Found Animals, what a great story! An orthopedic surgeon invents new tools for his craft, becomes a billionaire, and decides to start a Foundation to benefit animals. Money or no, the surgeon works on the mission and programs from his kitchen table for three years, finally hires an executive director and starts things off with a $75 million dollar bang! Gary Michaelson, one of Forbes 400 richest, is the founder of Found Animals Foundation. There’s an article on their website that quotes Michaelson, saying the money needed to capture, house, feed, and kill pets in sheltering systems nationwide is “staggering”, that we should be able to find a “more humane” way (Sciencemag.org, 18 Sept 2009, David Grimm).
I spoke with Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director of Found Animals, who explained that the Michaelson Prize and Reproductive Biology grants work hand in hand to spur research from a wide range of scientific fields. Grants, $50 million dollars worth, are awarded for promising research that might not otherwise get funded, and that may open new pathways to a single-dose solution to spay/neuter for cats and dogs, and the $25 million dollar prize. That’s quite an incentive. Continue reading