Michelson Found Animals Saving Pets Challenge Raises $1,014,658 in Pioneering Pet Welfare Campaign

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With $115,000 in Grants from Michelson Found Animals and $899,658 Raised by Participants, Santa Fe Animal Shelter Named Winner and Awarded $50,000 Grand Prize

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The campaign drew 175 animal welfare organizations from across the United States and Puerto Rico. Teams participated in the unique challenge to raise funds in order to combat euthanasia in shelters.

The ground breaking Michelson Found Animals Saving Pets Challenge, created to address the underlying causes of shelter euthanasia, today named the Santa Fe Animal Shelter the winner of the inaugural Saving Pets Challenge and the recipient of the first prize grant of $50,000. The Santa Fe-based organization, which is Northern New Mexico’s largest open-admission shelter, raised an impressive $130,615 over the course of the four-week campaign from September 29 through October 30. The campaign drew 175 animal welfare organizations from across the United States and Puerto Rico. Teams participated in the unique challenge to raise funds in order to combat euthanasia in shelters. The Santa Fe Animal Shelter will use the grant money towards resources to support hundreds of animals that need extra care before they are ready for adoption.

Created by Michelson Found Animals (http://www.FoundAnimals.org), an independently funded non-profit working to find the big ideas that reduce euthanasia in shelters, the Saving Pets Challenge took fundraising for at-risk companion animals to a whole new level by offering $115,000 in grants to the six animal welfare organizations who were able to raise the most funds for their respective programs. Additional winners included: in second place, Rescued Pets Movement, who was awarded $20,000; in third place, Foundation Against Companion Animal Euthanasia, who was awarded $10,000; in fourth place, German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County, who awarded $7,500; in fifth place, Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic, who was awarded $5,000; and in sixth place, Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue, who was awarded $2,500. The campaign also awarded $20,000 total in weekly bonus challenges to select participants who won donation-based contests.

“Congratulations to Santa Fe Animal Shelter and all the participants of the inaugural Saving Pets Challenge,” said Dr. Gary Michelson, Founder, Found Animals. “These passionate and dedicated organizations saw a new opportunity to save lives and leaped at the chance to make a bigger impact in their communities. We applaud their efforts and the contributions made by their donors.”

The Saving Pets Challenge also represents the first time a Challenge grant campaign dedicated specifically to supporting companion animals, like dogs and cats, has used the Crowdrise platform, one of the fastest growing online fundraising sites.

“We are honored to win the Michelson Found Animals Saving Pets Challenge,” said Mary Martin, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter’s Executive Director. “This truly was a community effort for our hometown shelter and we are grateful for every single donation. The $50,000 grant, combined with the $130,615 our supporters raised, will be used by our Behavior Department to help hundreds of animals who need extra time and resources before they are ready for loving homes.”

On Saturday, November 1, the Santa Fe Animal Shelter was recognized at the third Michelson Found Animals Gala, an annual celebration of leaders in animal welfare. The evening’s honorees also included The Honorable Herb J. Wesson, Jr., President of the Los Angeles City Council; Erika Brunson, founder of the Coalition for Pets and Public Safety; and Rocky Kanaka, founder of Dog for Dog.

For more information about Michelson Found Animals, please visit FoundAnimals.org.

About Michelson Found Animals
Found Animals is an independently funded non-profit that works to achieve one goal: find the big ideas that help reduce the number of pets euthanized in shelters each year. Led by business and medical professionals, we develop innovative solutions that address the underlying causes of shelter euthanasia. Programs address pet adoption, low-cost spay neuter services, pet microchipping and registration, and sterilization research. By offering a wealth of educational resources to pet owners and animal care professionals, Found Animals advances the health and safety of animals everywhere. Support for Found Animals and its initiatives come from the generous contributions of Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson. Follow our progress online at FoundAnimals.org, or via social media at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

For more information on the Michelson Prize & Grants: http://www.michelsonprizeandgrants.org
For more information on Found Animals Registry: http://www.found.org
For more information on Found Animals Adopt & Shop: http://www.adoptandshop.org

About Crowdrise
Crowdrise is the platform millions of people use to donate to charitable causes, create their own fundraisers and show the world their charitable lives. Launched in 2010 by Edward Norton, Shauna Robertson, and Moosejaw founders Robert and Jeffrey Wolfe, Crowdrise the fastest growing online fundraising website for charitable causes and doing good. The Crowdrise community has raised over $130 million for charity to date and is on track to raise another $130 million in 2014 alone. If Facebook is the place that defines you by your friends and Twitter is what you use to say what you’re doing right now then Crowdrise is the site for you to show how you give back. The power of the crowd is real, lots of small donations really do add up to create monumental impact.

Crowdrise is committed to innovation in fundraising, making raising money for your personal cause or charity fun and effective. It is the friend-to-friend fundraising home of The NYC Marathon, the Boston Marathon, The American Red Cross, Unicef, as well as celebrities like Sean Penn, Seth Rogan, Ian Somerhalder, Sophia Bush, Paul Rudd, Olivia Wilde and Will Ferrell. The Crowdrise community was named a “Top 25 Best Global Philanthropist” by Barron’s. And Mashable named Crowdrise something like “the best place to raise money online for your favorite causes.”

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Monica Guzman
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