Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation

Rating: 4.78 stars   32 reviews

Issues: Animals, Education, Human Services

Location: 2890 Mitchell Drive Walnut Creek CA 94598 USA

Mission: ARF saves dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters and brings people and animals together to enrich each others lives. ARF strives to create a world where every loving dog and cat has a home, where every lonely person has a companion animal, and where children learn to care. Vision ARF was created in 1991 by Tony and Elaine La Russa to address the needs of companion animals. Their vision for ARF is an organization that can not only aid abandoned and homeless animals, but also promote the concept that people's lives can be enhanced by strengthening the bonds between humans and animals. With these intertwined goals as the guiding principles, ARF is known as a national as well as local leader. ARF is growing to meet the demands of the 21st century with the first private adoption and education center in Contra Costa County, California. ARF will continue to respond to the immediate needs of animals who have been neglected, abused or deprived of love to ensure they find high quality homes. At the same time, ARF will embody the vision of a better future-one where animals are respected for the unique role they can and do play in making the world a better place for people to live and where there is a stable and loving home for every pet to complete its natural lifespan.
Programs: ARF's Animal Programs programs continue to grow nationally and prosper. ARF's Mission is to find more homes for abandoned dogs and cats; stop pet over-population before it starts through spay/neuter programs; teach people the joys and responsibilities of animal companions; provide the community with dog training classes and other hands-on seminars; and offer emergency veterinary assistance, donated pet food and supplies to low income families. ARF’s People Connect programs foster the unequaled human/animal bond. Through classes, hands-on activities, interactive educational programs and play, people and pets enrich each others’ lives. ARF’s People Connect programs provide an opportunity for individuals of all ages to experience the unfailing friendship and magic of animals.

2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer since I retired 4 years ago. But I initially became involved with their mission and activities when they first started and were operating out of a trailer close to where their fabulous animal friendly campus now stands. ARF is the deserves all the highest rankings they receive from donors, clients and volunteers.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Extend their hours, but they need more volunteers to be able to do this.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

I'm a current volunteer at ARF in several capacities ("Shelter Essentials" or washing/folding laundry; "Docent" for birthday parties at the ARF facilities; "Dog Care Partner" which involves talking shelter dogs on their evening potty walks; and "Foster" housing puppies until they were old enough/well enough for adoption. There are so many volunteer opportunities (even more than these!) to help ARF in its mission.

I started volunteering because our lifestyle doesn't currently allow for a dog of our own. I find myself spending more and more time there and I'm always looking forward to my shifts (even hopping out of bed early on a Sunday morning). It's so fulfilling to see how they treat the animals, to participate in a small way with ARF getting the word out to kids and to help with the puppies and the dogs waiting for their new family. This is a well-rounded, forward thinking organization well worth your time.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 2 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

They get 5 stars for the incredible work they do with animals/pets.

They get 1 star for their lack of kindness towards humans.

I personally think their strict policies around volunteers, and their lack of personalization with humans left me feeling not valued as a volunteer and donor.

I would adopt from them but I would not work or volunteer for them ever again.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The personal connection is just not there. They do great work for the animals but most of my interactions with them as a volunteer have been very cold and "policy driven." Their work with animals is commendable and I respect and admire them for that. However, the office environment is very cold (emotionally) and when I've asked to volunteer at other things, they turned me down citing that I did not fulfill their requirement of 8 hours per month. That is totally unreasonable for a nonprofit

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Unlikely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A little

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have volunteered at Tony La Russa's ARF since I retired 7 years ago and I always say that I get so much more back from the experience than I give! When I walk through the front doors of Tony La Russa's ARF, I feel such a boost of HOPE! No cages for these cherished animals - they have condos with windows and beds and toys! I always stop by the condos and tell the cats and dogs that even if they don't have a "forever home" yet, they are loved and cherished by the staff and volunteers who visit and care for them each day.

When I donate money or goods to the ARF Thrift Store, I feel confident that they will make good use of whatever I give. Their "hearts" are with the animals. Their Emergency Medical Fund is a blessing to people who cannot afford medical care for pets. My next door neighbor was out of work and her dog needed dental care desperately. I told her about EMF and they took care of the dental care so he didn't have to suffer a sore mouth anymore.

They provide spay and neuter services for many who cannot afford to pay.

As a volunteer, I am treated with respect and as a valued member of the *team".

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I believe that they could give advice to other rescue groups. There is not one thing I could think of to change.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am proud to be a volunteer at ARF. I knew this organization was special from the moment I walked through the door. You can feel the energy and the commitment to pets and to people in the community. They know their mission and adhere to it with laser focus. I'm amazed that everyone with whom I come in contact with at the dog park when exercising my pets knows ARF and speaks highly of the organization. In fact, many of the dogs that come to the park were adopted from ARF!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I'm a fairly new volunteer and it is too early for me to have an opinion on this.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I love working at ARF. Whenever I see a dog or cat find a "forever" home with a person or family , I get a little teary eyed. These animals were close to being euthanized at another shelter and we gave them another chance to live a happy life and to "rescue" a special family. You can't get much better than that! Knowing that our dogs and cats will stay with us until they get adopted always makes me feel good.
It's so rewarding volunteering at ARF.
ARF also does a lot to educate children and adults about the responsibilities of being a companion to your pet.
Some of our special dogs and cats visit hospitals, nursing homes, etc. to bring joy to people who could use a bit of comfort.
IT'S AWESOME BEING A PART OF THIS GREAT ORGANIZATION!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I am a recent volunteer to ARF and am not yet able to describe ways in which I have made a difference. What I would like to communicate is how impressed I am with ARF's professional and well organized organization. I recently completed my volunteer training and, since that day, I have not stopped singing ARF's praises. I am so proud that there is a program in the Bay Area that is able to save so many dogs and cats from being euthanized each week! And so much more. The volunteer opportunities are limitless and the need is ongoing. I only hope that ARF will be a big part of my future and I will be able to help all of the wonderful dogs, puppies, cats and kittens. I love them all!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I began volunteering at ARF when I was rescued by my dog, pit bull/labrador mix, Emma. She came along when I was at a low point n my life and she lifted me up and gave me a reason to love again. I found such joy in being her guardian, I wanted to bring that joy to others. I found ARF and began volunteering as a greeter, tablet, dog walker and now an adoption counselor. It's immensely gratifying to watch an animal and family connect with each other. I believe that every human being deserves a home, food, and an animal companion. ARF has allowed me to live my values and bring joy to adopters and animals alike.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

A Saturday in June I went to Shadeland's Antique Show and ARF was there with their van. I saw this black and white 3 year old cat and feel in love with her. By Wednesday Kelly was still in my dreams I just could not get her out of my mind so down I went to ARF, hoping she was still available and she was. The staff was wonderful, took a lot of time with me never made me feel hurried in any way. You could really tell that the staff and volunteers loved their jobs and loved these animals. Each of the kitty condo's were clean and each had the regular things plus toys. Treats were also available plus more toys. Volunteers were in numerous condo's playing with the cats and kittens. Each cat had a complete history and their social skills listed so you knew if the feline you liked would blend in with you and the best part was you were able to set down on the floor and play with the cat or kittens to see how they were around you. Kelly and I bonded immediately and she has trained me well already. She is my constant companion when I am in the house and has made this senior very happy.. ARF is just plain wonderful. Sarah

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can think of nothing for they really covered all the basics

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

ARF is a class act and a responsible organization providing animals with loving homes. ARF helped me find the perfect cat for me in June, and we love her so much! ARF is very responsible with its donations and has a tireless force of volunteers and employees who make their mission happen.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?