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April 15, 2010

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April 15, 2010

Rikki's Refuge fills a niche in animal welfare that is sadly small. They take the hard to place of all species and care for them. From cats with FIV, to dogs that are too old to place in most shelter adoption programs, to creatures like emus and pigs that most shelters cannot house, Rikki's takes all that they have space for.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being able to save harder to place animals.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

leave running it to Kerry. I know when I'm out of my depth!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

visiting the Refuge.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

lovely. There is no one more fun to shoot the breeze and talk shop with than Kerry!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Build permanent housing and medical facilities for the animals and finally move Kerry out of a trailer!

Ways to make it better...

they had the time, space and money to take ALL of the animals that need their kind of help!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money and facilities.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 14, 2010

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April 14, 2010

Rikki's Refuge is beautiful haven for unwanted animals to find their peace. All the animals at Rikki's have their own sad stories but they've all ended happily in a place where they are loved and cared for every day. This organization truely puts the needs of the animals before anything else. To care for 1200 animals is no small task and the staff at Rikki's works tirelessly day in and day out. They won't stop till they see each animal is happy and healthy no matter the cost. What's wonderful is that they have a vision to save every unwanted animal and they strive for that everyday.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

All the animals that have been loved and cared for.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not be able to without the expertise of Kerry and Lena.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Teaching young people how to be compassionate towards animals and how to care for them. Going to events and spreading our mission.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

sweet, kind, very passionate about what they do.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Make Kerry's (our executive director) dreams come true! It would expand, build, and save thousands of more lives!

Ways to make it better...

we had more volunteers willing to help with fundraising and recruiting others to our cause.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

needing more money and more willing volunteers.

One thing I'd also say is that...

every single talent that a person has can be used to help Rikki's. We need people who are willing to do the dirty work with animals but also carpenters, builders, singers, crafters, bakers, painters, gardeners, any talent would be a gift to our animals!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 13, 2010

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April 13, 2010

I have been an active supporter and donor of Rikkis Refuge Animal Shelter for over three years. This shelter is home to many, many wonderful animals that otherwise would not have a home. Handicapped, abandoned, abused, aged and anything else that has no one to love and care for them are welcomed here. In addition to a loving home, each animal is given medical care and put on a special diet if need be and all of this is done for a cost of only $1.00 per animal. The volunteers who care for the animals give freely of their time and quite often their money. Thank you Rikkis for being such a God send to these amazing animals.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

making close friendships with the volunteers involved and listening to their praises. All are commited to help Rikkis provide the best care possible for all the animals that need it.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

unfortunately, without extra funding there doesn't seem to be any changes that could be made at this time.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

sharing with others. Interacting with other volunteers. Participating in fundraisers. The list is endless.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

caring, loving, dedicated people who give of themselves to help support this shelter.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help even more animals. Build bigger and better housing. Not worry about paying medical bills, food bills, electric, etc, etc.

Ways to make it better...

I had known about this wonderful organization ten years ago.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

time and money. We all need a lot more of both.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I have never seen anyone like Kerry. She is one devoted lady and I admire her. People should be treated the way this woman treats animals. She certainly has my love and admiration.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 13, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 13, 2010

For me, Rikki's Refuge is a lesson in faith, hope and pragmatism. Rikki's is Eden on a very tight budget, with even a place for serpents if they need a home. With enormous dedication, creativity, and hard work, both regulars and volunteers accomplish seeming miracles of good care for over 1200 diverse animals as common as cats and as exotic as emus. At Rikki's, there's no doubt that every much-needed and much-appreciated donation goes straight to the animals' care.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

hundreds of healthy, relaxed, natural-acting, well-fed, well-housed animals, and in people, especially children, enjoying themselves while engaging in acts of kindness.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to be exactly like Kerry Hilliard, the founder and current director.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing such a huge benefit to so many animals that would have suffered or died without Rikki's.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

hard-working, dedicated, knowledgeable, kind, friendly, creative, innovative, inspiring.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do what it's currently doing, but on a larger scale.

Ways to make it better...

more animals were being adopted and fewer were coming in.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money, money, and money.

One thing I'd also say is that...

if the world were run like Rikki's, it would be a much-improved place. But as a start, every one who can should visit Rikki's for inspiration and for proof that what is best in humans can not only survive, but prevail.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 13, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 13, 2010

I first learned of Rikki's Refuge through an adoption placement of a wonderful Siamese kitten that I found with Winging Cat Rescue in Griffin, GA. While visiting the rescue in GA, I asked what happens to the kitties that don't find homes soon, such as the blind or Feline Leukemia pets? Donna told me about Rikki's, a place where these pets are cared for the remainder of their days with love and comfort. Being a Virginia resident, I volunteered to bring back from GA (about 600 miles) to this shelter a full truckload of supplies to help the animals that had been donated. In doing so, I got to tour this amazing place---gunnea pigs and bunnies and birds that can't fly all living in complete happiness in safety out in nature, available for adoption and cared for better than many private homes I've seen...pigs of every kind, Sally the loving goat, Kikki the dog...I saw animals of every kind that were turned away as "unplaceable" and given a place and a home. Even more impressive, Rikki's places animals such as emu, Easter chicks that "grow up", lame horses, and other wildlife in an environment where they can be happy as Nature intended. Not everyone understands that some animals are not suited to be pets, and have special requirements. Rikki's strives to give those animals the home they really need and freedom to roam in safety. Those who are pets, many of them DO find a forever home and my heart was touched seeing these animals cared for so well and known by name by the volunteers...no small feat with this many mouths to feed! Until every pet is born into a forever home already, the work Rikki's does will continue to be necessary and touch many, many lives.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

how many "unplaceable" pets have found forever homes and how all the others still have a home at Rikki's, no matter how long it takes--even if all their lives, NO animal is put down.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue to increase public awareness and fundraising efforts so that more pets & animals from surrounding states can be saved.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

How the volunteers know all the animals by name, and their stories and special needs.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

terrific! Mary was awesome and I was impressed by the compassion of all the staff.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

probably save every pet on the east coast and help ease the load on many of the smaller one or two-person shelters that are desperately trying to save lives without a place that can take enough of them in time. Rikki's is that place they need.

Ways to make it better...

Vincent tbe Cat had been there--he was traveling at a show the day I was to see him and his story is inspiring.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

awareness. I didn't know until adopting a pet myself that this place existed and all the wonderful work that they do. Funding and awareness of the work they do (and the need for funding to do it) are their biggest challenges.

One thing I'd also say is that...

please spay or neuter your pet, so that kittens and puppies are not born just to die.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 13, 2010

more

Review from Guidestar
April 13, 2010

Hello, I have been donating to Rikki's Refuge for several years, My beauty pageant girls, bring pet food and toys, for the animals there, and we give a small monetary donation ( comparatively). It is a wonderful acreage there, accepting all the animals, that still smile and play, and have purpose, that no one wants, or have been neglected, or abused. It takes special people, to care as much as the regular volunteers do there. 367 acres, with so little developed, could be a tremendous refuge, self supporting in some areas, with the right planning and long term goals ( not that they haven't done some of that. It would take a big chunk of money to get the place, to be the best refuge in Virginia. Kerry it totally dedicated, caring and gives her time, to these animals, along with the dedicated volunteers, and contributors, but most is spent, finding enough money and food, and simple things like gravel for the driveway. I have planned to help more, in finding donations for them, but I am just one person, with a computer, and letters, and I am a busy mom. I do my little bit, wishing I could do so much more. Someone with a dream and a big heart, to do something terrific, could do this, with a maye 5-10 year plan, starting with nice buildings, a road, that doesn't turn to mud, planting veggies and hay to feed the livestock, etc. It can be done. Well, this is more than saying, I think what they are doing is great, and the time I took something there before Christmas, I had one cat climb nonchalantly in my car seat, and I have a photo of a big gray tomcat, lying on top of my car. I wish I could have taken a few home with me, but I have my quota. I hope sincerely, that someone, can help, more for them. Dovie Craun, Regency Pageant of Virginia, Director, I am a nurse also.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the animals there, are relaxed, and I can see the love just with how the animals and volunteers respond to each other.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

gosh, I don't know, find a day just to make an overall plan with a developer, of all that could be done with all those acres, and then chip away at the plan, little by little, until someone gives a chunk of $ or Extreme Makeovers come

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

they are accepting and positive to all my stupid questions, and have the patience of Job,they are so grateful for all that anyone does. and find time to thank you,even if it is just $25, and let you know that you just have fed like 120 meals to animal

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Extraodinary, I wish I could be just one minute like them.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Take those acres, have a planner help them, build a good size small animal shelter, a proper office and volunteer, greeter center, Planned roads, and storage for food, make their own hay and have a veggie garden, and so forth....

Ways to make it better...

If they didn't look so poor and needy. it breaks my heart, that they try so hard, and have so much to give these animals, and spend so much time, getting donations, just so they can feed the animals.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding and a plan, and getting rid of the junk cars there, that they think are valuable.

One thing I'd also say is that...

they are deserving and have the heart, but money is an obvious need, I hope I have not offended them, by saying so. I just want so much for them, and wish I could do more. I love animals, and especially one that has had a tough life.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 12, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 12, 2010

Wonderful animal refuge. Caring and dedicated staff for over 1200 all species animals. The founder, Kerry Hilliard is the most dedicated and driven individual I have ever met. She is there for the animals 24x7. While Rikki's refuge is always short of funds, there is never an animal that goes without. Kerry will see to that.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the care of the animals. 110% ALL the time.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

change nothing.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the animals cared for and thrive.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Simply outstanding. They work hard and more importantly, care about the animals welfare.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

take more animals. Their mission is to take animals that nobody else wants due to sickness, abuse, physical defects, etc.

Ways to make it better...

funds were not constantly an issue.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

of course, obtaining funds to operate.

One thing I'd also say is that...

that it should be noted that Rikki's is a no kill refuge. Once animal is placed there, it has care for the rest of its life no matter its medical or physical problems.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 12, 2010

more

Review from Guidestar
April 12, 2010

Rikkis is a remarkable refuge for animals, run by an incredible group of individuals who manage to survive on a shoestring all the while maintaining the dignity and humanity of the animals. They need more money, more volunteers and more exposure so that more people can see what a difference Rikkis is making to both animals and humans.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the number of animals that have found their forever homes or that have been able to live out their lives with dignity at Rikkis.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try and get them more national exposure and grants to ease the financial burden of constanting searching for funds.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

knowing that the animals are being cared for and that I have had a (small) part in it.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

unfailing kind and dedicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

probably change the world for the better.

Ways to make it better...

I had been sure they had enough money to survive, especially during the recession.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money, money, money and its lack of recognition.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I'm grateful Kerry and her helpers are there for those inhabitants of the earth that are voiceless . . . or at least voteless.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 12, 2010

more

Review from Guidestar
April 12, 2010

Not only is the care of provided to the animals who reside in the refuge top notch, but so are the managers and care givers.

More feedback...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

save a huge number of animals of all shapes and sizes and promote awareness of the care, feeding and needs of our non-human friends and neighbors through educational programs.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 12, 2010

more

Review from Guidestar
April 12, 2010

From vacant land and a dilapidated farmhouse 12 years ago, to a world-class facility housing over 1,250 animals of 22 different species (as of 4/2010; numbers always going up), Rikki's Refuge (operated by Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc.) has shown phenomenal growth, staying power, and service to community and animal kingdom. With 367 acres pledged to stay in their pristine state (other than about 70 acres already cleared and/or cultivated), Rikki's serves wildlife as well as domestic and farm animals. Educational programs teach budding young citizens, as well as adults, the value of kindness and compassion, which is a hallmark of Rikki's Refuge. Rikki's Refuge is a tribute to the generosity of Louise & Bob Hilliard, and thrives because of the vision, dedication, and organizational acumen of its Executive Director, Kerry Hilliard. It has attracted hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers, whose tireless efforts have built infrastructure, raised funds, provided day-to-day services, and engineered special events, making it all possible.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the wonderful friends I've made, and all the nice people I've met.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Make cat shelters, create better footing for the dogs, feed the goats, plant feed crops for the pigs, repair a donated vehicle.... Volunteer