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Please see below for answers to some of ARF's most Frequently Asked Questions. If you do not see your question addressed, please contact ARF.

What is ARF?

Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit organization founded in 1991 to rescue dogs and cats from overcrowded municipal shelters and strengthen the human-animal bond for children, seniors, veterans, and people in need. Read about ARF's mission and history.

Where is ARF located?

ARF's national headquarters and shelter are located in Walnut Creek, California.

What kind of shelter is ARF?

ARF is a private non-profit committed to finding homes for all healthy and treatable dogs and cats in its care, and treats animals with treatable medical or behavior conditions prior to re-homing them.

Euthanasia is reserved only for animals who are unhealthy and untreatable. Learn more about these classifications by reviewing Maddie's Fund's Health & Behavior Categories for Shelter Animals.  

How is ARF funded?

ARF is a non-profit organization that is funded by private donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. Complete financial information is available. 

How do I donate to ARF?

Donations of any amount make a life-saving difference for animals and people. It's easy to make a secure online donation. To donate by mail, please send checks to ARF, 2890 Mitchell Dr, Walnut Creek, CA, 94598.

There are many other ways donate to ARF, including stock, vehicle donations, planned giving, workplace giving, and more. 

How will my donation money be spent?

ARF knows you have many choices when it comes to making charitable contributions. 85 cents of every dollar donated to ARF goes directly to programs.

ARF has earned 13 consecutive four-star ratings, the highest ranking possible, from Charity Navigator, placing ARF at a level achieved by only 1 percent of ranked charities. The nation's premier charity evaluator bases its rankings on sound financial management, transparency, and accountability.

Find out how your gift will be put to good use

How do I volunteer at ARF?

ARF's mission would not be possible without the time and talents of more than 600 volunteers involved in everything from animal care to events to customer service to outreach! Visit the Volunteer section to learn about opportunities and to register for a volunteer information session.

What types of animals does ARF rescue?

ARF rescues cats and dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds. View a current list of adoptable cats and dogs.

Where does ARF rescue its animals?

ARF rescues dogs and cats from overcrowded, public shelters to reduce the number of animals euthanized.

Can I surrender my pet to ARF?

ARF rescues dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters, and does not accept pets from the public. If you or someone you know feels they are unable to continue caring for their pet, please contact the Resource & Referral Center or read the Re-Homing a Pet section to learn about ARF's Private Adoption Program and Courtesy Listings

If you adopted your pet from ARF, ARF's team is here to support you through the difficult decision to return your pet. Please read ARF's Adoption Return Policy

Where are the adoptable animals?

The majority of adoptions occur at ARF headquarters in Walnut Creek, California.

ARF also hosts mobile adoption events throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

What is the adoption process like?

ARF's adoption process is designed to create forever families! A team of adoption specialists will work with you to find the best possible match through conversation and discovery. The pet's primary guardian must be 18 or older, complete the adoption in person, and present valid state-issued photo identification. Families should plan for the process to last a minimum of one hour.

Read more about ARF's adoption process.

How much are adoption fees?

ARF's adoption fees are as follows:

Cat - $100
Kitten (<6 months) - $150
Dog - $250
Puppy (<6 months) - $350.

Discounts are available for multiple cats/kittens ($25 off each), special needs pets (50% off adoption fee), senior pets (50% off adoption fee), and through Adoption Programs and special promotions. 

Credit or debit card and cash are accepted. No checks, please.

When are animals ready for adoption? 

Animals are ready for adoption after they have been spayed or neutered, and evaluated by ARF's behavior team. 

What does my adoption fee pay for?

All animals adopted from ARF receive an exam, are spayed or neutered, given age-appropriate vaccinations, microchipped, de-wormed, and given flea preventative. All dogs are started on heartworm preventative. Dogs over 6 months are heartworm tested. Cats under 6 months, are FeLV tested, and cats over 6 months are tested for both FeLV and FIV.

The adoption fee covers only a small portion of medical expenses and the cost of caring for an animal throughout their stay at ARF. 

Are there any adoption discounts?

Select animals have their fees sponsored by generous donors as part of the VIP program. ARF periodically holds special adoption events and promotions reducing or waiving adoption fees.

Does ARF offer training?

ARF's dog training program, provides comprehensive dog training for new and experienced guardians of all levels. Additionally, ARF offers kitten training through our Kitten Kindergarten classes.

Are there programs for children?

ARF offers programs for children of all ages as individuals, and with classes or groups. ARF gives kids the opportunity to interact with animals, and teaches compassion, respect, and responsibility. Explore ARF's wide range of Youth Programs.

Do you offer advice on caring for a pet?

ARF's Pet Care & Behavior Library is filled with helpful information on pet care including behavior tips, and more. ARF also offers resources on rehoming a pet, lost & found animals, community cats, emergency preparedness, and more.

If you do not see a certain topic covered, please contact the Resource & Referral Center for guidance.

Does ARF offer veterinary services?

Animals admitted to ARF's program are given veterinary care at ARF's clinic. ARF does not provide general veterinary services to the public, but does provide low-cost spay and neuter services, as well as weekly mobile clinics for the pets of military veterans at the Martinez VA and Livermore VA.

Will ARF help fund my organization or project? 

ARF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, relying solely upon donations to fund our programs, but ARF is not a granting organization and does not accept solicitations for funding. 

The LaRussa Family Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) and is a separate entity not affiliated or associated with ARF. Solicitation of funds from the LaRussa Family Foundation should be addressed only via post to 3000-F Danville Blvd #325, Alamo, California 94507 – no phone calls or emails, please.  ARF is not responsible for assistance or follow up of requests.

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