Working to Make Nonsurgical Sterilization a Reality
While spay and neuter are the best tools currently available to prevent unwanted litters of puppies and kittens, they’re not perfect procedures. Spay and neuter are surgeries and, as such, require a clinic facility, sterile surgical tools, anesthesia machines, specially trained veterinary staff, and so on. All of this is expensive, and often the communities who most need spay/neuter resources cannot afford to build, staff, and maintain them. Plus, surgery has risks – some animals have anesthesia reactions, some get infections, and others have hard-to-detect underlying medical conditions that make surgery very risky.
Here at Michelson Found Animals, we think there’s a better way. A single-dose, nonsurgical sterilant 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, transportation, and limited capacity. Just imagine the difference it would make to be able to go door-to-door offering a sterilization shot? Or to be able to sterilize a feral cat without ever transporting it or even taking it out of the trap?
Here at Found Animals, we think there’s a better way. A single-dose, nonsurgical sterilant 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, transportation, and limited capacity.
This vision is what prompted us to create the $75 Million Michelson Prize and Grants Program. Based on principles of prize philanthropy and venture philanthropy, this program is designed to attract the best and brightest minds to take on the challenge of developing a nonsurgical sterilant for pets. While we haven’t (yet) had anyone claim the big $25 Million Prize for having a proven product, we have had nearly 300 inquiries about grant funding. Those inquiries have translated into nearly 100 formal research proposals, over 30 of which have been approved for funding by our Scientific Advisory Board.
Michelson Grant research is now underway worldwide from the U.S. to Europe and Latin America to Australia and New Zealand. All told, we have committed about $15 Million of our $50 Million grant pool to date. While none of our researchers have a working product quite yet, they are making great progress and substantially advancing scientific knowledge along the way.
Preventing unwanted litters is a topic near and dear to our hearts here at the Found Animals Foundation – and an area where we invest time and money, along with blood, sweat, and tears. We’ve come a long way as an organization and as a movement, but we recognize that there is much more to do. While we continue to work towards a scientific solution to the problem of unwanted litters, in the meantime we will use the best tools at hand to save pet’s lives: spay and neuter surgeries.
Our spay and neuter programs, along with all of our other programs, are supported by the generous contributions of Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson. On behalf of the pets and people of Los Angeles, we thank them for helping to make this vision a reality.
The Michelson Found Animals Foundation’s mission of saving pets and enriching lives is made possible by the generous contributions of Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson.