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Rescuing Animals: Tony LaRussa's Passion Outside of Baseball

On the field, Tony LaRussa is the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals and a two time World Series champion. But off the field, he is a passionate animal lover and the co-founder of the Animal Rescue Foundation. KSMU's Greg Leuthen caught up with LaRussa this weekend in Springfield and asked him about the foundation.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa spends over 7 months on a baseball diamond every year, so it's no surprise that his other passion, the Animal Rescue Foundation, began on the baseball diamond as well. During a game in 1990 while coaching for the Oakland Athletics, a stray cat ran onto the field. After a few minutes, LaRussa coaxed the cat into the dugout and kept it there the rest of the game.

LaRussa says it didn't take long for him to realize there weren't any no-kill animal shelters in the bay area. So he co-founded the Animal Rescue Foundation, which saves animals who have run out of time at shelters and would otherwise be euthanized.

As for the cat that LaRussa saved in Oakland, he and his wife kept it temporarily beforing finding it permanent owners. LaRussa currently owns a bunny, 5 dogs, and 14 cats. For more information on the Animal Rescue Foundation, go to


  • Animal Rescue Foundation website