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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation

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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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Jim_67

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

While living in the San Francisco Bay area I because aware of the ARF foundation and its great work. Tony La Russa has gotten it so right. The foundation is the best at what they do, and they do so much for so many. Not only for animals, they also teach and educate everyone about animals and their care and treatment. From the poor, lost, and neglected puppy to the beaten and abused cat, from the uneducated and ignorant child to the negligent pet owner who doesn't care about those who cannot fight back, they have a program or will take action. They are the best at what they are and do. They world is a much better place for having Tony La Russa and his staff in it.

Masha R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After teaching children for 37 years I retired and I turned my attention to my number one volunteer destination - Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation! Working with the ARF team is so rewarding. Everyone on the ARF team is dedicated to providing the best care and to finding the best homes for each of its dogs and cats! The spirit of ARF is one of hope, love, and commitment. If you are thinking of joining the ARF volunteer team now over 500 volunteers, your days will be full of joy! Masha Rosenthal

Client Served

Rating: 5

Before going into ARF, I was living alone and just going to school full time and working part time. My mom showed me a picture of this cat online that they had and my heart just melted. When I went into the shelter, I was not only treated with respect, but was surprised to see a clean environment for both humans and animals. The animals were not in cages and had plenty of room to move around since there was at most two animals to a certain space. I was also surprised to see that a questionnaire was required to even see an animal and a personal "assistant" was assigned to me to show me the animals. Adopting Sunday(my new cat) was an easy process and I was even given a free bag of food. Not only was my experience fantastic here, I found a new friend that was perfect for me.

Donor

Rating: 5

As an animal lover, I first became acquainted with ARF while living in Southern CA. I learned of their great work and began contributing to the organization and have continued to do so for the last 18 years. They have a dedicated staff who do everything possible to help animals find their forever homes. They have been one of the few groups that I've continuously supported.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I started contributing to ARF when I lived in CA and have continued to do so even though I'm now back on the East Coast. They are a wonderful organization of compassionate people who care very much about animals and are doing all they can to make sure that every animal in their care finds a forever home. I highly recommend them both to those looking to adopt and those looking for a reliable organization to donate to.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This past summer I was an Animal Care intern with ARF, spending my days with the wonderful kitty residents. To put it simply, the organization is amazing! There was a great give and take feeling: a balance between me contributing to the cats' welfare and the cats teaching me how to be patient and compassionate with their different personalities. The staff and volunteers are fun, upbeat, and dynamic, willing to lend a hand in any way they can. The genuine concern for the animals in their care comes across easily, and it was an honor being a part of the organization. Great animals and great people!

Karen124

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for almost 2 years, I'm proud to be associated with such a caring organization. The superb animal care is demonstrated by the excellent attention-to-detail training it provides to the volunteers -- from shelter essentials to cat care partner training, etc. Everyone involved knows the goal: to provide the best animal care possible until they find their forever homes. Great job ARF!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Arf was amazing in helping me adopt my dog syrah. The facilities are clean & you can tell the staff sally care for their animals. The foggy manners class I took there was also well run & informative.