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2020 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

315 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Forester W. I.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A friend of mine had been rescuing cats for a few years, as had I. She rescued a cat that turned out to have Feline Leukemia. The vet recommended euthanizing the cat, but my friend did research on the internet to find a refuge for Feline leukemia positive cats. Such cats can live for many years, but can be contagious to other cats, so taking care of them together at a refuge would make sense. My friend discovered Life Unlimited of Virginia, AKA Rikki's Refuge. We drove there one day and met the founder, Kerry and left the cat (named Binky) there in good care. There were hundred of animals, 1200 in all, including more than 600 cats, all being well-cared for. We began volunteering at Rikki's Refuge. and have done quite a few projects there to support them, and we also donate regularly. They have had as many as 22 different species including cows, dogs, sheep, goats, horses, Guinea fowl, chickens, geese, pigs, cats, Guinea pigs, rabbits, peacocks, etc. I have spent many hours there and met all the staff and seen them at work, and have concluded that Rikki's Refuge takes care of animals very well, providing love as well as food, shelter, and veterinary care. In an ideal world, there would be a lot more animal refuges like Rikki's Refuge, where it's all about the mission, and the mission is providing a home for animals that have no home for various reasons. Many of these animals might have been euthanized had Rikki's Refuge not been there to accept them. These were once animals that stood no chance for continued life. This point was driven home to me in 2006 when I was installing new vinyl flooring in the office area and Kerry received a call from the director of the local animal shelter saying that there were three cats in the shelter whose allowed time was expiring the next day, meaning if they weren't adopted they would be euthanized. I heard Kerry discussing how she would manage to make room at Rikki's so these cats could be saved--and they were. Since then I have heard many similar stories. Occasionally, cats are flown in from places like Egypt or Dubai because of Rikki's knowledge, skill, and ability in taking care of three-legged cats with related issues. Rikki's Spokescat has for many years been a three-legged cat! Having volunteered at Rikki's for 17 years now, I am well-satisfied that donations are always well-used for the benefit of the animals. May Rikki's exist in perpetuity...

Previous Stories
2

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve volunteered for rescues since Hurricane Katrina (2005). I’d heard of Life Unlimited of Virginia (Rikki’s Refuge, Rikki’s) from fellows. In 2007, I adopted a Rikki’s kitten. Within a year or two, I started helping with the great pumpkin haul, transporting leftover Halloween pumpkins to the refuge which helps feed farm animals through the winter.
Kerry and her crew run the place on a shoestring. It has been especially hard this year because of the Covid-19 crisis. Financial assistance is critical, welcomed, and always graciously accepted. I highly recommend Rikki’s Refuge as a recipient of your gift.

Previous Stories

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.

Kim Blessing H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I had a feral that had no place to go Rikki's Refuge open their doors and hearts to him. Jax had been humanely trapped when his owner moved and the landlord threatened to harm him if he wasn't removed. We searched and searched for a barn home, to no avail. This handsome boy had no place to call home until Rikki's accepted him. I'm so grateful for the work they do for all species of animals, not just cats. No animal should die just because it doesn't have a home. They have wonderful volunteers that love the animals.

lbp23

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to Rikki's Refuge over the years because they are one of the absolute best animal sanctuaries anywhere. They value each and every life, always go the extra mile to save, heal and care for an animal in need, and set the very best example of kindness and compassion. They also conduct humane education programs to share their mission and beliefs, striving to make the world a better place for all species, including humans.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported Rikki's Refuge for several years. They care about all life, opening their doors and their hearts to the creatures who have no hope, welcoming them, tending to all their needs. These animals may go on to find a home with someone else, but if they don't, they are cherished at Rikki's for the rest of their lives. And Rikki's also has a wonderful program of humane education so that children (and their families!) learn how important it is to treat others kindly, both animal and human. Rikki's is making the world a better place.

