LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Michelson Prize & Grants program, the prize philanthropy arm of Los Angeles-based animal welfare organization Found Animals Foundation, announces it has approved funding of more than $11.5 million to aid scientists worldwide in their pursuit to develop the first-ever non-surgical sterilant for cats and dogs.
In addition to funding the research, Michelson Prize & Grants will award $25 million to the first entity to develop the successful solution. A non-surgical sterilant would reduce overcrowding in shelters due to pet overpopulation, which currently forces shelters to euthanize an estimated three to four million cats and dogs yearly, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
The Michelson Prize & Grants will provide up to $50 million in total grants to researchers whose proposals are approved. Established in 2008, the prize philanthropy program has approved more than 30 percent of grant proposals submitted to date. The recent passing of the $10 million funding landmark occurred as sequestration takes hold, which will slash the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) budget by 5.1 percent or about $1.6 billion this year. These cuts are expected to reduce funding for medical research.
“We are thrilled researchers from across the globe have joined us in the search for a way to end the senseless killing of healthy dogs and cats,” said Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director of Found Animals Foundation. “We’re proud to have surpassed $10 million in funding for a non-surgical sterilant and want scientists to know we’re still accepting grant proposals amidst this time of government budget cuts.”
The current standard methods for sterilizing animals are surgical spay/neuter procedures. Although safe and effective, these procedures require general anesthesia and the use of a surgical facility, which create obstacles for pet owners such as high costs, transportation of animals and risks of surgery. A lifelong, single dose, non-surgical sterilant would be a more effective solution to defer cost and inconvenience for many pet owners, according to experts.
Found Animals Foundation has received more than 225 letters of intent for the Michelson Prize & Grants program and more than 75 grant proposals. The program’s scientific advisory board has notified 23 scientists of their approved funding to date.
For more information on Michelson Prize & Grants and to apply for a Michelson Grant in Reproductive Biology, please visit Michelson.FoundAnimals.org.
About Found Animals
Found Animals Foundation is a privately-funded nonprofit organization dedicated to animal welfare issues. Led by business and medical professionals, the Foundation works directly within the animal welfare community to reduce the use of euthanasia in shelters by supporting programs including: pet adoption, spay/neuter services, pet identification, and sterilization research.