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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Life Unlimited of Virginia Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Christianity, Religion, Wildlife Preservation & Protection, Wildlife Sanctuaries

Mission: Rikki''s Refuge is an independent, all species, no-kill sanctuary located on over 330 acres of land in Orange, Virginia. Most of this land, which includes streams and beaver ponds, is set aside as a protected area for native Virginia plants and wildlife. The remaining acreage is used to house and care for companion and farm animals who have been abandoned or displaced. From the very beginning, Rikki''s Refuge has accepted animals into the sanctuary without discriminating against age, health condition, breed, adoptability, or any of the other labels that often warrant a death sentence. All are welcome to live a comfortable life at the refuge.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 1200 animals of various species and special needs

Geographic areas served: Virginia. United States

Programs:

Rikki's Refuge provides homeless,abandoned and abused animals with a safe and loving place to stayuntil they can be adopted into permanent, caring families. Thosewho can not be adopted receive a permanent home at Rikki's. Weprovide all animals with traditional, homeopathic, and holisticmedical care.

Rikki's Refuge rescuinghomeless, abandoned, abused and or injured domestic and farm animals,providing medical care (traditional, alternative and holistic), findingsuitable homes for adoption, and for many (the handicapped, the elderly, theunsocial, those displaced due to the death, incapacitation or displacement oftheir human companion) providing permanent shelter, care, love andcompassion.

Community Stories

269 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Rikki’s Refuge for the last 20 years. It is the best place to volunteer to help animals live a nice long fruitful life

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A true no kill sanctuary. The animals there are very well taken care of. The staff loves the animals and it shows in the animals face. I have been volunteering there for about 18 years and loved every moment of it. I wouldn’t go anywhere else.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The best ever! I've traveled all over the country to all kinds of animal sanctuaries and Rikki's Refuge is my absolute FAVORITE. They do a fabulous caring and really sincere job of taking care of the animals. It's their heart, not their job. You can tell that every person there really truly cares about every single animal. They time their time to let them know they're loved, they work like crazy to help the new ones who come in scared and alone or hurt sometimes. They just really care. And the animals are so happy. Some have been in bad accidents before they came and are missing a leg or an eye or have crippling injuries. They spend hours taking care of them and giving them physical therapy. And all of them are so happy and so thankful to be alive. It's the best place on this earth.

JanGazeteci

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to Rikki's Refuge to volunteer with the cats. I loved cats. I still do. But when I met the dogs, I fell in love with them too. And then I met turkeys and they make me laugh. The people I volunteer with are really great too. It just makes me so happy. I've been going there for 15 years now and I hope to go forever.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love Rikki's Refuge more than any place on earth !

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love working at Rikki's Refuge. It's fun to be with the animals. I get to use my building skills to help them. Fences, houses and I hope to build a nice big pond for the birds one day. The only bad thing is there are never as many volunteers or as much money as they need to make all their dreams come true. Come on out and help us all.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Awesome. Just awesome. Visit a couple times a year. Take out of town guests. Animals are fun and friendly and so very well cared for. Love the philosophy to allow the elderly and the handicapped a happy life. Some one on a tour once asked how Rikki's found all these handicapped animals, saying they'd never before seen an animal with a birth defect. Well you know why not? Cus most people just kill them. But Rikki's gives them a home. And thru these happy, though handicapped, animals, they teach visitors, especially kids, how to be kind and compassionate to all. I never leave Rikki's not feeling a lot happier then when I got there. I'll see you for the next holiday tour!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Cats Cats Cats ..... and some of just about everything too. I spend most of my time with the cats. Lots of the cats are friends with other species and that is so much fun to watch. The amazing thing is how much all the people here really love the animals and how much they care about taking really good care of them. They'll even stay up all night with somebody who's sick. They take care of feral cats even when they get bit. They just love everybody. And that makes it such a wonderful place to visit.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been supporting Rikki's Refuge for many many years. For several years now I can no longer walk around on tours and though I'd have to stop taking my grandchildren to visit. But you know what? Rikki's arranged to give me an escort who could drive me around to visit the different animals. I take all my grandkids to Rikki's when ever I can. I've watched them grow up to be kinder more loving human beings because of Rikki's. Rikki's has a real emphasis on teaching love and kindness to what they call the "differently abled". I thought it was cute when I was younger. Now that I'm differently-abled just like some of their elderly animals, I really appreciate that ! Rikki's teaches everyone to be just a little bit kinder, just a little more compassionate. They teach so many kids thru programs with subtle lessons in treating others just like you want to be treated. The basic golden rule ... but somehow it means more to the kids when it's taught by a disabled cat or dog or goat or pig ..... I love RIkki's and I know they have made my grandkids into the wonderful people they have and are growing up to be. Thank you for your mission of love and caring Rikki's Refuge. Please never stop.

MalJohnson

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If that doesn't say it all. I still have this christmas card from Rikki's Refuge hanging over my desk at work. It makes me so happy to look at all those animals I watched go from sad to glad at Rikki's Refuge. If you want to be happy then go volunteer there. Being with the happy animals who have truly found peace on earth at Rikki's Refuge is the most wonderful thing in the world. I'm going to volunteer there as much as I can for the rest of my life.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge. What can I say except WOW. Just WOW. When I'm able to visit I see the changes, the improvements, more animals, more houses. It's bigger and better every time I get to take my family for a visit. I always knew they were doing wonderful work for the animals. I never thought about the people they help too. Not until my mother's condition meant she had to move into an advanced care facility. They would not allow her pets to come. I didn't know what to do. I could not take them home because I have pets that might have killed them. I could not take somebody my mother loved to a pound and risk them being killed. Most organizations said they were too old to be adopted. Rikki's is letting them live their retirement years at the refuge. I think that is so nice. I can visit them and was even able to take them to visit my mom a few times before she passed. I will never forget the relief for me and my mother when Rikki's opened their doors for us. I can't wait to visit again. I just love that place.