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1 Tiffany Cozort Lester B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rikkis Refuge has been a true life saver for so many cats from our rural area that would otherwise of been euthanized. Most of these cats were feral and endangered in their colonies. Rikkis never hesitated when asked to take these cats. One of Rikkis rescues that stands out in my mind was of two bonded cats. One cat was the “seeing eye” cat for his totally blind cat friend. They were living under an abandoned house. We put out a plea and Rikkis answered! They will be kept together for the remainder of their lives! Rikkis keeps all their rescues kept up to date with vaccines, all medical needs are met.
These animals live out their lives wanting for nothing in this amazing sanctuary.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Rikkis Refuge is one of the most wonderful and humane sanctuaries you could hope to visit.I proudly served in the board of directors for almost 8 years and watched them grow to help every animal possible. Their volunteers work tirelessly to save so many animals who otherwise would be euthanized or abandoned and give them the love and environment to live their best life possible. Every donation dollar is maximized for the animals welfare because of kind individuals who help make sure medicine, food and a warm shelter are provided for all. They truly are a heaven on earth for so many little creatures of over 20 species and I can’t think of a more amazing place that does so much with love for the animals

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikkis Refuge is heaven on earth. They people there love and care for the animals with utmost attention. They truly love what they do. They take in those no one else wants. They see the beauty in the imperfect. I can’t say enough about the care and attention all living things get there.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

About 13 years ago I discovered this wonderful organization and my life changed forever. Life unlimited has not just changed my life but the life of thousands of animals who other wise would have no where to go. They come here in a number of ways but once they are here they are guaranteed a forever home. Animals are rescued that have been neglected ,injured, turned away from other shelters and so on. I have seen case after case of animals going into Life Unlimited scared, frightened, and other things that you would think there is no way to turn these animals around and weeks later a completely different animal emerges. They are friendly sweet and affectionate because they have been shown some compassion for once in their lives. The part I enjoy the most is just walking the grounds and seeing multiple species of animals living harmoniously. Dogs cats chickens ducks geese goats turkeys all living together and loving each other. Even when there is a scrabble between two residents a group of guinea fowl jump in and break up the altercation. It's amazing to see them keeping the peace at the sanctuary not to mention being a natural pest control for the other animals. There are even some dogs that sleep all day and completely untrained naturally roam the perimeter at night to keep out unwanted wildlife and protect the other animals. The amazing volunteers and staff that run Life Unlimited are fantastic but to see the animals actually kicking in their contribution floors me. I truly love Life Unlimited and cherish they were introduced to my life. Thank you.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

How can you put into words the amazing things Rikki's Refuge does. It has saved thousands of animals from various situations and gives them happy forever homes. The care the staff and volunteers offer is heart warming. Rikki's is my favorite place in the world.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first became aware of Life Unlimited of Virginia over 10 years ago when I was doing lots of rescue work for cat rescues in GA. Everyone who ever spoke of this sanctuary talked about how wonderful they were, how they cared for so many different types of animals, the dedication of the volunteers & and the beauty of the place. While I was never lucky enough to actually be able to transport any animals there, I was able to send some kitties that had health issues & nowhere else to go. They lived long & happy lives there & I was so grateful.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am new to the rescue scene, but have TNRd feral cats for several years in Southwest Virginia. Unfortunately, not all cats have a safe place to be returned. So, one of my rescue friends introduced me to Rikki’s.

This was one of the best things that ever happened. Rikki’s has been a Godsend to me, as well as the cats they have taken in and given a permanent place to live, and better life.

Not only does Rikki’s provide a safe haven for cats needing a place to live, they also take in cats with disabilities, ferals and those that would otherwise be euthanized due to testing positive for FIV/Felv or overcrowded shelters. And, their assistance is not just limited to cats. There are many other animals that live out their lives at Rikki’s.

I cannot say enough good things about Rikki’s. Thank you for saving the animals and al that you do!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Such an amazing animal welfare organization. They helped my special needs kitty foster Aimee Grey find a forever home. She was even their welcome center kitty before she was adopted. Grateful for everything they do for animals.

