The Animal Rescue Foundation Needs Your Help

Humans and animals have mutual needs. That’s why the Animal Rescue Foundation’s mission is People Rescuing Animals and Animals Rescuing People.

This organization rescues homeless, abandoned, and abused animals and trains them to be excellent companions to new guardians.

Learn more about the Animal Rescue Foundation. Find out how they started and how you can do your part to help rescue more animals. 

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Animal Rescue Foundation charity

Who is the Animal Rescue Foundation?

Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) is located in California with a dual mission of People Rescuing Animals and Animals Rescuing People. 

It is committed to finding homes for healthy and treatable dogs. These animals are evaluated and cared for before they get rehomed. 

Through this foundation, 47,000 adoptions have saved cats’ and dogs’ lives. ARF has also paired with other organizations in strengthening the human-animal bond through several programs.

ARF has championed programs for Veterans, seniors, children, and under-resourced community members. Find out more about their current programs and services here.

Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in all 50 states of the USA. It is solely funded by private donations from foundations, individuals, and corporations. 

How the Animal Rescue Foundation Started?

Tony used to be a manager for the Oakland Athletics. His inspiration to start the Animal Rescue Foundation began with an incident during the televised baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees on May 7, 1990.

During the game, a stray tortoiseshell cat found herself on the playing field. She was hungry and frightened. Tony saw the frightened cat and gently coaxed her into the dugout. 

After the game, Tony and his wife Elaine tried to find a shelter to take the frightened cat in. However, they quickly realized that the poor kitty would likely be euthanized.

And so, they took her home and named her Evie. As life–long animal advocates, the couple decided that Evie would not be their last rescue.

Less than a year after that, in 1991, they co-founded ARF in a small donated office space. They only had a few volunteers dedicated to saving 1457 cats and dogs during their first year. 

After a few years, ARF began its humane education programs to ingrain an early love of animals in children. 

Years later, the Animal Rescue Foundation started more programs to help seniors and veterans. 

They also have programs that help low-income owners keep their pets at home and out of shelters.

What Does the Animal Rescue Foundation Do?

The Animal Rescue Foundation is an award-winning foundation that is known for its various projects saving animals.


Their main efforts focus on evacuating animals from natural disasters, rescuing cats and dogs from abusive families, and providing medical care to them. 

After rescuing an animal, the organization reviews if they are healthy or treatable. Then, they treat these animals for their behavioral and medical conditions before re-homing them. 

Check out all the current pets available for adoption. The charity provides all the health and behavioral history of their animals to their new owners.

Pets and Vets Program

One of ARF’s current programs is Pets and Vets. Launched in 2011, this initiative aims to offer emotional support to US military heroes through therapy dogs.

Pets And Vets now includes a wide range of services, such as free adoptions, veterinary care, and training programs for service dogs. 

It’s located in Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation’s national headquarters and adoption center in California.

Through these strategies, rescue dogs are given the purpose of helping veterans with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and anxiety, by:

  • providing a stable companionship
  • increasing sociability and relationship building
  • lowering blood pressure
  • improving sleep patterns
  • establishing routines and self-care practices.

If you know a veteran who might benefit from an emotional support animal, contact the foundation to apply.

Each dog has their own inspiring story about becoming a heroic dog. Read their stories here.

Join the Pet Hug Pack®

Your own pets can also be a huge part of the Animal Rescue Foundation’s efforts to help people in need by joining the Pet Hug Pack®.

The Pet Hug Pack® is an incredible therapy animal program that has helped hundreds of thousands of children, seniors, Veterans, and people in need.

Your pet can join the program and serve as a therapy animal for those who are in need of unconditional love.

If you think your pet is a perfect candidate, send your application letter here.

Other Services

ARF also currently provides the following services for Contra Costa County residents:

How Can You Help the Animal Rescue Foundation?


Animal Rescue Foundation offers several ways for you to get involved. You can volunteer at the facility to provide cat care, crate/van washing, dog care, and greeter at the establishment.

Note that volunteer positions are for those 18 and older. You need to attend their orientation and be committed to a six-month project.

Event Participation

Another way to contribute to the organization is by attending events.

Future events include Yappy Hour, Leaders and Legends, and various mobile adoption events. They also hold regular puppy training sessions, wellness clinics, and fundraising events.


You might also want to be part of the foster program. Every year, hundreds of animals need volunteer foster homes where they can grow and heal. 

Sign up for a foster orientation or donate to the program. 

You can help support the foster program by ordering pet supplies from Pet Food Express so that 4% of your purchases will be donated to ARF. Or buy through their Amazon Smile or Chewy wish lists. You’ll find the links at the bottom of the foster page.


Making an online donation is a great way to help. Especially if you don’t live near the organization. Your gift will create a life-changing difference for animals in need. 

Other financial donation options include monthly gifts, honoring a loved one, sponsoring an adoption, and various legacy gift options.

The Animal Rescue Foundation also needs several items for its foundation. You can donate supplies for the animals, like scratching posts, toys, beds, muzzles, collars, or food bowls. 

Or you can donate office, medical, and cleaning supplies for the organization to use. You can even donate a vehicle.

Shop in their thrift store online or buy official merch to show your support.

Raise Awareness

The Animal Rescue Foundation is also very active on social media. You can support them by engaging and helping raise awareness.

You can follow them on their social accounts here: 

You can also sign up for their email newsletters to keep informed of all the events and activities.

To learn about other ways to help animals in need, click through to our Charity Spotlight series for a list of all the charities we love.