ARF saves dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters and brings people and animals together to enrich each others lives. ARF strives to create a world where every loving dog and cat has a home, where every lonely person has a companion animal, and where children learn to care.
ARF was created in 1991 by Tony and Elaine La Russa to address the needs of companion animals. Their vision for ARF is an organization that can not only aid abandoned and homeless animals, but also promote the concept that people's lives can be enhanced by strengthening the bonds between humans and animals. With these intertwined goals as the guiding principles, ARF is known as a national as well as local leader.
ARF is growing to meet the demands of the 21st century with the first private adoption and education center in Contra Costa County, California. ARF will continue to respond to the immediate needs of animals who have been neglected, abused or deprived of love to ensure they find high quality homes. At the same time, ARF will embody the vision of a better future-one where animals are respected for the unique role they can and do play in making the world a better place for people to live and where there is a stable and loving home for every pet to complete its natural lifespan.
Elena Bicker, ARF's executive director, speaks about
ARF's mission and life-saving work.
To provide the rescue, adoption and population control services necessary to ensure all companion animals a stable and loving home in which to complete a natural lifespan.
To improve the quality of relationships between people and pets, with emphasis on populations like abused children, the elderly and others who gain comfort from the "healing connection" with companion animals.
To support and lead other animal protection and human service organizations, locally and across the country, with solid program models that help save animals and bring the healing touch of animals to local communities.
To create educational programs utilizing innovative methods to introduce the higher ideals of compassion toward animals and people, define responsible pet guardianship and make the case for the need to control companion animal overpopulation.
Core Values and Beliefs
A pet is a lifetime commitment; companion animals need stable and loving homes.
As living dependent beings, companion animals should get our utmost consideration when we make decisions that impact their existence or quality of life.
Companion animals help strengthen families and make better people - thus forging better communities and making the world a better place to live.
All people, including those whose life circumstances make it difficult to have or take care of companion animals (elderly, ill, abused), benefit from the comfort of pets in their lives.