Where Does ARF Rescue its Animals?

We rescue dogs and cats from overcrowded, public shelters to give animals a second chance at a healthy, fulfilling life.

Where is Pets and Vets Located?   

ARF’s Pets and Vets program is located at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation’s national headquarters and adoption center at 2890 Mitchell Dr, Walnut Creek, CA 94598. The 7,893 square foot Engelstad Pets and Vets Center is a safe space for veteran-dog teams to gather, learn, train, and socialize with group and simulated home training rooms, program offices, kennels, gathering space, and more.

We are interested in partnering with ambitious, established nonprofit animal shelters and veteran services organizations to bring the Pets and Vets model to other regions of the country.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

U.S. military Veterans who are able to travel to our campus in Walnut Creek, California are eligible for services offered through the Pets and Vets program. Evidence of service may be provided through an acceptable form of military identification including: military I.D. card, VA health identification card, discharge paperwork with matching photo identification, or Department of Defense Form 214 with matching photo identification.

To be matched with an aspiring service dog, Veterans must also meet a few additional requirements as outlined here.

When Will I Hear Back From Pets and Vets?

After an inquiry has been submitted, our Pets and Vets team should be in touch within one week.

How do I Refer a Veteran to the Program?

If you know a Veteran who might benefit from an emotional support animal or psychiatric service dog, our team would love to talk to them and help understand their challenges. Interested Veterans may contact us at arflife.org/apply

Do you Train Emotional Support Dogs?

We offer free, basic obedience training to Veterans who are matched with an emotional support dog through our program. Aspiring service dogs in the program receive free, basic and advanced training. 

Our team works diligently to match each Veteran with an animal who will help achieve the Veteran’s goals. More information on the types of placements our team offers is available here.

Does ARF Offer Veterinary Services to Veterans’ Pets?

We believe in the power of the human-animal bond, and that cost of care should never keep Veterans from this benefit. We offer free veterinary wellness clinics in the California East Bay by appointment to assist Veterans who may depend on their pets for emotional support. Spay/neuter services are scheduled for Veteran clients as needed. Learn more about how to make an appointment and the type of veterinary care provided.

Can I Train My Own Dog Through Pets and Vets?

The Pets and Vets program focuses on Saving Both Ends of the Leash® by matching pre-screened rescue dogs with Veterans in need through a personalized matching service. However, in some circumstances Veterans may train their own dogs to be service dogs through Pets and Vets. The applicant’s dog must pass our evaluation for service dog suitability, must be spayed or neutered (we can assist with this requirement), and there must be capacity in our current training program. To have your dog considered for the program, please complete this form

What Kind of Shelter 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 our unique dual mission and origin story.  

Pets and Vets was founded in 2011 with the goal of expanding our mission by Saving Both Ends of the Leash®. Our team is committed to finding homes for all healthy and treatable dogs and cats in our care. Animals with treatable medical or behavior conditions are evaluated and cared for prior to rehoming them. Learn more about these classifications by reviewing Maddie’s Fund’s Health & Behavior Categories for Shelter Animals. Potential adopters are provided with all health and behavior history during their time at ARF.   

How is ARF Funded?

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

How do I Donate to Pets and Vets? 

 Donations of any amount make a lifesaving difference for animals and people: Saving Both Ends of the Leash®. Make a secure online donation and direct your gift to the Pets and Vets program, or to donate by mail, please send a check to Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, 2890 Mitchell Dr., Walnut Creek, CA, 94598.

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

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