The Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation or ARF is a non-profit organization based in Walnut Creek, California. ARF saves dogs and cats from government shelters where they would otherwise be euthanized and introduces them into new homes, as well as operates programs to reinforce the bond between individuals and pets for the elderly, kids, patients in hospitals, veterans and disadvantaged. Includes a spay and neuter clinic, visiting animal therapy team, programs for human education, and programs to help low-income pet guardians struggling to maintain their animals at home. The ARF catalyst originated in May 1990, when a stray dog walked to the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum playground during a baseball game between the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees.

The frightened feline, terrified by the roar of the crowd, swayed, eluding umpires and players. La Russa (then the manager of the A) coaxed the cat into the dugout, securing her safety for the remainder of the match, then taking responsibility for placing her in a shelter. Tony and his wife Elaine found that there was no single no-kill shelter in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area and the cat would be euthanized. The La Russa discovered her home and were motivated to co-found ARF with a mission to bring individuals and animals together to enrich each other’s life. Walnut Creek and the surrounding regions have not been the same since his heroic act took place. Since then, Walnut Creek has become more aware of what to do when they see stray pets and when in doubt they go to the ARF of Tony La Russa. In addition to changing the town, ARF has also altered the wildlife. Animals that were previously caught and taken for euthanization now have hope that somebody good might come along to assist them go back for them.

This amazing foundation is located near the following places of interest in Walnut Creek, California:

  • Walnut Creek BART Station

  • Bedford Art Gallery

  • Boundary Oak Golf Course

  • Broadway Plaza Shopping Center

  • Walnut Creek City Hall

  • Castle Rock Park

  • Civic Park, including seasonal outdoor skating rink

  • Heather Farm Park, including Gardens at Heather Farm and all-abilities playground

  • Howe Homestead Park

  • Lesher Center for the Arts

  • Lindsay Wildlife Museum