“The Michelson Found Animals Foundation is committed to continuing the critical, life-saving work that Robert and Erika Brunson pioneered in Los Angeles all those years ago. We are honored to carry their legacy forward and thank them for the thousands of lives saved due to their generosity.” Brett Yates – CEO, Michelson Found Animals
To eradicate unnecessary euthanasia of companion animals through equal access to spay and neuter services for the community while promoting the joy of pet adoption to people everywhere.
The Michelson Found Animals Foundation is committed to continuing this critical life-saving work in the Brunson name so that together, we can improve the lives of pets for many years to come. Having demonstrated the effectiveness of spay and neuter programs in reducing pet overpopulation on a large scale in the city and county of Los Angeles, the fund is available to accelerate innovative spay and neuter initiatives and increase access to affordable, high volume spay and neuter opportunities.
Robert & Erika’s Story
Robert and Erika Brunson have been trailblazers in the animal welfare industry for 50+ years. Serving as animal advocates and philanthropists, they have funded numerous companion animal life-saving efforts, including SPAY4LA, a mobile clinic providing high-quality spay/neuter surgeries and low-cost vaccines in Los Angeles. Their dedicated work has saved thousands of animals’ lives in partnership with Michelson Found Animals.
Erika Brunson was among the first to see how critical this effort was, advocating for animal rights by serving as a commissioner on the Los Angeles Board of Animal Regulation in 1967 and 2004 and founding the Coalition for Pets & Public Safety (COPPS) in 1999. In addition to Michelson Found Animals, she has contributed generously to numerous other animal organizations. Erika has been a leading force in Los Angeles for increasing the spay/neuter procedures done to eradicate the overpopulation that leads to unnecessary euthanasia.
In 2003, animal shelters in Los Angeles euthanized 30,000 animals a year. Years of unchecked breeding and a lack of available and affordable spay and neuter resources drove the staggering numbers of unwanted pets in the city. In an effort to find a solution to this crisis, Dr. Gary K. Michelson created a network of low-cost spay and neuter clinics in the city and got local governments involved in supporting them. Through Michelson Found Animals’ Lifesaving Grants program, more than $11 million in seed funding activated programs like the Spay Neuter Project of Los Angeles (SNPLA), FixNation, and SPAY4LA.
Thanks in part to these groups, and countless others, the save rate for dogs at LA City shelters has maintained at over 90% for several years. And after years of legal challenges, a citywide cat trap-neuter-return program was adopted by the Los Angeles City Council in 2020, paving the way for continued progress.
The Robert & Erika Brunson Fund was created to honor the Brunson’s wish of protecting animals’ lives and safely placing them into loving homes. When Erika passed in 2021, Robert ensured her legacy carried on, and continued to support the life-saving animal welfare efforts that she was so dedicated to in her life. Their achievements and impact go beyond what we have accomplished together at Michelson Found Animals, and we are honored to be entrusted with Robert & Erika’s critical mission of saving animals’ lives and increasing access to wellness and care for beloved pets.
The Impact Made
The Community Animal Medicine Project (CAMP), formerly known as the Spay Neuter Project of Los Angeles (SNPLA), was founded in 2007 thanks to funding support from PetSmart Charities and the Michelson Found Animals Foundation. Since 2007, CAMP has spayed and neutered 250,000 cats and dogs. CAMP serves over 32,000 pets in need each year at our stationary and mobile veterinary and vaccine clinics — preventing millions of animals from being born into homelessness and helping to cut in half the number of pets being euthanized in LA city shelters. In 2023, SNPLA became the Community Animal Medicine Project (CAMP) to continue their mission of providing access to affordable veterinary services in underserved areas and helping to keep pets and their people together where they belong.
SPAY4LA, a mobile spay and neuter clinic, was founded in 2010 as a partnership between the Brunsons and Michelson Found Animals.
SPAY4LA’s mission is to provide low-cost and free spay/neuter surgeries, along with basic wellness services, to underserved communities of Los Angeles as a means to decrease shelter intake and euthanasia. SPAY4LA targets low-income/high shelter intake areas that lack adequate affordable services that would not be able to access these services otherwise.
With over $3M donated by the Brunsons and Michelson Found Animals since SPAY4LA’s inception in 2010, nearly 100,000 pets have been spayed and neutered to date via the mobile clinic in these communities most in need.
Spay/neuter is vital in keeping pets out of shelters as it decreases the number of potential stray pets that end up in shelters.