About Found Animals

Found Animals is a privately-funded nonprofit dedicated to reversing the outcome for the three to four million animals euthanized each year in the United States. We work alongside the animal well-being community to achieve one goal: find the big ideas that advance the safety of animals in our homes, our shelters, and everywhere in between.

Our primary mission is the happiness and safety of animals. From microchips and registration, to responsible adoption initiatives and low-cost spay and neuter, we are committed to delivering practical solutions that will ensure the health and safety of dogs and cats everywhere.

At Found Animals, we’re on the animal’s side.


Since inception, Found Animals programs have helped over 1,000,000 pets and their people through adoption, spay and neuter, microchipping and other initiatives… Provided more than $12 million in funding for dozens of research projects worldwide in pursuit of nonsurgical sterilization technology… Granted over $9 million to animal welfare organizations to support low-cost spay and neuter initiatives and pet reunification technology… More than 15,000 shelter animals have found homes through our adoption promotions and Adopt & Shop retail stores… Received the support of over 400 volunteers who donated in excess of 45,000 hours of work. 

About Our Founder

Found Animals was founded in 2005 by Dr. Gary Michelson and support for its initiatives, including the $75 million dollar Michelson Prize and Grants, comes from the generous contributions of Gary and Alya Michelson. Dr. Michelson is a surgeon by training and an innovator at heart. His patented inventions have revolutionized spinal surgery and the treatment of spinal disorders worldwide. Widely recognized for technological contributions that have helped millions of patients, Dr. Michelson is now retired from practice and focused on philanthropy.

Gary and Alya Michelson have diverse philanthropic interests. In addition to Found Animals, the Michelson family supports non-profit organizations focused on education and medical research. Twenty Million Minds is bringing higher education into the digital age while the Michelson Medical Research Foundation supports the next generation of scientific innovators. MMRF has supported researchers and practitioners in breaking new ground and improving existing treatments with over $100 million dollars in donations. These MMRF grants have supported worthy research that ranges from innovations in the treatment of spinal injuries to the development of vaccines for infectious diseases. Based on a belief that collaboration between engineers, scientists, and physicians will result in better solutions for patients, the Michelson Medical Research Foundation recently donated $50 million dollars to the University of Southern California to fund the upcoming USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience.

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