I can't believe how fast 2019 is flying by! We're already announcing our Rescue of the Month for July! This month we've teamed up with Michelson Found Animals Foundation out of Los Angeles, California. This multi-faceted non-profit not only rescues animals but also has a national microchip registry. They are doing everything they can to follow their mission, which is to put pets in homes and keep them there.
Tell us about how Michelson Found Animals Foundation was started? Is there a personal story behind MFA’s mission?
The Michelson Found Animals Foundation was created by Dr. Gary Michelson in 2005 to improve outcomes for companion animals. A lifelong animal lover, Dr. Michelson was moved by the plight of thousands of animals separated from their families by Hurricane Katrina. Inspired to help ensure that every lost pet can get home safely, the Foundation’s first grants were to provide microchips to Los Angeles area shelters.
Subsequent innovative programs soon followed, including: Adopt & Shop, our retail adoption center and retail pet boutiques in Culver City & Lakewood, California, where all pets offered for adoption are from local shelter partners. The sales proceeds from our retail products and services are reinvested in helping to save more shelter pets.
Can you tell us about your microchip registry?
Michelson Found Animals operates a free microchip registry at found.org. We accept all brands of chips and never charge for our service because we believe pet owners shouldn't have to pay to be reunited with a lost pet. What many pet owners don't realize is that just having your pet microchipped isn't enough.
You have to register their chip with your contact information, and keep that information updated so that if your lost pet is found, you can be contacted. Dogs with microchips are 2X more likely to be reunited with their owners and cats with microchips are 21X more likely to be reunited, so it's an essential part of protecting your pets.
What are the biggest challenges the organization faces?
In the Los Angeles area, kittens are still the largest challenge. Each year during kitten season, there are thousands of stray kitten litters all over the region. That's why we operate a kitten nursery and foster program and we work with a coalition of other organizations in our area to save thousands of kittens every year.
Do you have a network of fosters in the Southern California area that help care for the dogs and cats or do all of the animals stay in your facilities?
In addition to the pets we house in our Adopt & Shop store, we do have a wonderful network of dedicated fosters who love and care for our adoptable animals. In particular, during kitten season, we typically foster at least 1,000 kittens until they are old enough to be adopted out.
How many dogs on average do you place in their forever homes annually?
We typically adopt out about 2,500 pets each year.
For those reading this, if they want to help fight the good fight, what can they do to help?
First and foremost, spay and neuter your pets! That is the best and most efficient way to reduce the amount of animals that end up in shelters. Second, of course, adopt! Other ways you can help are to volunteer at a shelter (including our Adopt & Shop stores), become a pet foster parent, or donate.
Check out opportunities to get involved with our organization at foundanimals.org. And to protect your own pets, be sure they always wear a collar and ID tag with your phone number AND are microchipped and registered.
If you would like to follow the Michelson Found Animals Foundation's amazing work, like them on Facebook! You can also see some of their available animals, join their microchip registry, and support them through a donation.