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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animal Services, Animals


To provide a safe haven for domestic animals, regardless of breed or species; through rescue, rehabilitation, adoption and sanctuary. To advocate for the humane treatment of animals, and promote the human-animal bond. To educate the public about the importance of kindness, compassion, and responsible pet ownership with an emphasis on spaying and neutering. To cooperate and work with other animal rescues and shelters towards the goal of becoming a no-kill nation. 

Results: To date we have successfully re-homed approximately 1800 animals, provided spay/neuter for 150 feral cats and have provided an alternative option to dumping in our already overcrowded shelters. We have spent countless hours providing counseling services to our community about alternative ways to keep pets instead of surrendering their furry friend.

Target demographics: Entire community, depending on need, all ages.

Geographic areas served: Central California, specifically San Joaquin Valley

Programs: Animal Compassion Team has a volunteer program for people interested in becoming involved in the organization.  Volunteers attend an orientation where they learn about ACT, spaying/neutering pets, volunteer opportunities, and what they are expected to do when they volunteer.  Volunteer opportunities include: marketing, adoption agent, dog walker, cat cuddler, foster parent, rescue transport, and HOPE transport. 

Community Stories

63 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Nikki V.


Rating: 5

Okay, I just wanted to say that this is one of the best animal rescue groups out there. I am a supporter/donor, have adopted two dogs and volunteered for ACT. I have been involved since the summer of 2013 and have found them to be very consistent in their caring and compassionate mission towards animal rescue. Anyone who really wants to know the truth has only to visit their center and maybe volunteer, the more time you spend, the more you'll know that they truly make a difference. I have not received any compensation for this review, nor would I ever accept any, people should not take opinions too seriously, go and check it out for yourself, that's what I did, visited more than a few rescue groups before choosing this one to support (not that there aren't other fantastic groups out there). It's easy to criticize when you're not the one doing the work!

Previous Stories


Rating: 5

I think that this organization is hands down, one of the best. They have all personally sacrificed much to bring their vision into reality. It is easy to criticize like "nice?girl" did in her review, but they are in the trenches making a difference every day. After volunteering for a few months to evaluate just what kind of shelter this was, I ended up adopting two dogs from ACT in 2013. They had both been rescued from being put to death at one of the county shelters and they both had severe health issues, which didn't stop ACT from taking them in. They are extremely compassionate and do their very best with every animal in their care. I realize no one organization is perfect, but the ones run by individuals that are passionate about their vision will stand for the long haul. In contrast to "nicegirl" I have to say that I for one am encouraged to see a nonprofit organization that embraces faith in God for help, direction and hope for a better future. ACT is worth your time, check them out for yourself, you'll be glad that you did.

Client Served

Rating: 1

Brenda is a very rude person ..she had a Small Chihhuaha that was up for adoption my daughter fell in love with her ..one lady gave my daughter the dog to hold then Brenda says oh no she is for an adult home only there wasn't any sign she had special needs or needed an adult home .my daughter thought we could have her then Brenda who was extremely rude to my daughter when she tried to go back to ask why because she felt rejected and she Is only fifteen ..why do these non profits take their dogs out when they really don't have intention on adopting Them out ..she is the president if she is rude to peoples how is she with animals ..feeling prejudice against poor customer service


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Hmm......4 pages of 5 STAR Reviews all within 72 hours??? Really? This looks very suspicious. I think common sense tells us all that 39 reviews all of them being 5 STARS don't just appear within 72 hours. It appears there were incentives were being given.

ACT has a reputation of not answering their phone and using portions of the donation money to award to members. They may say they're all volunteers but others in Fresno's rescue community have witnessed much different. I really don't trust these reviews and it appears that ACT may just want to have the "Best Reviews in 2014" to drum up more donations in time for the Holidays.

Be your own judge. Seriously though, if a restaurant had thirty nine 5 Star Reviews within 72 hours would you believe them?

The below comment by Brenda is of interest. First, my review speaks about answering the phone. Meaning that my issue is that a human being is hardly there to pick up the phone and speak to the caller. in fact the greeting states that the phone is only answered during a few hours of the week. Anyone who has called ACT in the past can verify this.

