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Mission Statement: Friends of the Animal Community (FOAC) is a non-profit, a mostly volunteer organization dedicated to meeting the medical and social needs of adoptable pets, providing the path to a loving forever home.

We are a small organization dedicated to relieving over-crowding at Tuolumne County Animal Control (AC); promoting the health of abused and abandoned animals; reducing unnecessary euthanasia; and ultimately expediting movement of homeless dogs into permanent, loving homes. As its name denotes, FOAC also provides assistance in meeting the needs of pets belonging to people in our community. These needs include re-homing a pet whose owner must relinquish it, or who can no longer care for it, and, in extreme emergencies, we have helped with financial assistance for medical issues or boarding and feeding. We are the only dog rescue group in Tuolumne County that offers this free service. Essentially, we give animals another chance for a better life.

FOAC has a small facility with limited space to house and care for a limited number of animals on site. Our Facility is located in Sonora, Ca at 14841 Mono Way Sonora, Ca 95370.  The majority of our animals, are in foster care homes. Foster families are the heart and soul of FOAC. They provide a loving, transitional setting for pets as they await their new forever home. FOAC keeps overhead costs to a minimum, ensuring money received goes towards helping more animals.

Since its formation in 2001, FOAC has re-homed over 6,000 animals. According to Animal Control, FOAC has “provided an additional option for Animal Control dogs, lowering the euthanasia rate from 50% to less than 25%.

Our Scope of Operations:

  • Assist Tuolumne County Animal Control in placing adoptable pets that would otherwise be euthanized due to overcrowding and/or the medical status of the animals.

  • Assist individuals and families within the community to re-home their pets when family circumstances change and they can no longer care for their pets.

  • Work with homeless dogs and cats of all breeds

  • Provide medical care, foster homes and placement screening for all animals in our care.

  • Work with the community to promote, teach and model positive pet-human relationships for life.

  • Use Petfinder (a national pet placement website), Facebook, Craig’s List, all available media to facilitate our adoptions and recruit foster families.

  • Assist community members in who need help in caring for their pets during times of emergency.

  • Provide medical care, training, or additional services needed to render a dog more adoptable.

  • Work with Meals on Wheels to place (and care for) pets with senior citizens wanting to add a pet to their lives.

Adoptions for the last 11 years:            Total Intakes
2012 – 194
2013 – 229
2014 – 315
2015 – 376                                                    410
2016 – 369                                                    325
2017 – 440                                                    486 
2018 – 551                                                    337

2019 - 685                                                     702

2020 - 683                                                     658

2021 - 553                                                     638

2022 - 878                                                   1048

2023 - 879                                                   1019

Intakes- Breakdown:

From  Animal Control

2015      137

2016      107

2017     128

2018 YTD 4-3-18       180

From Community

2015      273

2016      218

2017     358

2018 YTD 4-3-18       157

Save Rate/Live Outcomes – 100%

Board of Directors

FOAC Board of Directors


Darlene Mathews, **President and Founder
President and Founder
2000 – Present


Maureen Miller, **Vice President
Vice President
2011 – Present


Terri Detert, with her Mollie, *Director of Daily Operations
Director of Daily Operations at Rescue Center
2018 – Present


Tom Miller,  *Treasurer
2016 – Present

Reggie Rnoddings *Member at Large

2022 - Present


Glenn Mutch
Member at Large
2013 – 4-Ever In Spirit

Staff & Volunteers

Staff and Volunteers

Couples that Volunteer together, stay together!

Tom and JoAnne Miller are amazing volunteers for FOAC, individually and as a couple. JoAnne works the front desk, answering phones, doing adoptions at center and adoptions events, transports dogs from Animal Control to veterinarian appointments. She also is our volunteer coordinator, helping with all scheduling. Tom is our Treasurer on our FOAC board, managing our finances, transports animal, and helps maintain our facility. Wherever he is needed Tom gladly helps out! They as a couple lead our recent fundraiser.

Dae Watson

Social Media Expert


Jen Pastorini


History & Operations

History & Operations

FOAC was established as a 501)(c)(3) non-profit, stand-alone organization in 2001 as a companion organization to Tuolumne County Animal Control and was thus named “Friends of Animal Control”. Initially, our mission was to relieve crowding at the Animal Shelter, expedite movement of homeless pets into permanent, loving homes, and reduce the number of unnecessary euthanizations at the Animal Shelter. At that time, we were staffed by concerned employees and volunteers of Animal Control.

Our initial process, which continues today, is to move pets out of Animal Control into Foster Care or a breed-specific rescue organization with the ultimate goal of finding the best possible home for the pet. We visit Animal Control on a periodic basis to determine which pets are good candidates for FOAC services. Correspondingly, Animal Control will call us when they identify a good candidate and we respond by going to the Animal Shelter for an assessment.

Once a pet is selected for FOAC services, they have a medical screening by a local veterinarian. An assessment is made as to the viability of providing medical care, from two perspectives, the age and condition of the pet and available financial resources. If the pet is a viable candidate for the medical treatment but funds are not available, FOAC conducts pet specific fund-raising events to ensure that medical care is provided.

FOAC has a small facility and can only house a small number of animals. Foster Homes are at the heart of FOAC’s success. Foster homes ensure that each pet is socialized within a home environment and we have an opportunity to assess the type of home to which the pet is most likely to adapt.

The foster home model of operation also ensures effective use of FOAC funds which are fully dependent upon the generosity of people and businesses in our community. We receive no financial assistance from any governmental agency.

Recently, we have expanded our services to assist families who can no longer care for their pet due to personal circumstances. We have helped when families have lost their homes or relocated and cannot take their pets with them. We have helped when medical crises arise and caring for a pet is not possible. We have also helped when the death of the owner dictates a new home for a pet.

The expansion of services within the community has prompted us to rename our organization, “Friends of the Animal Community”. Our abbreviated name, FOAC remains unchanged. And our commitment to the pets in our community is unwavering.

Adoption History:    3856 Animals Adopted (as of Dec 30, 2020)

2020 693 Intakes and 681 Adoptions

2019 759 Intakes, and 683 Adoptions 

2018     551 

2017     440

2016     369

2015    376

2014     315

2013     229

2012    194

Sources & Funds

FOAC Sources & Uses of Funds

FOAC is committed to using our funds responsibly to ensure the confidence of our donors. We receive funding from 4 major sources:

  • from individuals and businesses within the community

  • from events planned and conducted by FOAC

  • from adoptions

  • from reimbursements and refunds.

The majority of funding comes from within our local community as a direct or indirect result of our fundraising activities. Adoptions account for 40% of our sources of funds, a direct indication of the number of pets we place in loving permanent homes. Our objective is to provide the finest care possible for as many needy pets as we can within the limitations of our available time and funds. Funds are used to cover all expenses to support our mission.

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