Barbara L.7

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikkis Refuge provides a responsible and safe harbor for many species to live out their lives in a caring and clean environment. Their medical needs are attended to as necessary in addition to regular daily support.
Visiting Rikkis, as I have been able to do, is a heartening and inspirational experience to witness the animals enjoying their 2nd chance at a full life.
Rikkis has accepted with welcoming arms many special needs cats who have thrived in their secure and comfortable & homey habitats.
Animal lovers dream of establishing such a sanctuary for creatures if ever lucky enough to win the lottery. Rikkis fulfills and lives that image through everyone's daily hard work, sweat and determination that each and every creature under their care has all of their needs met.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge first came to my rescue in 2013 while I was caring for my Aunt Mina who was dying of cancer. She had a duck named Clinton who needed to be placed in a wildlife sanctuary. After two years of searching with no success, she'd given up. I learned of the refuge from a local veterinarian. Rikki's Refuge agreed to adopt Clinton and he is still happy and healthy 7 years later! Rikki's also adopted my aunt's pigeons and worked diligently to be sure the birds were comfortable in their new environment. I have been volunteering with Rikki's Refuge since 2013 and feel like they are my family. I have witnessed their love and devotion to the animals as well as the long hours spent every day of the year regardless of how bad the weather might be. Rikki's Refuge specializes in feral cats and I have been able to relocate one or two colonies there when TNR was not the best solution. It's an amazing sanctuary and they will always have a special place in my heart. I admire the hard work and dedication that all of the staff provide so the animals receive the best possible care! I will always support them!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough good things about Rikki's Refuge (Life Unlimited)!
To me, if I was an animal, this is where I would choose to live. Well, to be honest, as a human, I'd pretty much choose it as a place to live, too.
Rikki's is heaven on earth to me. A place where ALL animals are accepted, loved and cared-for for the remainder of their lives (or until adopted for those who are adoptable).
Kerry is the most amazing woman I have ever met. She's devoted her life to animals and poured her heart and soul into Rikki's---and it shows.
All of the volunteers love animals and show these animals the love they missed before coming to Rikki's.
Rikki's helped me many years ago with a Felv+ kitty who I was unable to keep. They showed him so much love and attention----for the remainder of his too-short life. I got the most heartfelt email from Kerry to inform me of his passing.
I know that any animal that ends up at Rikki's will have the best life possible--which is all we can ask for.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

I love Life Unlimited. The animals there can live out there lives in peace n love. They are so happy to live there knowing they can do their own thing there. They just love all the animals, N love spending their days surrounded by all their charges. But the animals there know they have found their forever homes.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The first time I came to Rikkis was 13 years ago. I still come back because it is the greatest place ever. Animals of all kinds call Rikkis their home. Animals are well taken care of and know love every single day. The staff and volunteers go above and beyond to make sure all the animals are happy and healthy!

morticialily

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have rescued animals in New England for the past 25 years. Occasionally I get an animal that I am unable to place locally due to a physical or medical problem. I know that Rikki's is there for them if needed. I sent my first animal to Rikki's some 15 years ago and have sent animals there ever since. Kerry welcomes them and I know that they will be well taken care of for the rest of their life. I have personally delivered animals there from Connecticut and look forward to my next visit. It is wonderful ,caring place

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Although I live 400 miles from the shelter, I am very involved and only wish I lived closer, in order to help first hand. The shelter is well run and helps animals no matter how severe their problem is

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Their great, dedicated to help various creatures with a permanent home, some get adopted. Their residents are well cared for, provided shelter, food, medical treatment, lots of love.

Eddye S.

Donor

Rating: 5

Life Unlimited of Virginia and Rikki's Refuge are beyond a doubt one of the best sanctuaries and animal advocates I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. From rescue to education and all the facets in between, they demonstrate daily their passion and dedication to the animals and people in their community ~ making the world a better place for us all.

Lia F.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor to Rikki's Refuge for many many years. This past year though, donations were down due to covid and many people not working. these amazing people tightened their belts even more and managed to keep every one of those 1200+ mouths fed. Working night and day to care for these animals is a daunting task but they rose to meet the challenge. Their thrift store was in danger and the volunteers rallied to bring it back to profitable and pay the bills. I was due to visit this year but covid prevents that. I do what I can from several states away but know when I can visit, the animals will be there, these special people will be there and the wonderful place called Rikki's Refuge will still be saving and giving sanctuary to these unwanted, abused, and special needs animals like no other place on earth.

Previous Stories

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.

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PaulCandy

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been associated with this organization for about 20 years. It has been such a wonderful experience I moved to Orange County, Virginia in retirement to be closer. It has given me a real purpose for getting our of bed each day and improved my life by the experience. The people I have met and the experiences I have had over the years greatly improved my mental state especially after my wife, who introduced me to the group, passed away. I am very thankful for having been able to be a part of this organization.

