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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

215 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

1 LegMassageGoddess

Board Member

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge, under the Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc. umbrella, certainly deserves the word "sanctuary." Rikki's is home to 1,300 animals of 22 different species, many of whom are differently-abled with issues ranging from missing legs/paws/ears/eyes to chronic conditions that can be managed with good food, medical care and lots of love. Other places would have put them down; at Rikki's they live out their lives in peace and love. The hard-working staff is there in all kinds of weather, doing their jobs over and above written descriptions and caring for those furry lives. From the largest steer to the smallest chicken, you can see how happy and well the animals are when you visit. Rikki's is a happy, uplifitng place. Visit and see for yourself!

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What can you say about an organization that takes in animals with disabilities, animals who have been so badly abused that they no longer care to trust people, animals with chronic medical conditions that require care and medication which their original owners don't want to provide, animals who are "too old and won't play anymore; we want a kitten/puppy," animals who have lost their homes because of illness, death, divorce or financial woes? What can you say about an organization that gives all of these creatures a for-ever home, with food, shelter, medical care and huge whopping doses of love every day? What can you say about an organization that is no-kill, that promotes cruelty-free eating for us humans that advocates tirelessly for spaying and neutering of your pets and ferals? What can you say about an organization that exists on private donations, money from bake sales, yard sales, a thrift shop and various events and doesn't take one penny of government money? What can you say about the people who work everyday in all kinds of weather and conditions to care for 1,300 animals of 22 different species? You say: This is Rikki's Refuge and I'm proud to be associated with them!

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Lolly B.

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.

Previous Stories
3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known of and been a supporter of Rikki's Refuge, Life Unlimited of Virginia INC, for many years. I recently moved down to Orange County, VA and now live within 15 minutes of Rikkis so I feel so blessed.

This animal sanctuary is incredible. Animals of all kinds - healthy, sick, old, and young - are treated with kindness, dignity, and LOVE. The owner, Kerry, is a rock star! The employees and volunteers are just amazing - caring for so many animals is HARD grueling work in any and all kinds of weather conditions - and they do it with LOVE. I was most recently at the Refuge on July 4, and when you are there, surrounded by the animals (cows, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, donkeys, chickens, ducks, pigs, emus and so many more!) it is immediately evident that these animals are HAPPY and cared for with love and respect. I think the animals KNOW and can sense how very lucky they are to have landed in this place, for whatever reason, and will be allowed to stay there for the rest of their lives.

That's why I will always support RIkki's Refuge, Life Unlimited of Virginia INC, with my money, my time, and my voice.

Lolly Busey

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.

cindyw2525

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.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

If there is a heaven on earth, it is sure to be Rikki's Refuge, a beautiful 450 acre animal sanctuary in central Virginia. If the 1200+ animals saved by Rikki's could talk, they would tell you that it is a glorious place with loving, compassionate people changing the world, one critter at a time. I work with the dogs, all who had a very sad life story before they found their way to Rikki's. Now they flourish in the green fields with a second chance in life. So many of the animals never knew what kindness was, until they entered the gates here. Rikki's Refuge has never met an animal that was not worthy of living a full and happy life, no matter what it takes. Truly heaven on earth!

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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.

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
1

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.

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
6

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
1

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!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been a donor and supporter for sixteen years. And sometimes I volunteer too. I just love Rikki's Refuge, it's my most favorite place on earth. When I'm sad I go to visit the animals and it makes me happy. Everything about Rikki's makes me happy. I love the lesson of compassion they teach everyone by example. It's just a good good place.

Kaila C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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