You seem to have misinterpreted my review to believe i was referring to call backs. As a matter of business practice a live person answering the phone and call backs are two very different things. I do hope that your redirecting of this subject to call backs rather than addressing the issue of someone not answering the phone was simply a matter of misinterpretation, and not an attempt to deflect the issue. However, given the simplicity of this subject it appears deflecting would be most likely.

In regards to the financial issue. My review never said this applied to salaries so any monies given to members of ACT would never be classified as a salary. There are other terms used whereby members may receive monies, and I am not speaking of reimbursements.

Regardless of the manner in which you received your 5 star reviews, receiving 39 of them within 3 days appears suspect. You couldn't possibly imagine that no one would look at this and not question their validity. Internet reviews have been around for over a decade and most people are savvy to the tricks used by businesses. Even if your actions are honest, you can't just go arousing suspicion through blatant actions that resemble underhanded business tricks and then expect people to stay silent. You need to redirect your anger to the person who had this idea and lacked the foresight to know how suspect an avalanche of 39 Five Star Reviews given in 3 days right before the Holiday Season" while granting you "Best Reviews of 2014" would appear to the public.

Finally, My name is not Christine.

Comments ( 1 )


brenda23 10/17/2014

Christine Leo, Your comments are simply untrue. We are 100% volunteer and work tirelessly to save the lives of animals. Anyone who spends any time with us knows this. We received so many reviews because we posted on our Facebook page and asked for people to review us honestly, and they did. We work so, so hard. Our IRS financials clearly show that we are not taking any salaries. Our "staff" consists of teachers, bookkeepers, vet tech students, lawyers, retirees, veterinarians, and even a 911-dispatcher. We return every call, as well as emails. If there is ever a delay, it's simply because of the heavy call volume we get for animals in need. Having said this, we are always striving to improve as an organization. If you have any constructive, life-saving suggestions, please feel free to contact us directly.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

Brenda Mitchell, Cassie Heffington are the worst animal advocates the Central Valley could offer. They care only for getting donations, publicity, and seeing their names on television.

I attended the CCSPCA meetings at Fresno City Hall in summer of 2012. They made no effort to fight for the lives of the animals. They just did whatever City Hall told them to do. They behaved like a bunch of scared children afraid of being punished by their father for asking a question. It was sad. At one point Katie or Cassie (I can't remember which one) said to a room of 50 people, "Animals are going to die. That's just the reality of it. Animals are going to die." I mean this is someone who is supposed to be standing up for Fresno's animals? I almost cried seeing the animals betrayed.

Do you know what their strategy was to win better conditions for the shelter animals? Prayer. Not prayer and asking the City Council the hard questions. Or prayer and showing our elected officials of how No Kill shelters work in other parts of the country. Nope, just good ole fashion been to the desert on a horse with no name because there ain't no one to give you a name Prayer. I mean when they were pressed by other animal advocates to take a course of action Brenda Mitchell said, "We just have to have patience. God will show us a way." Then she sat there very smug and stern as if saying, "I have spoken". Then the only HIspanic woman in their group raised her right hand as if in church giving witness and said, "I know God has a plan. And I know if we just have faith...[insert tears, I'm serious she started crying, waterfalls down her cheeks]..that if we have faith in God, He will show us the way. We need to have patience because God will give us a way, I know he will. I know, but we have to have faith." Then she sniffled in her tears and the rest of the ACT members nodded and commented in agreement.

Well, nothing has changed in regards to animals dying in the CCSPCA so it looks like the, "Prayer and Only Prayer" method didn't work. Although I think most people who have ever attended college, led a business meeting, been active in politics, or watched the news could have told them that. There were individuals in attendance to the those meetings that attempted to discuss a concrete strategy with members of ACT (Brenda, Katie, Cassie, and the others) but they would not have it. If anyone came up with another idea that did not involve prayer these woman would go high school mean girls on them. They would give them evil eye and attempt to turn other individuals against them. If you're a woman think back to 8th grade and how the mean popular girls treated those they didn't like. Yep, that's how ACT members treated those animal advocates they didn't agree with or like. To say they are unprofessional would be kind.

