Building Healthier Communities And Saving Lives Through Pet-Inclusive Housing

Brett Yates, Michelson Found Animals CEO joined a session of the 2022 Pet Week on Capitol Hill to share the benefits of pet-inclusive housing.


Brett Yates, Pet Week on Capitol Hill

In this session of the 2022 Pet Week on Capitol Hill, Brett Yates, CEO of Michelson Found Animals Foundation, discussed the importance of increasing the availability of pet-friendly housing and what policymakers and the general public can do to help keep people and pets together. Recent data was presented from the Pet Inclusive Housing Initiative, created by the Michelson Found Animals Foundation and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) to field research that demonstrates the benefits of pet-friendly housing to owners/operators, residents, and communities.

Watch the full discussion here.

About The Speaker: Brett Yates, CEO, Michelson Found Animals Foundation

Brett Yates is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Michelson Found Animals Foundation. In this role, he combines his passion for helping animals with his expertise in investments, program development, and driving strong business results.

Since joining Michelson Found Animals Foundation in 2018, Yates has led the organization in launching new projects, including Leap Venture Studios, the Better Neighbor Project, the Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative, among others. In addition, Yates has helped existing programs excel more than ever before and helping save more lives of cats and dogs in the Los Angeles area.

In addition to his responsibilities as CEO of Michelson Found Animals, Yates also serves in the dual role of chief operations officer and chief financial officer for Michelson Philanthropies, the network of foundations established by Dr. Gary K. Michelson and his wife, Alya, to drive positive change in animal welfare, education, and medical research. The foundations include Michelson Found Animals, Michelson Medical Research Foundation, Michelson 20MM Foundation, and Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property.


Michelson Found Animals Foundation

Michelson Found Animals Foundation is a leading animal welfare non-profit 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.

Boehringer Ingelheim

Improving the health and quality of life of humans and animals is the goal of the research-driven pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. The focus in doing so is on diseases for which no satisfactory treatment option exists to date. The company therefore concentrates on developing innovative therapies that can extend patients’ lives. In animal health, Boehringer Ingelheim stands for advanced prevention.

Michelson Philanthropies

As a network of private operating foundations, Michelson Philanthropies creates transformative opportunities, makes positive impact investments, and fosters strategic partnerships supporting vulnerable or underserved communities. Reflecting the passions and interests of Dr. Gary K. Michelson and his wife, Alya Michelson, Michelson Philanthropies catalyzes sustainable, scalable, replicable solutions to a host of challenges facing society.

Michelson Center For Public Policy

The Michelson Center for Public Policy is an affiliated but separate organization from the Michelson Philanthropies network of foundations that propels legislative change through meaningful collaboration with elected officials, government agencies, and civic leaders to achieve positive outcomes in education, equity, medical research, and animal welfare.

2021 Pet Inclusive Housing Report

Michelson Found Animals Foundation and HABRI created the Pet-Inclusive Housing Report to highlight the benefits of pet-friendly rental housing by sharing new data and market-based solutions that benefits all – housing owner/operators, residents, and pets. The Report demonstrates that significant restrictions on pets in rental housing present hurdles for pet-owners. It also shows that the majority of rental housing owners and operators love pets. Bridging the gap by increasing the availability of pet-inclusive housing can help families find the homes they need, provide economic benefits to owners/operators, and help up to 8.2 million animals find new homes over time.

Pet Inclusive Housing Initiative

The Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative was created to field research that demonstrates the benefits of pet-friendly housing to owner/operators, residents, and communities. From this research, Michelson Found Animals Foundation and HABRI aim to develop resources and partnerships that seek to increase the availability of pet-friendly rental housing.

HR 5828 – Pets Belong With Families Act

This legislation would prohibit public housing agencies from imposing breed restrictions on household pets owned by residents of dwelling units in public housing, and for other purposes. The legislation was first introduced in November 2021 and currently has 48 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.

California Senate Bill 971

California Senate Bill 971, signed into law by Governor Newsom September 2nd, 2022, aims to increase access to rental housing for low-income pet owners by expanding pet-inclusive policies for housing that is financed through the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Low-Income Tax Credit Program.

Illinois Senate Bill 154

Illinois Senate Bill 154, signed into law by Governor Pritzker in August 2021, requires property owners who receive state funding for low-income housing to allow tenants to have well-behaved dogs and cats regardless of breed, size or weight.

Florida Senate Bill 614

This proposed legislation, which advocates expect to reintroduce in the 2023-2024 legislative session, would prevent public housing authorities and all local governments from banning dogs based on breed alone.