There must be something about California and Animal Rescues! All three of the past Best Bully Sticks 1-Day Animal Rescue/Shelter Giveaway winners have been from California! We’re glad West Coast pups are benefitting and we’re glad that we could help out! On July 17th, Animal Compassion Team was added to the ranks of those winners. Hailing from Fresno, California, this rescue is a highly organized and well-networked group of people who are making a difference in their community and beyond. Best Bully Sticks talked with Brenda Mitchell, President of Animal Compassion team about their wonderful rescue. 

When & Why did you start? 
Animal Compassion Team (ACT) was founded in August 2009 by a group of like-minded individuals who were volunteering for the local high-kill animal control shelter and felt that there had to be a more humane and proactive solution to the animal control and care issues facing our community.  ACT founders set out to save as many lives as possible through rescue, adoption, spay/neuter, trap/neuter/release programs, and community education.

What’s different about your rescue? 
ACT is a non-profit, all breed rescue.  We also engage in a variety of activities outside the normal “rescue & adopt” model, such as trap/neuter/release of some feral cats, community education, and “owner foster” programs in order to maximize our impact.  We are also run completely by volunteers, and have a group of approximately 80 foster parents who care for homeless animals.  We have successfully saved approximately 4,000 animals in the three years we have been operational.

What is the greatest success story or “win” that your rescue has had?
It’s so difficult to pick one greatest success story, but one of the many that comes to mind is Eyelean, the Boston Terrier on our logo.  Eyelean was our first “pull” from the local high-kill shelter.  Eyelean was a very special girl.  She was found along with her sisters, Ethel and Mimi, as a stray, served her stray holding period in an animal control facility, and was then destined for euthanasia.  She was rescued by ACT and although obese and a little dirty, appeared to be outwardly fine.  Shortly after her rescue, her right eye burst, most likely due to an old injury.  That eye had to be removed, and the staff at the vet clinic affectionately dubbed her “Eyereen”.  12 days after her eye removal surgery, Eyelean had a seizure.  The vets think the seizures were caused by an infection from the surgery that spread to her brain.  After the seizures, she began to have a tilt about her, and the clinic staff renamed her “Eyelean”.  Eyelean had some hard times recovering from her issues, but eventually found a fantastic forever home where she is loved and cherished, despite her medical issues.  ACT has many stories that are very similar to this, as over the past few years we have cared for quite a few animals that others may have deemed “unadoptable”. 

What’s the most rewarding thing about working at your rescue? 
The most rewarding thing about working with ACT is seeing a group of volunteers banding together to save the lives of those who do not have a voice to defend themselves.  Some of the pets come to us in such terrible condition: matted, afraid, dirty and ill. They are then placed into the hands of loving foster parents and come out the other side into fantastic forever homes having been vetted, cleaned, and socialized.  Some appear to be completely different animals, and the change is astounding to watch.  It never gets old. 

What can people do to help your rescue? 
ACT has some exciting new ventures coming up and we will definitely be in need of LOTS of volunteers and donations (of items, services, and funds).  Please visit our website www.animalcompassionteam.com and/or our Facebook page to stay informed of our exciting new developments! 

Thank you to Animal Compassion Team for their dedicated work and service to the animals of their community.

We have another 1-Day Animal Shelter/Rescue Giveaway in a couple weeks! Stay tuned to the BBS Facebook Page for our announcement!