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Food and Wellness Pup-Up Helps Pets During COVID-19


Press release: Michelson Found Animals Foundation

Earlier this month, animal wellness non-profit Michelson Found Animals Foundation partnered with the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles and California State Assemblymember Miguel Santiago to host a Pet Pantry and Wellness Pup-Up that provided free pet food and veterinary and wellness services to close to 400 families (many for multiple pets) suffering financial hardship. With the unemployment rate higher than 20 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families in Los Angeles are struggling to make ends meet. And, for the more than 2/3 of families that have pets, food insecurity extends to furry family members as well.

The veterinary and wellness appointment slots were filled immediately, and there were more than 250 additional  pets lined up at the event that were not able to be served, demonstrating the urgent need for access to these types of services. Veterinary services and microchipping services were provided free of charge by Michelson Found Animals grantees Spay4LA, Home Dog LA and Bark Avenue Foundation, and grooming services by Hollywood Grooming.

Pet Pantry and Wellness Pup-Up hosted by Michelson Found Animals Foundation, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, and YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles' Weingart East Los Angeles locationThe event was part of Michelson Found Animals Foundation’s Better Neighbor Project, an initiative to support underserved communities and their pets. Michelson Found Animals partners with human services organizations like the YMCA to support audiences they might not reach otherwise. They have provided pet food at six YMCA food pantries since May, helping over 2,500 pets to-date. The July “Pup Up” event provided a more complete set of pet resources, including much-needed access to low-cost veterinary care, to aid families in the ability to care for their beloved pets and reduce the incidence of surrender. Michelson Found Animals is the largest funder of pet surrender prevention in Los Angeles.

 “Michelson Found Animals believes everyone should have the right to the joy of pets in their lives, regardless of socioeconomic status. In these unprecedented times, so many people are struggling to make ends meet – and that extends to the ability to feed and care for their pets,” said Brett Yates, acting executive director of Michelson Found Animals. “Michelson Found Animals is the largest funder of pet surrender prevention in Los Angeles county and works with dozens of local organizations to build programs that serve underfunded communities and pets at the highest risk.”

Michelson Found Animals Foundation is a leading animal welfare nonprofit that believes people and pets are better together. Generously funded by Dr. Gary Michelson and Alya Michelson, Found Animals operates a range of social enterprises, impact investments, strategic partnerships, and thought leadership initiatives that share a common goal: to champion pets at every point they intersect with our society. Found Animals has helped more than 5 million pets since it was founded in 2005.

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