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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Education, Educational Services, Human Services

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.

Community Stories

35 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 4

We have known about ARF for several years, and now fostering for them we have even more respect for the work they do in helping connect dogs and cats with people, as a great addition to their family

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Members of Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation's Pet Hug Pack visit Cal every month. Cal is a very competitive school, and being a student there is stressful. Because spending time with ARF's Pet Hug Pack dogs instantly relieved the stress of school, I went to all of the Pet Hug Pack's visits to Cal while I was a student there. All of the dogs at the Pet Hugs events at Cal were always happy to see me and gave me lots of kisses. My favorite dog from ARF's Pet Hug Pack, the adorable Havanese dog Maddie, looked at me in the eye with a smile and put her paws on my heart to say "I love you", in addition to giving lots of kisses.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Positive environment and excellent people to work with.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 2

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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".

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!