SOURCE: Found Animals

Found Animals

June 10, 2015 14:55 ET

Michelson Found Animals' "Saving Pets Challenge" Raises Nearly $2 Million to Help Reduce Shelter Euthanasia Across the Nation

Saving Pets Challenge Fundraiser Also Grants More Than $123,000 to Help At-Risk Shelter Animals; Road Trip Home Animal Rescue Wins Grand-Prize

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Jun 10, 2015) - Michelson Found Animals (, an independently funded nonprofit working to find the big ideas that reduce euthanasia in shelters, announced today the conclusion of its second annual Michelson Found Animals Saving Pets Challenge, which raised a record-breaking $1,818,693 in just 32 days to help at-risk shelter animals. The second CrowdRise Challenge for pets is a national fundraising competition, where animal welfare organizations from across the U.S. gain increased awareness, recognition, and, most importantly, raise money for projects addressing the underlying causes of shelter euthanasia in their community. This year, Road Trip Home Animal Rescue from Acworth, Georgia, won the grand prize by raising $258,878, and was awarded an additional cash grant of $50,000 by Found Animals for their efforts. In total, more than 350 organizations from 46 states (and Puerto Rico) were accepted into this year's Challenge.

"This is our second Saving Pets Challenge, and we couldn't be more proud of how much money and awareness we all raised to help reduce pet shelter euthanasia," said Aimee Gilbreath, Found Animals Executive Director. "Participation this year exceeded all of our expectations -- we raised over $800,000 more than last year's inaugural Saving Pets Challenge. This collaborative fundraising approach that Found Animals developed between itself, CrowdRise and the various participating organizations has proven to be an innovative and successful formula that is both sustainable and scalable for animal welfare organizations."

"The volunteers at Road Trip Home Animal Rescue are so thankful to CrowdRise, Found Animals and the Saving Pets Challenge for providing a fundraising platform that is unprecedented in animal rescue history. Every single shelter struggles monthly, trying to balance the need to pay veterinary bills and operational costs, while more abandoned, neglected or abused animals await our help every day," said Anne Reed, Road Trip Home Board Member. The group raised funds for the build-out of a new shelter and explained, "This shelter is a dream come true for us and we have given our blood, sweat, and tears to make it happen. Now, with this money, we will be able to provide the runs and equipment right away, so more animals can come in much sooner."

The Saving Pets Challenge launched on Monday, May 4, 2015, at Noon ET, and ran through Friday, June 5, 2015, at 1:59:59 pm ET. In addition to the money the individual organizations raised as part of the Saving Pets Challenge, the top-six organizations that raised the most money also received a cash grant from Found Animals:

  • First Place: Road Trip Home Animal Rescue (Acworth, Georgia) was awarded $50,000 for raising $258,579.
    Since its founding in 2012, Road Trip Home has become one of the most effective Rescue groups in Georgia and is responsible for saving thousands of pets. They go into county shelters and pull animals slated for euthanasia due to over-crowding. They vet these dogs and cats, rehabilitate them as necessary, and then transport them to the Northeast where they have a shortage of adoptable pets.
  • Second Place: Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (Philadelphia) was awarded $20,000 for raising $206,452.
    Each year, Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) rescues thousands of homeless animals and matches them with loving adoptive and foster homes. They also operate two high-volume, low-cost clinics, giving disadvantaged pet owners and rescue organizations access to affordable spay/neuter surgery and basic veterinary care. Serving more than 24,000 animals annually, the clinics enable pets to remain cherished family members rather than face abandonment and prevent the birth of countless litters.
  • Third Place: Rescued Pets Movement (Houston) was awarded $10,000 for raising $150,325.
    Rescued Pets Movement Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides a second chance for thousands of homeless dogs and cats through rehabilitation and transport to forever homes in communities throughout the country that have a need for adoptable pets.
  • Fourth Place Rescue from the Hart (Los Angeles) was awarded $7,500 for raising $95,292
    Rescue From The Hart is a 501c3 Los Angeles dog rescue founded by Annie Hart and her husband, James Hart, after years of advocacy and animal rescue. They have dedicated their lives to saving abandoned and abused animals from local shelters and the streets, ultimately finding them loving forever homes.
  • Fifth Place: Santa Fe Animal Shelter (Santa Fe, N.M.) was awarded $5,000 for raising $91,060.
    The Santa Fe Animal Shelter is the largest animal shelter and care facility in northern
    New Mexico. They serve more than 5,000 lost, stray, abandoned or injured animals and offer services to more than 16,000 companion animals and their guardians each year. Partnered with their community, they work for change in the lives of our companion animals and to end the suffering of all animals.
  • Sixth Place: Wings of Rescue (Woodland Hills, Calif.) was awarded $2,500 for raising $79,778.
    Wings of Rescue takes cats and dogs out of shelters with high euthanasia rates and transports them on long-distance journeys via their network of volunteer private pilots and chartered planes to areas around the country that have a need for adoptable pets.

In addition, more than $25,000 in weekly "Bonus Challenges" were awarded where every organization had an opportunity to win, not just the top fundraisers. New this year was the opportunity by both donors and participating organizations to win more than $20,000 in non-cash prizes from generous sponsors like: Boehringer Ingelheim, Cat Crib, DOG for DOG, Feline Yogi, FitBark, Jackson Galaxy, Kittyo, Metro Paws, Petmate, ThunderShirt, and more.

The inaugural Michelson Found Animals Saving Pets Challenge Fundraiser raised more than $1 million in 2014 during its fundraising competition, and reached more than 175 humane societies, municipal sheltering agencies, spay/neuter clinics and rescue organizations.

For more information on Found Animals, please visit

About Michelson Found Animals
Found Animals is an independently funded nonprofit 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, or via social media at Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

About CrowdRise
CrowdRise is the platform that millions of individuals, charities, companies and celebrities use to give back. People use the site to donate to and fundraise for the causes they're passionate about. CrowdRise's unique approach to making giving back fun and notable and cool and interesting creates a network effect that drives amazing awareness and, most importantly, revolutionary fundraising for thousands of organizations every day.

Launched by Edward Norton in 2010, CrowdRise is the fastest-growing and largest online fundraising platform for good. We have raised over $200 million for charity to date and are on track to raise another $200 million in 2015 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 and lots of small donations really do add up to create monumental impact.

CrowdRise is committed to innovation in fundraising, and making raising money for charity fun and effective. We're the friend-to-friend platform for the New York City Marathon, the Boston Marathon, Red Cross, Unicef, Ironman as well as celebrities like Sean Penn, Seth Rogen, Ian Sommerhalder, Sophia Bush, Paul Rudd, Olivia Wilde and so many more. The CrowdRise community was named a "Top 25 Best Global Philanthropist" by Barron's. We beat Oprah. And, Mashable named CrowdRise something like "the best place to raise money online for your favorite causes."

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