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LeanoraWilliams

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Eddie and Lucy are my favorite new couple. Rikki's Refuge saves all kinds of animals that are lonely and sad. Watching them make new friends and become happy just makes me feel so good. These two came from different places and both were lonely and sad because they lost their family. Then they found each other and now are inseparable forever. Even the national geographic wrote a story about Bub and Goose a donkey and goose who bonded. It's so wonderful to volunteer here and be with all these animals.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I will never forget the day I found a frightened skinny injured little black mommey cat and her 4 little babies. Everybody I called said they'd kill them if I brought them in. I had no money to help them. I begged several vets and they all refused. One of them told me about Rikki's Refuge. And they jumped up to help me. Somebody came over and helped me get them. The mommey kept trying to bite and they said it was because she was feral (that means wild) and hurt and could not walk. The lady who came was so nice and talked nice to the mommey cat and got her and the kittens and told them it would be ok. She promised not to kill them if they could be saved but she told me the mommey cat was very badly hurt. And can you guess what happened? Rikki's Refuge spent a lot of money and saved the mommey cat and all the kittens. I was so happy. I went to see them later. The mommey cat hissed at me and the people at Rikki's Refuge said it was ok, not all cats like people very much, maybe they were hurt by a person when they were younger, or maybe they never knew one. But even cats who don't like people are allowed to live at Rikki's Refuge and the people there take care of them just like they were nice cats. I think it's really amazing how many animals of so many kinds they take care. It's hard work. I wanted to help them, but it's so much work, and it was so hot in the summer I just couldn't. They are very good people to be so nice to animals.

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MaryCallahan

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my place to volunteer. I know my time here is well spent. I have been helping for over 20 years. Hard to believe it's been so long. I came to the first volunteer work day when there was nothing here. Now I help care for 450 acres of land, lots of space set aside for the wildlife, and over 100 acres for housing for the domestic and farm animals. There are always projects to do, dogs to walk, cat to hold, and so much to do.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'd visited Rikki's Refuge a time or two in the past. Then this year I needed their help. I never thought I'd be in such a position. I was scared and facing homelessness and my animals had no where to go. Rikki's Refuge was so kind and wonderful to me. They lovingly accepted my animals and they even helped me in so many ways. I don't think I would have made it with out them. The volunteers were so kind and loving. Calling me a few times just to check on how I was doing. They didn't have to do that. But it made a world of difference to me. I hope to start volunteering soon. they really deserve your support in every way possible.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Oh my gosh !!! Where do I start? PIGS !! Just wow. The pigs are my favorite I think. Where else can you hug pigs, roll around in the mud with pigs, and watch them smile while they take fruit out your hands !!! I think I spend more time in Piggy Paradise than anywhere else on the refuge. Though I love the cats and dogs and horses too. And they have birds. All kinds of birds. The turkeys talk to you, the pigeons coo at night, the geese honk and follow you around. I love to help out on projects when I can. You should too. They need all the volunteers and donors to really put in time and effort to keep on making it the most wonderful place on earth. If you haven't been there you really need to schedule a visit.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I just love Rikki's. I travel over 200 miles a couple times a month to visit and volunteer. I love bringing my friends. The animals are so much fun, so happy and well cared for. Just being with such wonderful people and wonderful animals makes me happy. I've been visiting for about 18 years now, when I retire I want to move closer so I can be there more often. I visit lots of animal places because animals are my heart, but this is my most favorite of all !!

The photo is Volvo. I was visiting when he came in to Rikki's. I didn't see how he could possibly survive his injuries. I watched him heal, I watched the therapy he was given for a traumatic brain injury, I watched him turn from untrusting and biting his care givers to a loving trusting very very happy cat !!! That just fills my heart with joy. I know most of the animals have this kind of story at Rikki's. But Volvo is my special boy because I was there and I saw how his life at Rikki's began.

Board Member

Rating: 5

21 years and counting !!! Growing and improving every day. Reaching out to help animals and the people who care for them the world over. Thru our Speuter Commuter program we are helping to quell the pet overpopulation in six foreign countries in areas desperately in need of help. Here at home we visit schools and scouts and in 2019 began our Kamp Kindness program to bring more kindness and compassion to everyone we can reach. Kindness to animals is important. As is kindness to humans. We teach loving kindness for all thru our programs, kindness to those different from you in some way, kindness to the differently abled, be it physically, emotionally or intellectually. Our 450 acre sanctuary with over 1,000 animals is a wonderful learning ground where we have both public and private Kamp Kindness tours, events, programs and education for everyone. Thank you to a wonderful staff and fabulous volunteers and outstanding supporters who make it all possible!!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Rikki's Refuge !!!! Saving the animals nobody wants, like the elderly, the ill, the handicapped .... what a wonderful mission !!!!

