2017 was a wonderful year for the Michelson Found Animals team and we wanted to share some of our highlights. Our programs are so diverse – some local, some national, some philanthropy, and some social enterprise – that we find most folks don’t know all that we do to support our mission of Saving Pets, Enriching Lives. All told, over a million pets and their people were helped by Found Animals programs last year and we look forward to seeing that number continue to grow. None of this would be possible without the support of our generous founder Dr. Gary Michelson and his wife Alya Michelson or the phenomenal staff, volunteers and partners who give their hard work and their hearts to support animals.
Microchip & Registry
Shelters from California to Florida and everywhere in between are using our affordable microchips and our free Found Animals Microchip Registry. This complete system is designed to make it as fast and easy as possible for shelters and owners to get lost pets home quickly. This social enterprise makes microchips affordable and accessible for even smaller organizations and with over 40% client growth in 2017 we are happy to report that more and more people and organizations than ever are maximizing microchips to protect pets!
Saving Pets Challenge
In May, organizations all over the United States raised over $1.5 Million in 31 days to support life saving programs in their communities – including over $150,000 in grants from Found Animals. What makes the Saving Pets Challenge unique is that participating organizations can raise money for ANY lifesaving program – no restrictions! Last year’s winners include a transport program, a cat foster/adoption group, a TNR group, a breed rescue, and a spay neuter clinic. We know that there is no one size fits all solution for pet homelessness so we are proud to provide this funding opportunity for diverse programs.
Non Surgical Sterilization
Our worldwide Michelson Prize and Grant Program continues to fund research on products that will revolutionize how we manage pet populations. To date we have committed $15M in funding towards the search for a single dose non surgical sterilant for cats and dogs. While a product is still several years away, talented researchers at universities and biotech companies are hard at work and and there was very promising progress in 2017.
LOS ANGELES PROGRAMS
Adoption & Fostering
Our Adopt & Shop program pulls at risk pets from several Southern California municipal sheltering agencies and places them in new homes, along with offering retail pet products and services. Between our two locations in Culver City and Lakewood over 2,400 pets were adopted last year! As is the case for many communities, underage kittens are still the shelter population most at risk in the Los Angeles area so we put a LOT of resources into our kitten foster program. We are very proud to report that over 1,400 of our 2017 adoptions (over half!) were graduates of our kitten foster program. Some of the cute little squirts even found homes via the Catty Wagon – our custom mobile kitten adoption vehicle.
Spay & Neuter
Since surgical spay and neuter is still the best option, Found Animals is a generous supporter of local non-profits that offer subsidized low cost and free services – including return to field programs for free roaming cats. In 2017 we spent nearly $1 Million supporting spay neuter groups in Southern California including Stray Cat Alliance, FixNation, Spay4LA, and the Spay Neuter Project of Los Angeles (SNP LA). These groups provided a combined total of over 45,000 surgeries this year alone!
We know that sometimes the most powerful and rewarding option for a pet is to keep in in the home it already has so we invest in programs that support struggling pet owners to keep the animals they love. Last year we granted over $170,000 to support Downtown Dog Rescue, Home Dog LA, and The Rescue Train in operating owner support programs at local shelters. In 2017, these programs kept over 4,500 beloved family pets safe at home.
All of our local programs are made possible by our incredible VOLUNTEERS! We may be biased, but we think Found Animals has the most wonderful and talented volunteers ever. Nearly 1,000 people (many of them teenagers!) donated almost 80,000 hours of service to support our programs in 2017.
WHAT’S IN STORE FOR 2018?
We have big plans for this year with our sights set on helping even more pets and their people. Registration for the 2018 Saving Pets Challenge opens soon with some exciting program additions for this year. And along with continuing the great work we are already doing, we have a few fun new things up our sleeve. . . stay tuned for more details and please consider joining our “family” to help pets in 2018 and beyond.