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Animal Rescue Foundation

Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation or ARF is a nonprofit organization based in Walnut Creek, California. ARF rescues dogs and cats from public shelters where they would otherwise be euthanized and adopts them into new homes, as well as runs programs to strengthen the human-animal bond for seniors, children, hospital patients, veterans, and people in disadvantaged circumstances. Programs include a spay and neuter clinic, visiting therapy animal team, humane education programs, and programs to support low-income pet guardians who struggle to keep their pets at home.

ARF Headquarters.jpg
ARF's headquarters
Key people
Elena Bicker, Executive Director

The catalyst for ARF came in May 1990 during a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees when a stray cat wandered onto the playing field at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum. Terrified by the roar of the crowd, the frightened feline dashed about, eluding umpires and players. La Russa (then the manager of the A's) coaxed the cat into the dugout, secured her safety for the remainder of the game, then took responsibility for placing her with a local shelter.

Tony and his wife Elaine discovered there was not a single no-kill shelter in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area and that the cat would be euthanized. The La Russas found a home for her and were inspired to co-found ARF with the mission "People Rescuing Animals...Animals Rescuing People..." to bring people and animals together to enrich each other's lives.

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