1 Rene L.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikkis Refuge located in Orange County Virginia has been around for a little over 20 years helping take care of various species of wildlife, farm and domestic animals. I have volunteered there almost 13 years and enjoy seeing my murals and items I have built mean something to others. Rikkis Refuge is a peaceful place and you can feel the love the animals have to share. Come see them!

Melissa F.

Advisor

Rating: 5

The lifetime care and love that they give to the animals heartwarming! There are very, very few rescues that will take over the care of your beloved farm animals when you can no longer do it, without the fear of slaughter. Rikki's Refuge will give them great care and lots of love, just like you'd want!

Previous Stories

Advisor

Rating: 5

The animals at this sanctuary feel so loved that you can see it in their eyes! None of the sadness like you see at shelters. They help those who are sick or abused, as well as those who were simply no longer wanted by their previous families. Sometimes the families were simply no longer able to care for their beloved animals and wanted a safe place for them to live out the rest of their lives. And that place is Rikki's. I've adopted dogs and cats from them.

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LegMassageGoddess

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The first time I got out of the car at Rikki's Refuge, a huge white dog, some goats and a bunch of cats ran up to me. They all looked well-cared for, well-loved, friendly and very well-fed. I thought, "This is a good place."

Rikki's is currently home to 1,300 animals, many of them there because of chronic illness, disability, personality problems, "too old to play," or their owners can either no longer care for them or have died. Others are there because their owners can't take care of them for various reasons and say, "Rikki's Refuge is the best place for my dear friend. I know he/she will be loved and cared for, because Rikkis has that reputation." No matter what the reason is that brought them to the door, they have a life-long home.

A cadre of amazing people care for the animals of twenty-two species in all kinds of weather and with all types of challenges. That level of caring comes from deep inside. Someone may be cleaning cat litter pans one moment, then called on to help round up the sheep and fix a broken fence. When they say, "There's always something happening at Rikki's!", they mean it!

To clarify a point: the phrase "disabled" isn't used at Rikki's. There are "differently-abled" residents whose lives are still valuable and meaningful. Rikki's teaches this lesson to the children who come to tour the sanctuary and meet the animals, showing them that people are just the same, even when they walk with a cane or are in a wheelchair.

I've been a volunteer at Rikki's Refuge since 2011 and encourage others to do the same. Hey, where else can you come help paint the porch at the Life Center and get kissed by a cow on the same day?

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is a magical place! Many animals (1,300 spread among 22 different species) have found their forever home here. Rikki's is a no-kill, all-life sanctuary and many of the residents are differently-abled; some are missing limbs, paws or eyes, some are blind, some have chronic illnesses. All of them are loved and cared for until they cross Rainbow Bridge. Rikki's works it's unique magic on the humans who work and visit here, too. Come see for yourself!

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Lolly B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is my happy place! My spirit is happy when I can visit the animals that have been saved and have found sanctuary at this amazing refuge.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a very lucky girl who has the privilege of being a Board member/devoted volunteer for this wonderful animal life care sanctuary. When I became differently abled some years ago, I was searching for what my new normal would look like. I have followed Rikki's Refuge (Life Unlimited) for so many years and just knew it was time to devote what I could to this amazing non-profit. Their values align with mine in that they believe that ALL species deserve respect, love, and a place to call home.

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Mary D.9

Board Member

Rating: 5

This entity operates Rikki's Refuge, an animal sanctuary in Orange VA. There are well over 1,000 animals living out their lives there, including farm animals. It specializes in caring for the unadoptables that regular shelters would euthanize. This includes cats with only 2 or 3 useable legs , FIV and FeLuk cats, old or unrideable horses, male dairy calves (who would have gone to the veal crates otherwise) and "miniature" pigs, who were never going to be small and grew too large for their owners. Also there are hundreds of acres left in the natural state, so wildlife have a permanent home.
I have been associated with this place for over 12 years and have seen how hard the director, employees, and volunteers work. It is a very special place.

2 Forester W. I.

Advisor

Rating: 5

In 2003, a friend of mine rescued a feline leukemia-positive cat, and her vet recommended that the cat be euthanized. She did some research via internet, having heard that there are such things as animal refuges with colonies of cats having diseases such as feline leukemia and Feline AIDS. She identified Rikki's Refuge (corporate name, Life Unlimited of Virginia), about 80 miles from her house, as just such a place. We were able to place the cat at Rikki's Refuge, and three of us began volunteering there once per month on weekends, doing things of a small nature, such as organizing a room full of disassembled dog crates, etc.. Other larger projects followed over the years. In the past 20 years since Rikki's Refuge was founded, more than 10,000 animals that in all likelihood would have been euthanized have been saved and permitted to live out their natural lives. Animals have come from around the world and across the US to live out their lives at Rikki's. They are well-cared for and maintained by an attentive staff. The budget allows for few if any frills--the vast majority of donation funds go directly to caring for the animals. I know of no other organization that saves more animals per dollar of donation than Rikki's Refuge. In addition, they visit schools and educate children about animals and their plight, trying to promote kind behavior and empathy towards all animals. Volunteering for this organization has changed my life, from how I spend spare time and money, to how I vote.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My kids and I have been frequent visitors to Rikki's Refuge for the past 10 years. We try to visit all areas of the refuge but always seem to be drawn to the felines. The animals, as well as the grounds, are well-managed by a caring staff - many of whom I've come to know as friends. Keep up the good work!

