a program with Los Angeles-based Downtown Dog Rescue to provide support to owners at risk of surrendering their pet to a shelter. Almost 50 percent of dogs surrendered to the South Los Angeles shelter was due to lack of access to, and education of, low-cost spay neuter services. Because of referrals to low-cost spay neuter clinics and vouchers for low-income families close to 1,000 dogs have remained with their families due to the program.

· Redesigning the Michelson Prize & Grants program website, making it easier for grantees to identify advances in sterilization research and track the progress of ongoing projects. The new website can be accessed through this link: www.MichelsonPrizeandGrants.org.

“While shelter intake has been decreasing nationally over the past five years, thanks in large part to heightened awareness of spay neuter, 90 percent of animals entering shelters are still unfixed. While we are beginning to see dividends from the investments we have made over the past six years, we know that there is still much work to be done to prevent unwanted litters from entering shelters,” continued Gilbreath.

Found Animals has directly supported the growth of more than 235,000 new spay neuter surgeries in its hometown of Los Angeles since 2008. Through more than $3 million in grant funding to key local partners, including Spay4LA, FixNation, the Spay Neuter Project of Los Angeles (SNP LA) and Angel Dogs Foundation, low-cost spay neuter services are more accessible than ever before. Over the next five years, Found Animals is committed to maintaining spay neuter capacity at 50,000 surgeries per year, up from an average of 40,000 per year.

About Found Animals Foundation, Inc.

Found Animals is an independently funded nonprofit that works to achieve one goal: find the big ideas that help reduce the number of pets euthanized in shelters each year. Led by business and medical professionals, we develop innovative solutions that address the underlying causes of shelter euthanasia. Programs address pet adoption, low-cost spay neuter services, pet microchipping and registration, and sterilization research. By offering a wealth of educational resources to pet owners and animal care professionals, Found Animals advances the health and safety of animals everywhere. Support for Found Animals and its initiatives come from the generous contributions of Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson. Follow our progress online at www.FoundAnimals.org, or via social media at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

For more information on the Michelson Prize & Grants: www.MichelsonPrizeandGrants.org

Information provided by : www.konnect-pr.com

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