Previous Stories

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

Life Unlimited provides support to Rikki's Refuge, a sanctuary in Orange, VA that provides a forever home to all animals there. I was first introduced to Rikki's in 2013. My aunt, an animal lover who also took in all types of strays, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and we needed to find homes for some of her more exotic pets, like her duck. Rikki's took him without hesitation and he lives there to this day. My sister, who does cat rescues, has also taken them many feral cats following spay/neuter. They have taken special needs animals that were abandoned by humans. All the critters are loved and fed and sheltered for as long as they need, even during this year of the pandemic which has been challenging for all non-profits. They have a wonderful, caring staff who go above and beyond to care for the animals. It can be a tough, dirty job, but they do it with enthusiasm because they love the animals. I have continued to support them as much as I can because they are such an excellent organization.

mommacat11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have known and been involved with Rikkis Refuge for over 15 years. As a volunteer, I helped in the gift shop, cleaned and organized food and supplies, asked local businesses for support with fundraising. When shelters had special needs fur children, I would help drive and pick up then transport to Rikkis where the animal would live out their life in peace and love. The animals health, happiness and well being are ALWAYS first. Rikkis refuge is the epitome of what a no kill animal sanctuary should be. There is always room for one more, and there is no limit or boundary of love. It has truly been an honor to be associated with Rikkis Refuge.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dear Sirs, Madam, My name is Debra Barrett. I have been a volunteer for Rikkis Refuge aka Life Unlimited of Va for the past 5-6 years. While I was a volunteer for another animal organization I was told about Rikkis and how wonderful they were. One day, I rode down and was amazed!I was given a personal tour but was hooked.I became a volunteer that day! Rikkis is on 367 acres in Orange,Va. We care for over 1200+ animals of 20 species, 400+ being cats. Have you ever seen an animal who is not only broken physcally but also emotionally and their spirit has been shattered? Rikkis restores all of that and more. Each and every animal is cared for and loved on a prsonal level. Some for the first time feel the gentle touch of a human hand gently patting them and speaking softly where in the past was only a slap and a yell.Sometimes it takes months to regain their trust...but that one moment when they wag their tail or purr is nothing that can ever be truly explained. EVery animal is loved and cared for until they are adopted or live out the rest of their lives in peace. N harsh voices, no hitting, no starving, no sleeping in the cold. And do you know HOW all of this is accomplished? By DONATIONS. Yes. By donations, fund raisers, Tours and open houses. The price of admission is a can of or bag of food.Kerry Hilliard i the founder and Executive Director. This is her dream.. and she has made it our dream as well. She has a small dedicated staff and a samall army of dedcated volunteers that ask for food donations,help raise money with fund raisers etc. NO ANIMAL will ever go hungry at Rikkis. NOT EVER AGAIN. Kerry also takes in animals from other "Shelters". Animals that have been deemed unadoptable and are on death row. Several of us are what we call the FERRY GODMOTHERS. We "Ferry" animals from other shelters to Rikkis. THree years ago another volunteer and I were going to split the transport up between an out of state shelter and Rikki's a totally blind cat had bbeen surrendered by i's owner bec the owner was pregnant and didn't want him any more. When I told my husband he said ask Kerry if we can adopt him. When I met the other volunteer and saw this terrified little boy in his carrier my heart melted. I called Kerry and she said CONGRATULATIONS MOMMA! Kelby has been one of our fur children for three years. It was touch and go for several months. He was so angry. He had been betrayed and was not one to trust for a long time. Kelby was deemed unadoptable because he has no eyes.. but to us..he is a priceless treasure. I thank GOD in heaven every day that Kerry Hilliard said YES to taking this fur child and then yes for ua to adopt Kelby.There are so many happy endings becasue of Kerry and Rikkis Refuge. There are also endings that do not end up in adoption but the end is filled with love, and dignity. Rikkis is a unique animal sanctuary, it is truly a little piece of heaven on earth and deserves a little bit of help. Respectfully Submitted, Debra Barrett Volunteer and Bard Member and adoptive pet parent.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Life Unlimited of Virginia is a wonderful place that takes in animals that might otherwise be put down and gives them a place to live out there lives.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an amazing animal sanctuary that rescues all species and allows them to live out their lives in peace. If you ever get the chance to visit you’ll see many different kinds of animals interacting in harmony, and the staff does so much with so little, making the organization very efficient.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Rikki’s Refuge Animal Sanctuary (Life Unlimited of Virginia Inc). They have provided many cats with a safe and caring environment to live out the rest of their lives. Most of the cats I deal with are shelter cats who’s time have run out and would otherwise be euthanized. Also feral cats or cats that have tested FeLv positive have little to no chance of finding homes. Rikki’s Refuge and their staff are our “Angels” as they saved these cat’s lives. Each time I go to Rikkis I am greeted by the wonderful staff and I get to see some of the kitties that I have transported to Rikki’s. The cats are well cared for and never again have to worry about being hungry or not receiving medical care when needed. They have saved so many cats as well as so many other animals. I can’t express how thankful I am for this nonprofit!!!!