Amethyst Di A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have had connections with those who run Rikkis Refuge in Virginia for several years now and I know they do the most amazing job at homing all animals that come their way and feed and care for them all the best they possibly can. I have no hesitation in recommending Rikkis a refuge for their constant diligence and caring nature and wish them continued success.

2 Kathy99

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's is one of those few rescues that takes in the "unadoptable". Animals that have no chance at so many other rescues can live out their lives here. They truly care for the animals. This was Kerry's dream so many years ago and it has come true with all her hard work and help from so many others. It started a just a couple cats and has grown to around 2k animals. It's a place where people can forget their problems and be inspired by animals that this was their last hope and have flourished. Rikki's deserves the highest praises. Thousands of lives have been saved and it wouldn't have happened without Kerry putting her heart and soul into it, without all the volunteers and workers and the donors that truly believe in the efforts there.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rikki's is one of the few rescues that takes in all animals. I was looking for a home for a minature horse that was owned by a kill buyer. Rikki's has close to two thousand animals that Kerry and her people care for. I had wanted to keep this little one with my horse, but there is too much acreage for a mini to be on. I had contacted Kerry to see if she knew of anyone that could take her. First thing she says is "send her on down". Not, how much will this cost, what health is she in, how is she with people...just send her on down. That is the way so many thousands of animals have lived at least the last part of their lives, with caring & complete love. They take animals that other adoptions & many rescues wouldn't touch. Rikki's deserves every metal, every honor that can be given to a rescue.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki’s is amazing and the ladies there are true animal lovers
Recently they took in 4 pigs that were a year old and became pets after a greased pig contest at our county fair . They never questioned taking them and have since given them a great place to live . I’ve been to Rikki’s and wow is all I can say . The dedication shows and so do the kind hearts

Gilly L.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is the best example of 'sanctuary'. Volunteers going that extra mile to ensure all are cared for ... loved ... and safe. All are welcomed ... no one is turned away. Thanks to Rikki's, there are second chances; thanks to Rikki's, there is treatment for pain; thanks to Rikki's, the unwanted and/or lost find a home ... a home with a HUGE ❤. Can you support them in any way to continue the fabulous work? Rikki's is a 'living ARK' ... a non-floating Act of Real Kindness ... Bless you all at Rikki's ... x

Bonnie60

Donor

Rating: 5

How wonderful it would be if there were more no-kill rescues like Rikki's Refuge, Life Unlimited Of Virginia Inc. The animals are cared for as family. Your donation goes a long way at Rikki's Refuge. They have a handful of employees who work very hard to care for the animals. The annual budget is minimal, with almost no overhead. If you love animals, please try to come by for a tour. Their location is Central Virginia, in what is mostly an agricultural area. I bet most people have never seen a real peacock up close. So happy the time I was able to be there for the “peacock parade.” As a supporter & volunteer, I have helped with many events. Thank goodness for all the volunteers who help. As a result, all events & functions are handled by people who donate their time and talents. All donations to Rikki's Refuge far exceed other nonprofits. Your money is put to good use here. If anyone would like to know more, please have them contact me. Thank you for Rikki’s Refuge.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

How wonderful it would be if there were more no-kill rescues like Rikki's Refuge, Life Unlimited Of Virginia Inc. The animals are cared for as family. Your donation goes a long way at Rikki's Refuge. They have a handful of employees who work very hard to care for the animals. The annual budget is minimal, with almost no overhead. If you love animals, please try to come by for a tour. Their location is Central Virginia, in what is mostly an agricultural area. I bet most people have never seen a real peacock up close. So happy the time I was able to be there for the “peacock parade.” As a supporter & volunteer, I have helped with many events. Thank goodness for all the volunteers who help. As a result, all events & functions are handled by people who donate their time and talents. All donations to Rikki's Refuge far exceed other nonprofits. Your money is put to good use here. If anyone would like to know more, please have them contact me. Thank you for Rikki’s Refuge.

Gail D.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thrilled to bits that I found this amazing sanctuary! It is the best in the U.S, with the most caring intelligent humans around. I'm always amazing at the different types of animals here and they can take care of all!!! Any animal is lucky if they are here. Loving care! I know of many "unwanted" cats that have gone here and thrived thanks to all who run this amazing place!

Oker G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One of the very best sanctuaries in the US that I know of! Their heart is definitely in the right place! They have the love AND the knowledge to take excellent care for over 1300 different kinds of species! And not only that! Whenever I have a question about care for an animal unknown to me, I can just ask the director of Rikki's. She ALWAYS makes time to explain everything to me and helps me out in so many ways. I love Rikki's refuge!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The hardest working, best animal help group I know. Have known them for almost 20 years. Wonderful place and people.

Lauren T.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Without Rikkis, so many animals would have nowhere to go. You can see the love everywhere you go on the property!

