A non-profit organization based in Walnut Creek, California, is the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation or ARF. 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 bond between humans and animals for the elderly, children, hospital patients, veterans and disadvantaged. Includes a spay and neuter clinic, visiting animal therapy team, human education programs, and programs to support low-income pet guardians struggling to keep their pets at home. The ARF catalyst came during a baseball match between the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees in May 1990, when a stray cat wandered to the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum playground. Terrified by the crowd’s roar, the scared feline swayed, eluding umpires and players. La Russa (then the A’s manager) coaxed the cat into the dugout, secured her safety for the rest of the game, then assumed responsibility for putting her in a local shelter.
Tony and his wife Elaine discovered that in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area there was no single no-kill shelter and that the cat would be euthanized. The La Russa’s found a home for her and were inspired to co-found ARF with a mission to bring together people and animals to enrich the lives of each other. Since his heroic gesture took place Walnut Creek and the surrounding areas have not been the same. Walnut Creek has since become more conscious about what to do when they see stray animals and go to Tony La Russa’s ARF when in doubt. Not only has ARF changed the city but also the animals. Animals who before would be captured and taken to be euthanized now have hope that someone good might come along and help them go to the home 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
- Apollo Auto Spa