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MFA Celebrates 15 Years of Saving Animals

In 2021, Michelson Found Animals will launch new educational and advocacy programs.

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(PRESS RELEASE) LOS ANGELES — Michelson Found Animals, the largest funder of pet surrender prevention in Los Angeles, celebrates 15 years of helping animals with lifesaving programs, venture investments, illuminating research, education, and advocacy that champion pets at every point they intersect with society.

To date, Michelson Found Animals Foundation has provided:

  • The first free national pet microchip registry
  • $11 million in grants for surrender prevention, spay and neuter, and related programs
  • More than 16,000 pet adoptions through Adopt & Shop retail locations
  • $8 million raised through the Saving Pets Challenge
  • 38 scientific research projects funded through the Michelson Prize and Grants program
  • More than 12,500 pets and families with free pet food and animal care services since the beginning of the pandemic
  • More than six million pets served since the founding in 2005
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“Over 15 years, we have dramatically altered the landscape for animal welfare in Los Angeles,” says Michelson Found Animals Foundation founder and co-chair Dr. Gary K. Michelson. “In many ways, we are putting ourselves out of business by dramatically reducing shelter euthanasia through expanded spay and neuter services, microchipping and registry services, and other programs and grants to keep pets and their families together. We remain committed to being an agent of change disrupting broken systems and pursuing catalytic solutions to save lives by helping pets and the people who love them.”

In 2020, MFA launched the Better Neighbor Project. The collaborative partnership with human service organizations developed programs that support under-served communities and their pets.

Through the partnership, MFA provides pet food and supplies to food pantries for pet owners struggling with food insecurity, low-cost spay/neuter services, and vaccine clinics in the communities in most need, and helped make emergency shelters pet-inclusive.

“For our 15th year of driving change throughout the animal welfare community, there is much to celebrate. Through the Better Neighbor Project, we have been able to provide food for more than 12,500 pets throughout some of the most underserved communities in LA,” says Michelson Found Animals Foundation CEO Brett Yates. “Seeing and hearing the true appreciation from the individuals and families who received food or services has been a true light amid a challenging social and financial environment.”

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MFA was established after Dr. Michelson witnessed the tragedy that resulted from Hurricane Katrina when 250,000 pets were separated from their families and were never reunited. He sought to make microchips much more affordable and accessible by creating the first free national registry.

The registry includes millions of pets in its database and is credited with saving thousands of lives. MFA also disrupted the microchip industry by substantially lowering microchips’ cost, making them widely available to shelters for $4.95 or less per chip.

Unique in animal-welfare, MFA is a grant-making and operating foundation that has invested more than $100 million into programs and partners. MFA is the largest private funder of spay and neuter, surrender prevention, and community cat programs in Los Angeles.

The Michelson Prize and Grants is a $75 million commitment to developing a breakthrough single-dose sterilizer for dogs and cats that will reduce overpopulation and save pets’ lives. Through a partnership with Kinship, Leap Venture Studios is the first startup- program built to springboard innovation in the growing pet industry.

In 2021, Michelson Found Animals will launch new educational and advocacy programs to continue to improve the lives of pets and the people who love them.

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