Donor

Rating: 5

I’ve stopped by Rikki’s and seen the animals and how they are cared for. I’m very impressed with the work that is done by Rikki’s for all animals.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Opie stories are my favorite
Someday the other animal will get a voice too but Kerri hasn't figured out how to be a octopus yet
Rikkies is in desperate need of hands on volunteers because Opie uncle can't do it all so if you read this please
Contact
volunteer@rikkiesrefuge.org

TenTen

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki’s Refuge is such a wonderful sanctuary for all types of “critters” although mostly cats. They have worked with me in my area and accepted many a feral cat that needed to be relocated. I personally know Kerry, the founder and director, and she gives 100% every day to be sure things run smoothly. The staff are great folks. Every animal should be so lucky to have a wonderful home; but if not, Rikki’s is there.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Vincent is my idol! I am also a b/w kitty and I hope to somedays be a spokeskitty like Vincent D. Cat - he is pawsome. Tennesse Tux in Richmond, VA

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

On a trip to the Washington, D.C. area, my husband and I made a side trip to visit Rikki’s Refuge. My main intention was to meet Sally the goat (of blessed memory). What an incredible place! Animals of all species are living together safely and peacefully. The love for the animals is palpable. I cannot wait to visit them again soon.

Donor

Rating: 5

Kerry operates what I know as Rikki’s Refuge (Life Unlimited of Virginia) on a shoestring and has done for years. I heard about her “farm somewhere in central Virginia” from rescue colleagues. I got to know Kerry and her critters after I adopted my Weasley (originally Bruno) as a 4-1/2 month old kitten. For several years I participated in The Great Pumpkin haul” after Halloween, collecting unsold pumpkins and hauling them to Rikki’s to feed the non-carnivores during the winter. I now donate (less than I would like, due to life circumstances). Please help fund so Rikki’s can continue its stellar work. Thank you.

Sherry Chumley B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is a beautiful place and I am so glad to have a loving sanctuary located so close to my home. Several years ago I adopted my beautiful kitty Jynx from them as they had taken him in from a kill shelter in NC. They also recently helped me out when I was no longer able to adequately provide the care my dog Nala needed. They have a wonderful place, lots of room for all the animals and great staff to care for them.

Jeff G.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been following Rikki's Refuge on facebook for many years, & I love how happy the animals always look. One day I will visit from England - but until then I will keep on supporting from the other side of the world, my favourite rescue ever :)

Donor

Rating: 5

One of the best animal sanctuaries around! Each animal is treated with dignity and love, as if it was the only one there. Just a phenomenal place!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hello my name is Douglas Deal. I'm the sanctuary manager here at rikkis refuge. I've been a member of this refuge for almost 7 years now. It's a wonderful place and one of a kind. It truly is a place for animals to call home . I've seen it work its magic on animals here that no one would give a chance too. We are open 365 days a year and the animals receive love , care, and affection from us and all the wonderful volunteers and visitors who devote their time here. I'm proud to be a part of such a spectacular place.

cindyw2525

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikki’s Refuge is a 450 acre sanctuary that is an extraordinary place managing over 1200 animals each day. This is the place that beautiful, deserving animals deserve to feel loved and wanted until their last breath. Rikki’s has helped hundreds of animals to feel there is a purpose for them and to allow those who lost all faith and a second chance in life. You should go to visit them in Orange Virginia, and see the extraordinary! It will change your mind on how animals deserve to be treated and loved.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Life Unlimited of Virginia, also known as Rikki's Refuge, is an outstanding example of what an animal sanctuary can do to help unwanted animals. What I love about Rikki's is how much the sanctuary can help people and even whole communities. My best experience at the Refuge was with a beautiful Treeing Walker Coonhound, appropriately named Walker. He was well known in Orange County Virginia, and in the Reston VA communities as the sweet dog that survived horrible treatment, such as being shot in the back and left in the woods to die. Rikki's took the Coonhound in and saved his life, but who knew that Walker would later reciprocate in his own way. I took Walker in as soon as a met him, and he served as an official spokesdog for the Refuge. My brother, who had just returned from nine months in Iraq, was wounded on the outside, but also on the inside. My brother was able to heal because of the love of animals, especially Walker. After four months of stress I was able to talk my brother into visiting Rikki's with me, and he became a new person that day. He had fun with the animals, and at the end of the day I heard him laughing, something I had not heard him do for over a year! His laughter was music to my ears. Walker was able to help my brother heal on the inside, allowing him to stop contemplating suicide like so many other soldiers have done. Walker passed on and crossed the Rainbow Bridge three years ago, but his story lives on as one of many, many wonderful stories that Rikki's Refuge has to offer.

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Katie T.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

You don't know true love until you come to Rikkis Refuge and see the animals and all the people that volunteer and donate their time to care for and love them. Rikkis is my happy place!

Joe C.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The best place to call home, no matter what species you are.

Dennis D.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of my favorite non profit organizations. Happy to volunteer when and where I can. Especially like the work they do with differently abled humans. Keep up the good work.

Crystal D.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've watched them grow over the years. Very impressed with what they accomplish. Happy animals. Wonderful place for school tours and scout projects. I wish there were more places like this.

Isabella A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ohhh Rikki's Refuge, the most gentle serene place on earth. Visiting always makes me so happy. Seeing all the happy well cared for animals just warms my heart. Seeing what people do, the hours they put in, the hard work they do in any weather to make this possible really restores my faith in humanity. I come to visit when ever I'm feeling down or finding my faith in humanity is slipping. I can find it all again here at Rikki's Refuge. Just watching their growth every year is astounding !!! But hugging those furry necks when I visit ..... it's just heaven on earth.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is the most amazing place I have ever been to .... the many, many happy animals bounding about in neighborhoods built just for them can't help but to make you happy too. Pay attention and you'll see the amazing love and care that is given to all the animals by the staff and volunteers. Animals who would have died if Rikki's wasn't there to care for them. Wonderful place. And the humane education they provide to so many groups .... and you see teens and young adults coming out to volunteer, getting involved in their community .... and they say it all started with a school trip to Rikki's when they were in grade school !!!! How wonderful is that !!!