Kathy133

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Life Unlimited of Virginia runs Rikki's Refuge Animal Sanctuary in Virginia. For over 20 years the sanctuary has taken in every kind of animal you can think of - and provided a safe, life-long home for literally thousands of animals. From the emu babies who were hatched as a "school project" without a plan for them once they were born to the senior animals who were abandoned by families when started developing old age issues, Rikki's Refuge was there for them. The dedicated staff at the sanctuary keep the animals safe and healthy and the place is clean and well-run. Volunteers can work on a variety of projects and tours are available - at least once COVID ends. 5 Stars all day long.

Bonnie60

Donor

Rating: 5

Here is a picture of me from a past ThanksLiving event at Rikki's Refuge where the turkey was the guest of honor. We are all vegetarians. There are several lucky turkeys at the Refuge. It's that time of year again where we gather up donated pumpkins from local farms, and all the animals at the Refuge get to enjoy them including the horses, cows, goats, pigs, emus, sheep, and how grateful we and they are. I have been supporting Rikki's Refuge, Life Unlimited Of Virginia Inc., monthly for 15 years. 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. Their location is Central Virginia, in what is mostly an agricultural area. 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. I will be happy when Covid is over, and we can get back to offering tours and having events once again.

Previous Stories

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.

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Kathy99

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rikki's is amazing!! They have worked so hard to keep everything going through this virus. Which has been so rough! Still taking in the animals they can, working on much lower donations and having to stop tours which brings in money. Each animal is treated like they are the only one. Each life means something! Taking in animals that many other refuges would have put down gives so many creatures hope & a new start. Keeping this wonderful refuge going is even more important during these times.

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2

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.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have been a supporter of Rikki's for many years. They work so hard and make EVERY penny count. I've seen huge improvements over time. The volunteers are so much help with projects.

There was a time in my life when things were not good health wise. They allowed me to help out some but mostly just BE and relax; forget my worries. It is such a wonderful peaceful place I can honestly say they helped me feel better.

The people that work there are dedicated and work unbelievably hard in all conditions. I would never worry that my donations would be wasted.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Rikki's Refuge for close to 10 years. It is a wonderful place that has helped me much more over the years than I can imagine that I have helped them. During difficult times in my life I have been able to get "out of myself" while helping out. The wonderful work done at the Refuge gave me a sense of hope and belonging when things were not going well in my life. They not only save animal lives but benefit and strenghten human lives. They have helped me in ways they will never know and I love and thank them for that. I encourage everyone who loves/respects animals to volunteer or donate to this worthy group.

Review from Guidestar

Isabella A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

An island of calm serenity in this crazy world, even this year. My visits have been limited by the crazy world. The second I get out of my car, I'm overcome with peace, calm and serenity. The animals are always at peace, protected from the outside world, so loved and cared for. I am thankful for everyone who donated and supported Rikki's Refuge and kept this dream of more peaceful and gentle world alive. The animals have been as happy as every having no idea how crazy the rest of the world is. Humans at Rikki's feel a total clam and serenity there too.

Previous Stories

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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Board Member

Rating: 5

It's been a tough and frightening year. Restrictions dramatically cut our volunteer helpers. Layoffs destroyed our donor base in the spring. Thankfully wonderful donors stretched as deep as they could and found the funding to keep everyone fed and well cared for. The marvelous staff put in all the extra hours to get everything done, and done well, every single day. I have certainly gotten to know the most wonderful people on this planet here at Rikki's Refuge. It's such a wonderful feeling to know there are so many good and kind people who donate and support us in any way they can. Thank you to everyone. The animals have missed so many of their regular visitors this year. Hoping everyone is back soon.

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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!!

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm so glad I was able to travel to Virginia and visit Rikki's Refuge before all my traveling was closed down. I sure can't wait to get back. Things were so wonderful early in the years. It's so heartwarming to see the same animals again, still happy, with a few more grey hairs, just like me. I've watched from a distance the rest of they year thru social media. Thank goodness for that. I'm so glad to see the enormously dedicated staff has been able to keep up with everything, especially with the loss of most volunteers. I can't wait to get back there !

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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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love this place and I only got to visit once before the planet was shut down with all the covid rules. I can't wait to get back. I've kept up thru social media with how the animals are doing. I'm so happy covid hasn't hurt the animals at all. I'll be the first one there as soon as I can get out. I have to hand it to the wonderful crew there who has worked hard every single day thru all this.

