ARF welcomes community back to adoption center

WALNUT CREEK, CA — Walking the halls at Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) is starting to feel a lot more normal these days.

When California reopened on June 15, our team was thrilled to welcome the public back to our Walnut Creek campus. There is nothing better than hearing children laugh at kittens’ antics or witnessing the joy of a couple as they swoon over their newly adopted dog. We even held our first in-person meeting with our incredible volunteers.

Life as we knew it changed due to the coronavirus, and as I reflect on the past 16 months, it’s the compassion of our community that shines the brightest. ARF wouldn’t be able to keep families together and save lives without supporters like you.

ARF’s team rapidly adapted during the shelter-in-place order in March 2020 to connect more than 1,600 dogs and cats with loving families. The majority of those animals were adopted through an entirely virtual process, meeting their new families for the first time during socially distanced, pick-up appointments.

Adopting during a pandemic

One adopter explained the decision to adopt during the pandemic. “My partner and I were hesitant doing an adoption without interacting with the animal first, but ARF was wonderful in providing us with as much information as possible before we officially adopted our pet. We are so happy to have adopted. Our lab/pittie keeps us entertained with his goofy personality and living on a ranch keeps him entertained and always exploring.”

We’ve learned a lot over the past year and a half, and we’re adjusting our approach to help the animals we rescue thrive.

Most of the animals have been through a lot of changes before arriving to our campus. Usually, they need medical care or extra TLC. They thrive with our volunteers, and fostering helps our adoption team learn more about the animals in a home environment.

Additionally, adoptions by appointment created a more efficient process with personalized attention for our adopters and their family’s needs throughout the entire adoption experience. As a result, ARF will continue scheduling appointments in addition to our traditional walk-in adoptions. We recommend that interested adopters submit an inquiry online at to begin a conversation with an adoption counselor and schedule an appointment to meet potential furry family members.

We hope to see your smiling face on our campus soon.

ARF’s campus at 2890 Mitchell Dr., Walnut Creek, is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Adoption hours are noon-5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

To view available animals online, learn more about adopting from ARF or sign up to foster an animal, please visit

Elena Bicker is the Executive Director of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation. She can be reached at (925) 256-1ARF (1273)

This month’s ARF Adoption stars

Randall and Shakira

Looking for a furry friend during this trying time? Good news — ARF now offers a no-contact, virtual adoption process. If you see an animal that interests you in on the website, just fill out an online inquiry form. Once your they recieve your inquiry, you will be added to our virtual adoption queue.

Five-year-old Randall is a wiggly goof that loves to stick close by his favorite people. Randall would do best in a home with lots of space and an active family who can provide lots of love and fun activities to keep him busy. He may bit a bit shy at first, but warms up quickly with some nice treats and gentle petting. Randall has a positive history with other dogs and currently weighs 53 pounds.

ARF adoption fees: $250 for an adult dog, $350 for a puppy (under 6 months), $125 for a special-needs dog, $175 for a special-needs puppy (under 6 months), and $125 for a senior dog (7+ years).

Meet, two-year-old Shakira, a gorgeous, long-haired tuxedo cat whose affection is hard to resist. Easygoing Shakira makes friends with everyone she meets. This precious gal is ready for her fur-ever home!

ARF Adoption fees: $100 for an adult cat, $150 for a kitten (under 6 months), $150 for two adult cats, $250 for two kittens, $50 for a special-needs cat, $75 for a special-needs kitten (under 6 months), and $50 for a senior cat (7+ years).

Would you like to be part of the heroic team that saves the lives of rescued dogs and cats? Can you share your talents to connect people and animals? ARF volunteers make a difference. For more information see website,, or call (925) 256-1ARF.