kfbhill123

Board Member

Rating: 5

wow !!! We've made our first 20 years !!!! And what a joy ... and what a struggle at times. And oh the rewards we've been given of seeing lives saved, lives changed from sad to happy, to see so many given a second chance !!!! A wonderful thank you to all our donors, supporters, volunteers, staff and directors. You've all done an amazing job to make this dream come true !!!! May we have another fabulous 20 years together!!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

WOW ... I have loved this place since they started in 1998 !!!! Saving animals no one else cares about, the handicapped, the elderly. Way to go !!!!! May you grow and save more and more every year forever and ever.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been associated with this organization (which just celebrated it's 20th anniversary!) for over 10 years - volunteering and donating. It is a lifeline to animals with no other option but death. The staff is full of very dedicated workers who go above and beyond every day to care for the animals (even with feral cats who don't appreciate it!) Our periodic tours inform visitors of the great need for places like this, and let them interact with species few people meet (like emus) and farm animals, who are often callously seen as having no feelings. Sometimes I wish life could be as simple for me as it is for a pig in a mud wallow! This is truly a very special place.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikki's is a place where animals with few other options can find a home. They are a life sanctuary for the physically, emotionally and socially challenged animals that need more help than the typical animal refuge can provide.
The volunteers and staff care very much for the animals. I have met some great animal people there, not to mention some great animals. Vincent (spokescat) and Duke (spokesdog) are both handicapped, but don't let their physical circumstances keep them from being absolute charmers. It is a good place.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an incredible organization, helping so many different types of animals, there are too many to list here! If I lived close, I would be here every day. As it is, I donate what I can, I donate through my purchases at Amazon, and I keep up with their great work through their Facebook page and the wonderful newsletters that go out through email and postcards!

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor and supporter for many years and have seen and heard only good things about Rikki's Refuge. If the animals could talk, this page would be filled with 5-star reviews!
www.donnaleedavis.com

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a donor, volunteer, and now adopter too! Rikki's Refuge is an amazing place! So many animals call it home (1300!) and are cared for by the best staff ever. Cats, dogs, horses, cows, sheep, goats, assorted fowl, pigs, emus...I'm sure I'm missing some, co-exist so well it's a real live peaceable kingdom. Everyone who steps foot on this magical property becomes a part of Rikki's. I have visited twice from my home 500 miles away and can't wait to go back again! Meeting the animals, watching how they are cared for, helping with chores and vet day...such hard work but it was worth it to care for these poor souls that were thrown away. I love wandering the fields and often time had my own escort in the form of a goat or cat, LOL. On my last visit I came home with a beautiful soul! A cat thrown away because she didn't look perfect. Well, she is perfect and I thank Rikki's for saving her and others like her! The will have a forever home with love and care because of the donors who support the mission - everyone has a right to live!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Amazing animal sanctuary. I have supported them for years and have visited many times. The sanctuary is amazing and the animals are so very loved. Every time I visit this place or read the stories on their social media sites, I am filled with a peace and am so grateful that the animals have Rikki's Refuge and will be loved and cared for the rest of their lives. They are true

Donor

Rating: 5

What an amazing sanctuary for the animals in most need. The first time I walked on the property, I felt peaceful. The first time I saw some of the animals, I felt love. This wonderful animal sanctuary takes those animals in need that others can't or won't take on. For that alone, they will always have my support. Thank you Rikki's Refuge (Life Unlimited), thank you for all you do!

Volunteer

Rating: 5


I can't say enough wonderful things about this fine organization. From the countless number of animals whose lives it has changed and rescued to the ways it has helped me through difficult times in my life. After losing a loved one the only place I could go to be reminded of the joys of life was Rikkis Refuge.
So many animals have had their lives completely changed because of the hard work and dedication of these people.
The animals that come here know they are now safe and will always have a safe environment to live out the rest of their days.
Many choose to repay the refuge with hard work also. There are spokeskitties and spokesdoggies who get the word out and represent the refuge. There are fowl who help keep the flea and tick population under control. There are dogs the patrol the borders at night to keep unfriendliness at bay. And there there are the animal caretakers who look out for other animals at the refuge.
One special case is a goose that keeps a careful watch on an elderly donkey. After Bub the donkey lost his mate this elderly donkey was quickly befriended by a goose who showed up one day. The goose never leaves Bub's side, "protects" him from others and even escorts him to bed when the goose senses he is getting tired. It is truly one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed.
Please visit rikkisrefuge.org to see many more inspiring stories.



Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a great animal group! They take the unwanted, difficult to adopt cats and dogs, as well as farm animals, and gives them a safe, loving place to live out the rest of their lives. They are committed to the care of the animals.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

The workers are a group of people who could not work anywhere else and spend more time drinking and ignoring the ferel cats in there posession. the one person who lives in a trailer onsite in a die hard alcoholic and constantly makes crude comments to the young volunteers. You can never show up unannoucnced or you will be turned away. They dont want you to see what really goes on. the owner may show uo once or twice a month but never does a thing but worry about donations. You have to sign a statement saying you wont say what really goes on there. Why if everything is on the up and up would you have to sign such an agreement. Something to think about. Place is nothing short of a scam.

Lia F.

