The Found Animals Foundation is offering a prize of $25 million to the first person who can develop a method of non-surgically sterilizing cats and dogs. Called the Michelson Prize, the requirements for winning are:
- Single dose
- Non-surgical sterilant
- Safe and effective in male and female, cats and dogs
- Suitable for administration in a field setting
- Viable pathway to regulatory approval
- Reasonable manufacturing process and cost
One reason for creating such a prize is the huge number of pets euthanized each year in the United States, estimated at 3-4 million. Another is the fact there are millions of homeless dogs and cats that are fertile, and continue to reproduce resulting in even more homeless animals. Many of these animals live in terrible conditions, and carry diseases as they have not been immunized and receive no healthcare. Additionally they too often have very little to eat and no shelter so they suffer greatly.
The cost of euthanizing millions of animals each year is very large, and the money could be much better spent on taking care of animals, if the population could be decreased and brought under control. In addition to offering such a large cash prize, the Michelson grants have provided millions of dollars for safe animal sterilization research projects. Examples of the research they have supported are:
- Wood Johnson Medical School, $108,462 for a one year project, “Targeting Selenoprotein P for Male Contraception in Mammals.”
- University of La Plata in Argentina, for a 3 year, $91,638 project, “Prepubertal administration of GnRH agonists in domestic cats.
- University of Iowa, for $184,198 for the project “Inducing stable infertility by RNA interference – Proof-of-principal studies.”
- University of Virginia, for a $200,000 one year project, “Oolysins: Egg Ablating Drugs.”
The Found Animals Foundation was started by Dr. Gary Michelson, who was a very successful spinal surgeon, and surgical inventor.
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