I've spoken to other Fresno animal advocates. They share similar stories. Members of ACT like to silence other animal lovers by calling them "radical", or "fringe" simply for wanting to become more involved in promoting the No Kill philosophy to City Hall. What it comes down to is that these women of ACT want to be the only animal saving game in town and they will demean anyone who tries to step on their turf. For them it's not about animals, it's about their egos.

Fresno still has the one of the highest kill rates in the State. So why hasn't ACT been promoted the No Kill philosophy? Why have they not done any type of campaigns to have City Hall take action to reduce the shelter euthanasia rate? Not even a letter writing campaign or an internet petition. Because in the minds of ACT thats "too radical".

So if you've ever wondered why Fresno hasn't progressed further with animal issues all you need to do is look at Brenda, Cassie, Katie, and the other ACT members and you'll have your reasons.

If you want Fresno to be a better place for animals you can not look to ACT. They've already proven themselves inept. If you want to change Fresno to be a better place for animals then you'll have to do it yourself. But you will probably get the "8th grade mean girl" treatment by ACT members if they see you. I mean, these women don't like you treading on their territory. Just remember, it's what they do and don't take any of it to heart. Just push them aside and show them how it's done. I mean you couldn't do any worse than they already have.

Oh, I may add, I had a neighbor who tried to call them to see if they could take a stray that was found. They were told ACT doesn't accept strays. No good reason was given. It was heartbreaking.

In sum, with friends like these what dog needs enemies?

1 Linda301

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted Clark, a yellow Lab/German Shepherd mix, in May following the loss of our beloved Corgi a few months before. Clark came to us very well trained, neutered, and in perfect health. He has never tried to mark the house, gets along perfectly with our other dog, and has all of us wrapped around his little paw. He's now the love of our lives!

ACT provided a wonderful dog park for the two dogs to become acquainted, and a canine behavior expert also observed their interactions and gave us words of wisdom to help him adjust to our forever family. They followed up with contact to make sure all is going well. A free vet health exam came long with the adoption fee.

I whole heartedly recommend ACT for anyone wanting to add a furbaby to their family. I used to breed and show Shelties, so I have more than the average layman's knowledge of dogs, and I respect their care standards for each animal. In the future, I will always go to ACT for any future adoptions.


Client Served

Rating: 5

I found the love of my life thru ACT. They worked with me to find the perfect dog for me. I wanted a dog that I could use in Therapy Dog work. They match me with Ruby an Australian Shepard. She was perfect and was able to pass the certification test within 3 weeks of me adopting her. The really help me in finding the most wonderful dog and I love their program that allows people to take home an animal to make sure it is a good match. I think this shows that they are more concerned about find permanent homes for the animals rather then just cycling them though the system.


Client Served

Rating: 5

Back in March my best friend adopted a dog from ACT when it came time for my parents to get a cat ACT was the place I took them to and even found a lovely cat for myself.
They are kind and loving people who work hard to take care of many dogs and cats. Their cat rooms are clean and taken care of, all of their dogs are happy and in clean areas. A VERY nice place! I know if I’m ever looking for another pet I will be returning to them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I adopted my dog Jett (he is half Gordon Setter and half Irish Setter) a little over 1 year ago. After seeing him on their website I spoke with Brenda and that weekend drove to Fresno from Healdsburg to adopt Jett. He has been a great dog and it was super easy working with the people at ACT. I recommend them to all my friends.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My wife and I adopted our dog from ACT and have gone to a couple of their fundraisers. We were very impressed by their facilities and the people working and volunteering there. They are a great place on a great mission!

Angie Meigs M.


Rating: 4

I have never met more caring people than the ones that run A.C.T. They are people that truly live up to their name. I have been involved with this organization for 21/2 years. Their facility is so clean. The animals do not want for anything. If you are thinking about getting involved this is the group.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ACT is absolutely an amazing organization! The amount of kindness, compassion and care that they show to both humans & animals is truly extraordinary! They really go above and beyond to save the lives of animals in need and they have a really great foster program! They are a first-rate animal shelter!