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Animal Lover "Tony" La Russa

By: Cal Orey

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Anthony "Tony" La Russa is a well-known baseball manager and animal lover. Born on October 4, 1944 in Tampa, Fla., La Russa is a Libra (fair and sociable are typical characteristics) – traits both cats and dogs can and do enjoy.        

La Russa and his wife Elaine are co-founders of Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF). ARF has several programs which include: Adoption Program – rescues abandoned cats and dogs; Emergency Medical Fund – provides financial aid for local families who need critical medical assistance for their pet; Spay/Neuter Program –offers assistance to low-income families and seniors; Teaching Loving Care Program –ARF's cats and dogs help teach troubled adolescent girls about relationship skills; and ARF All-Stars Program – helps kids learn about responsible pet care.

According to the Purina Calendar, Twiggy, a white Chihuahua, shares the home of ARF co-founders Elaine and Tony. In addition, it is reported in the Purina Year 2002 Calendar that La Russa owns four dogs (including Twiggy) and nine cats.

These days, La Russa is the Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals and a devout animal lover. La Russa said, "I think I can speak for my wife and daughters in saying those animals are the light of our lives." He is referring to his rescued pets. "Animals are capable of helping people," adds La Russa. "It's a very pure concept."
        
For more information about ARF, write P.O. Box 30215, Walnut Creek, CA or call 1-800-567-1ARF. Plus, log onto ARF on the web at www.tlr-arf.org.

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