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Humanitarian Offers $75 Million for Single Dose Sterilization of Cats and Dogs
Date:10/20/2008

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Humanitarian, Dr. Gary Michelson is "making an unprecedented investment on behalf of companion animals," says Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director of Found Animals Foundation (Found Animals) http://www.foundanimals.org, Michelson's privately funded 501(c)3.

Found Animals and its strategic partner the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACC&D) announced the launch of The Michelson Prize in Reproductive Biology at the SPAY/USA Conference in Chicago on Thursday, October 16th, 2008 at 7pm.

The Michelson Prize in Reproductive Biology is an international competition which represents a unique experiment in innovation aimed at solving the problem of pet overpopulation.

The goal of the Michelson Prize in Reproductive Biology is to encourage researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields to take on the challenge of non-surgical pet sterilization. Found Animals is hopeful that this large monetary incentive will motivate scientists, including those who may never have been aware of the issues of pet overpopulation, to bring cutting edge scientific approaches to bear in this historically underserved area.

Found Animals recognizes that the research required to develop and test novel approaches to pet sterilization will take time and money and that many interested parties may not have access to the resources required to initiate and maintain research in pursuit of the Prize. For that reason, Found Animals is also offering the companion Michelson Grants in Reproductive Biology which will provide funding for promising research in pursuit of non-surgical sterilization technology.

"We're killing millions of pets annually in the U.S. for the simple lack of a home and sterilization programs are the only viable solution," said Dr. Michelson. "Animal welfare experts have long recognized sterilization as the most important component in the fight against pet overpopulation."

Surgical spay/neuter procedures are the current standard for sterilizing companion animals. While this approach is relatively safe and effective, it is not an ideal. Spay/neuter procedures require general anesthesia and an adequately equipped surgical facility, both of which create obstacles including high costs, transportation of animals and the inherent risks of surgery. A single dose, non-surgical sterilant would be an ideal solution.

According to Found Animals Executive Director Aimee Gilbreath, "Surgical spay/neuter procedures are just too expensive and inconvenient for many pet owners -- we need a better solution. We hope that the Michelson Prize and Grants in Reproductive Biology will encourage the best and brightest minds in science to take on the challenge of developing an innovative non-surgical sterilization product that will ultimately prevent death and suffering for millions of cats and dogs worldwide."

According to the ACC&D, researchers have been on the verge of discovering pet contraceptives and non-surgical sterilants for years, but a lack of funding has kept these ideas stalled in the early stages of research. New scientific breakthroughs in other healthcare fields may offer promise when applied to this goal. The Michelson Prize has the potential to stimulate research, "allowing for ground-breaking approaches in pet sterilization to emerge," says Joyce Briggs, President of ACC&D.

In addition to addressing pet population in the U.S., The Michelson Prize seeks to make sterilization accessible and affordable worldwide and aid developing countries where this problem is even greater. According to Briggs, "many pet caretakers don't have access to basic veterinary care, let alone spay/neuter services. As a result, draconian measures, including poisoning, electrocuting, and shooting, are still used to control dog and cat populations abroad. A non-surgical sterilant could help end these unspeakable practices."

Found Animals is a 501(c) 3 private operating foundation, formed by prolific inventor, entrepreneur and billionaire, Dr. Gary Michelson. Dr. Michelson is also noted as one of The Forbes 400 Richest Americans (http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/1006/104.html). The foundation addresses the causes and consequences of pet overpopulation through innovative strategies and community partnerships and works to develop sustainable, scalable animal welfare business models.

The Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACC&D) (http://www.acc-d.org) is a nonprofit 501(c) 3 whose mission is to expedite the successful introduction of methods to non-surgically sterilize dogs and cats and to support the distribution and promotion of these products to humanely control cat and dog populations worldwide. ACC&D's Board of Advisors include leading scientists, veterinarians and animal health industry experts as well as senior executives from world leading animal welfare organizations.

"We're very excited that Dr. Michelson and Found Animals share our mission, and are prepared to bring this level of support to leverage a breakthrough," says Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, Chair of the ACC&D Board and Executive Vice President of the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). "The investment that Found Animals plans to bring to this field of study is unprecedented. We're hopeful this incentive will help develop a new product that will serve as an alternative to traditional surgery."

"We are thrilled to have ACC&D as a strategic partner in the Michelson Prize and Grants in Reproductive Biology, says Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director of Found Animals. "They bring an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of non-surgical sterilization and their counsel has been invaluable in the development and launch of the Prize and Grants."

For All Inquiries & Interview Requests Contact:

Michael Gilman, Director of Communications

Found Animals Foundation, Inc.

(office) 310-566-7389

(e-mail) Michael@FoundAnimals.org

http://www.foundanimals.org


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SOURCE Found Animals Foundation, Inc.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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