Donor

Rating: 5

At Rikki's Refuge, at any given time there are close to 1300 animals in sanctuary. All are well fed, safely housed, get vet care including vaccines and parasite preventatives all from donations and thrifty spending of those donations! Some of the animals are free range but they know a good thing and don't wander away.
I visited for the second time last year and brought home an 8 yo kitty! Aimee was deamed unadoptable in a Georgia shelter due to a scarred eye from abuse. Rikki's took her in for life sanctuary. However, she worked her magic and came home with me, 500 miles away and is now a Yankee doodle princess!
If Rikki's wasn't there Aimee would have been killed as would all the other residents. All are safe at Rikki's for the rest of their days. They are my only charity and I can go there anytime to see how my donations make a difference.

Previous Stories
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Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor to Life Unlimited of VA, aka Rikki's Refuge for many years. Living more than 400 miles away though, I only saw their facilities via pictures. I finally was able to make the trek this year and had the best time of my life. My first vacation in 16 years!
The people who work and volunteer at Rikki's are amazing individuals. They care so much for each and every animal. they know all their names and when there are almost 1300 animals of all kinds, that's a lot of names to remember! The work is physically demanding and the hours are long but each person gives their all with a smile and a kind touch.
They do their very best and run on donations alone to feed and care for those that would not even be alive if Rikki's didn't exist. Differently abled, unwanted, ill, and old will find a home at RIkki's. The animals know they are safe. The animals know they will be fed and cared for until the end of their earthly days. I saw with my own eyes how well the animals are cared for and would trust one of my own to them any day.
They tirelessly fundraise and apply for grants so they can continue to care for the animals in their care. They promote education so today's children will continue their good work in the future.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place is a true sanctuary for a variety of animals. Some from as far away as Egypt. Many of the animals come from hoarding or abusive situations, upon arrival at the Refuge all animals know nothing but kindness love and compassion.

Client Served

Rating: 5

An amazing Refuge. A place where four legged friends great and small receive a permanent home or a second chance at finding a forever home.
My sister's sweet kitten with feline leukemia had to be removed from the other house cats in her home.
Rikki's provided a permanent home for this little kitten. We will be forever grateful.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am in love with this spectacular animal sanctuary. I have been following and supporting Rikki's Refuge (Life Unlimited of Virginia) for more than 15 years. They are an amazing life care sanctuary for both farm and domestic animals and the beloved critters at the sanctuary are so loved and cherished.

They specialize in caring for the sick, the old, the disabled animals. Also, another blessing to this vegetarian of more than 30 years, they save farm animals from being sent to the prodution market. Thank you!

I enjoy going on tours and have brought many friends over the many years who have also fallen in love with the place. It is peaceful and calm and loving...exactly what the animals that come to spend the rest of their lives deserve.

As an elementary teacher, I also appreciate that Rikki's Refuge is so active in education and they work so hard to educate the public on animal safety, Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), as well as teaching children, through classroom education and various events, about compassion, kindness and caring for animals. Knowledge and power starts at an early age and I love that Rikki's Refuge gets it.

I rate them 5 stars but would happily give 10 stars if that were an option. Keep up the great work guys and gals and I'll be back next month for another visit.

Give a kiss to my Sally the goat!

1

Former staff

Rating: 1

I only want to see the animals receive the best care. When I arrived at Rikki's Refuge, I thought I could make a difference and I did my very best, arriving half an hour early everyday, took no lunch break, and stayed as late as I could to accomplish as much as I could. With time, I noticed a drinking culture developed and it was prevalent at Rikki's Refuge, and it was encouraged by Sanctuary Manager.

Then a drunk employee ran over a napping cat. I was absolutely furious. The person who hit Rocky showed no remorse. I couldn't talk to this person for days. This was the first time in ages I had to fight so hard with myself to keep my rage under the lid. The CEO was there the day happened and saw the cat for herself. I thought the CEO would recognize something was wrong. Days, weeks, went by nothing happened; but the sanctuary manager has had an ongoing sexual relationship with the same employee, which continually resulted both of their departures from the property (almost) all day. While these two employees were off the property, being paid for it, the rest of the staff struggled to keep things going. Morale suffered.

A person on meds reported to the CEO what had been happening and nothing happened. Meanwhile, animals were dying (are dying). The young employee (Cat Killer) recommended to medical staff members to throw away meds instead of administering them and she was found by other staff members to have actually done this. While animals are dying, this staff member is actively and continually ignoring them. This staff member needs to be fired and she needs to be in prison for animal cruelty and neglect.

This was my breaking point as an employee. While this was happening, while CAT KILLER and Animal Neglecter are drinking on the property, and frequently disappearing, while I kept finding animals without food or water down in cat runs, or filthy unchanged water in Doggie Downs, with piles and piles feces, WHILE ALL OF THIS IS HAPPENING, the CEO had the gull to send ME a letter (no criticism ever, ever happens face to face. Could there be a major flaw in communications at Rikki's?) for coming in late and leaving early???? When I had put in the 40 hours a week she took away my earnings?? How dare I be an honest employee! How dare I not have sex with the sanctuary manager! How dare I give the animals their food and water! How dare I not partake in consuming alcohol and marijuana! How dare I try to contact my sanctuary manager that I had to get my teeth pulled, which my dentist suggest was as an emergency, and have the paperwork and mouth to prove it! I was not fired for being a bad employee! I walked out! I left! And then I felt guilty when I thought about how the animals would be alone if I left! I turned around and went back! And then! My "boss" told me I was not welcome because I left without telling anyone even though he did that everyday! Also, he was holding a beer in his hand when he told me I was terminated! You know! That is fine! Rikki's Refuge can step on me, when I know, and the other ex-Rikki's employees know, I have a good heart! Cat Killer does not and will never have a heart! She clearly does not have a conscience!

