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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Animal Compassion Team of California

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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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


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?

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Brenda and the team at Animal Compassion Team do a great job in helping the valleys homeless pets. Their dedication to educating the public regarding the need for spaying and neutering is making a difference. They also trap, spay, neuter and release feral cats to help curb the population problem. The deserve the support from the public for doing the hard work for them. They are the ones who spend all their spare time helping the helpless and going way above and beyond what most people could ever imagine what needs to be done to save these dogs and cats.