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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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm so sad that this covid virus has limited my visits to see the animals this year. I am so thankful I was able to get there a couple time. This is my favorite chicken and my favorite cow. I just love all the animals. And I really love how clean everything is and happy the animals are and I can just see how much they love the people who take care of them everyday. That tells you right there what a wonderful place it is. I hope next year I can get back to visiting a lot more often.

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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.

JanGazeteci

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was so happy to get to paint the fence one day !!! I usually clean litterboxes and play with cats and mow grass and play with cats and play with more cats. I love throwing a ball for the dogs and feeding the horses and cows and other big animals too. The chickens make me laugh. They're so funny when they run for treats. I'm so happy when I can be with the animals.

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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.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Absolutely THE place to visit and volunteer. I do both every chance I get. My friends always love it when they go with me. I'll say I'm going and who wants to come along. They don't get why I'm so excited to make the trip. But after they visit they understand and are hooked for life. Bigger and better every year.

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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.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have loved visiting for years. Especially the cats !!! I can spend hours sitting in the cat house and playing with all the cats. Cats of every color, every size!!! I just love cats. And all the other animals are wonderful too. My grandchildren have grown up visiting Rikki's Refuge everytime they visit me. I think they like the animals more than me. You bet I'll keep coming back as long as I'm able.

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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.

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MalJohnson

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Do I love this place? Oh yeah !!!! It's amazing how they care for so many animals on such a small budget. And do it so wonderfully. Even the very very elderly ones are so so happy. And you can just tell how much the caretakers really care. You can see the love in their eyes. Such a gift to our planet. I wish everyone cared about animals like these people do.

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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.

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MaryCallahan

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rikki's was there for me again this year !!! Even with all the quarantine and problems. I'm so thankful for them. I had to place a relative's animals after their death. How do you find a home for a pig and goat where nobody will hurt them? Rikki's Refuge !!!! I'm so thankful. And so glad I got to visit again too. It's wonderful how they'll send me pictures and keep me up on how the animals are doing. We need so many many more places like this in the world.

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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.

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LeanoraWilliams

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is where I go for my birthday every year. And I love it. It only gets better and better every year. They take such wonderful care of the animals. And it's so great to see the same ones year after year and to meet the new ones. I hope I can visit every birthday for the rest of my life !!!! Love you all !!!

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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.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a wonderful place !!! All the happy animals dancing about. I just want to sing when I visit. So much love. The animals make me so happy.

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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.

LegMassageGoddess

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with Rikki's Refuge (under the Life Unlimited of Virginia umbrella) is such a rewarding experience on so many levels. The work can be hard, it never ends (animals must be fed twice a day!), but the feeling of satisfaction you get at the end of the day is priceless. We started painting the weather-beaten white fence that runs the length of the driveway to the Life Center. We're using bright rainbow colors, and it's immensely gratifying to stand back and watch the fence take on new life. The white fleeces of the sheep and goats stands out so beautifully against those colors, the snow adds such beauty and when you see it in the late afternoon, lit up by a setting sun, it's so gorgeous and peaceful. It's also enormously helpful when giving directions! This is just one example of the many jobs that you can help with - or start - at the Refuge. Come on out and join the fun!

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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?

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kfbhill123

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is such an amazing place and gets more and more amazing year after year. The wonderfully spectacular staff, volunteers, donors and visitors make this an amazing place. Such total dedication from the humans making such a wonderfully happy peaceful home for the animals !!! You can see their happiness in their eyes from the cats to the cows and the chickens to the chukars !!! A wonderful peaceful kingdom !! Thank you to all who make this possible.

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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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Donor

Rating: 5

I have been following Rikki's Refuge Animal Sanctuary (Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc) for almost all of their 22 years! The work they do is spectacular and the number of animals they have saved and given a lifelong home to is amazing.

I am so grateful that there is a place like Rikki's Refuge that cares as much as they do about the animals. I haven't been able to visit this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, but follow them religiously on Social Media and their mailings. The animals look so happy!

Lolly B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a lucky, lucky Board Member for Rikki's Refuge Animal Sanctuary!
What a difference we can make for animals and one another when we put compassion first. A more compassionate world begins with each of us - and with all of us. No matter where we are on our personal journeys, we all have the power to make a difference. I believe that living compassionately means listening, being thoughtful, and showing care and concern in the decisions I make and the actions I take both personally and for everything I do for Rikki's Refuge. This is an AMAZING organization and I am forever grateful and HONORED to be a part of it.

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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.

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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.

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!

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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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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.

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.

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

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.

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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.

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 :)