I will fight everyday until Cat Killer and Animal Neglecter are gone from Rikki's Refuge! I can't get my teeth pulled but that girl can run over a cat and it is fine! So yes, I am disgruntled! These animals deserve better and Rikki's Refuge refuses to improve! Rikki's refuses to open its eyes and see the truth that the animals there are dying because these two people do not care and this girl is actively letting them die! But that is fine! I hear animal cruelty is in these days!!

2

Former staff

Rating: 1

This" non-profit" organization needs to be shut down. Please help. The animals are dying due to neglect. They know their legal loopholes, but we can do this, too. All animals have the right to be healthy with clean food and water.

Comments ( 1 )

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rikkis-refuge-animal-sanctuary 08/02/2016

Sadly this review was posted by a young lady who was fired due to her performance and behavior on 7/30/16. IN the two days since, she has been very disgruntled and has tried to cause trouble for our 5-star animal sanctuary.

1 ccqueen

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first learned about Rikki's while helping Winging Cat Rescue make a transport of supplies to them after adopting a baby kitten in GA. Bringing 800lbs of supplies, I was offered a tour and gladly accepted. I got to see firsthand how much they do with EVERY bit of food sent, every dollar raised. I saw happy, loved animals everywhere given a second chance at life.

I also have seen them help countless other shelters with social networking and even overload. Rikkis is everything a sanctuary should be and I believe in it so much I later joined the Board of Directors and it was my platform of choice as Mrs Virginia US 2014. Animal rescue is my passion and Rikkis does it right as a no kill sanctuary!

I am not paid and the money goes to the ANIMALS care and ongoing quality of life, no matter if they are old or undesirable-Rikkis is heaven on Earth for countless animals of over 20 species. I can't think of a better place that does more to save lives with the money they receive . Call for a tour and see if you don't become a believer too!

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

My wife discovered Rikki's many years ago and we became donors first and then active volunteers. It is a wonderful place that brings hope to many animals and humans as well. I have heard it called a magical place and I believe it. There is a peace associated with visiting the animals and getting involved with the loving residents of Rikki's. It is very satisfying to know that these animals have found a safe, forever home.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Almost every day at Rikki's sees a new animal saved. What happened this year? An animal got hit by a car and brought in ... saved, recovered. Animals coming from hoarding situations (several!) ... acquired, rehabbed, now happy members of the group. Animals of many different species ... yes, a lot of cats, but also sheep, goats, pigs, cows, emus, ducks, dogs, don't stop me now! ... the list goes on for 22 different species! The love that the staff shows to all these animals is amazing ... every animal has value ... every life is precious. And it's good for people, too ... Rikki's helps distressed pet owners keep their pets, provides programs for children to learn to respect animals, and spreads an awful lot of happiness all around.

Previous Stories
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Board Member

Rating: 5

Rikki's is growing! They just added 64 acres, bringing their total land for keeping animals safe to 450 acres -- 100 acres for world-class managed care animal neighborhoods and 350 acres for native Virginia wildlife! And they're international! Rikki's got their Combined Federal Campaign national and international level certifications! More and more people are coming to know Rikki's ... coming to respect Rikki's ... coming to love Rikki's! Be a part of it today!

Kaila C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great place, they are so caring to both the animals and the humans!

Mariza2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was looking for a place to volunteer my time and make a difference. i knew i wanted to work with animals but i couldn't bear the thought of walking into a shelter. i heard of Rikki's Refuge and as soon as i walked on the property i knew i found the right place. Their mission is "everyone and everything deserves to live a long, happy, peaceful and, loving life; no matter how old, how disabled, or how temper mental they are." The animals at Rikki's Refuge are actually "HAPPY". They have wide and bright eyes. You don't leave there sad or guilty for not taking anything home with you, because you can just see and feel how well they are being taken care of and more importantly how much they are LOVED. Thanks to the employees that work so hard caring for the animals in the middle of snow storms, rain and unbearable heat 24/7, the dedicated volunteers that help get funding to keep the refuge going and Kerry (the refuge executive director) who can make a dollar stretch so far is impressive. 15 years later and the refuge still takes my breath away. Not only do they believe in human compassion, peace and love for all the creatures on earth...but they actually live it. Too bad we don't have more places like Rikki's Refuge, if we did, maybe we could finally find "peace on earth".

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am so proud of everyone I've watched make Rikki's Refuge come to life. Every time I visit I'm more impressed what a group of dedicated individuals with a dream can do. I've been watching Rikki's Refuge when it was just two people talking about it, before they had land to begin to make it happen. I've seen so many people from so many walks of life join in to make a safe haven for the animals. And one thing I find so wonderful is all the people they reach out to. The love you feel as a visitor and volunteer can bring a tear to even an old man's face. No matter who you are or how much you can contribute, you are welcomed with out stretched paws !!! Following Rikki's and listening to their philosophy of life about kindness, sharing, helping .... it's made me more conscious of those around me and a kinder gentler person. Thank you Rikki's Refuge.