Growing a Social Enterprise: Found Animals Foundation Becomes Pet’s Best Friend

Aimee Gilbreath recalls flipping over the single sheet of paper, every line filled, on which retired spinal surgeon and lifelong inventor Dr. Gary Michelson had typed ideas for the Found Animals Foundation. That paper became the basis for her work with Michelson who, moved to action by the more than 100,000 animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina, had started giving away microchips and scanners to shelters in 2005 to track lost pets.


Found Animals Foundation


Los Angeles, Calif.


Nonprofit, Social Enterprise



Number of USERS





Applicor and Intacct

NetSuite Products Implemented

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“We’re up against big corporate players who are profit motivated, and who have much bigger total businesses and resources behind them. NetSuite allowed us to add a set of features and functions that clients really wanted that made a difference.” Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director, Found Animals Foundation

Redefining Animal Welfare

New programs, business model changes
Without an accessible database, microchips—a scannable sort of social security number for pets—weren’t much help, so the Foundation’s early team of then-three built a microchip registry. To scale it nationwide, they started charging for chips. In tandem, they opened animal adoption centers, launched events and education, and funded millions in research grants.
Growth comes with complexity
Some four years and 50 employees later, the private operating foundation was part philanthropy, part revenue-generating social enterprise. It had multiple divisions and lines of business nationwide. All of it ran on a “duct-taped” homegrown database and QuickBooks.
Making running the business easy
The Foundation has grown its microchip revenue each year since a 2013 NetSuite implementation, aided by an Oracle NetSuite Social Impact software donation. With NetSuite CRM, for instance, it launched new features for shelters and pet owners, such as text and email alerts on lost pets.
Keep disrupting the microchip space
Keeping pets in homes requires innovative outreach to owners, not just shelters. As such, it launched an accelerator program with Mars Petcare for pet technology startups, eying ways to enhance its registry and enable it to reach owners in new ways.


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