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Q & A: Million-Dollar Ideas

Michelson Prize and Grants program spurs research into nonsurgical spay/neuter

Of course it can’t buy you love, and it may be the root of all evil, but on this we can agree: Money can get things done.

  • The tools of the spay/neuter trade might be changing. The Michelson Prize and Grants program is putting up millions of dollars to inspire researchers to devise a nonsurgical alternative to conventional surgery. Collage: Bussolati

It might, in fact, spur a solution to pet overpopulation and unnecessary euthanasia.

That’s the hope of the Found Animals Foundation, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit founded by Gary Michelson, a billionaire spinal surgeon who made his fortune patenting medical devices. Incorporated in 2005 after Michelson saw the animal issues caused by Hurricane Katrina and was moved to help, Found Animals offers a variety of programs, from adoption to pet identification, aimed at minimizing or ending shelter euthanasia. (The “found” in the organization’s name, says executive director Aimee Gilbreath, reflects both the promise of its microchip program and Michelson’s affection for the song “Amazing Grace,” which includes the line, “I once was lost, but now am found.”)

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