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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

Rikki's Refuge provides a forever ( or fur-ever) home for over a thousand animals of 20 species that have nowhere else to go. The injured, ill behaved, unwanted and otherwise unadoptable. Not to mention the wild animals that live there. And volunteering there helps the volunteer as much as it helps the animals. It's one of the greatest places around.

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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5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is one of the most outstanding places I have ever been to. I can not offer anything to make the place better except to try to be there more for them. The first time I went was for a tour of the facility and now I give them for others to discover Rikki's and the wonderful things they do. Going out there and working and knowing that you are a small part of the amazing help they give to animals is all the reward I can ask for. Every creature no matter how old, cripple, forgotten, dismissed, deserted are welcome here to live out the rest of their days with love around them. Maybe for some of them for the first time in their lives. Keep up the excellent work Rikki's.

Review from Guidestar

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is one of the best sanctuaries in the USA that I know of! Every life counts at Rikki's and they are doing everything to make sure their animals get the very best of lives! Taking care of well over 1200 animals, and paying attention to all of their (often special) needs on a daily basis, is a miracle not many rescues or sanctuaries can manage. Rikki's does!

Shelly25

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge/Life Unlimited takes in and cares for many kinds of animals, large and small. They do amazing work and deserve any help they can get. Community outreach is a huge part of what they do, and Virginia is better for being home to this fantastic organization.

1 14crazytails

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge stepped in to save a kitty that was abused and neglected by its owner. Rikki's took all the responsibility to make sure this kitty is safe and would find a loving home. I happen to see the post on Facebook and Rikki's made all things possible with the help of the volunteers involved. The kitty is safe now. Very well taken care of and since day one, she touched our hearts and our home is her new forever home. I will be forever grateful to Rikki's for the unconditional love they are giving these pets and animals everyday of their lives.

Tammy80

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge cares for over 1200 animals and is a no-kill shelter. Everyone there is friendly and loves animals. They are very active in the community and deserve as much support as they can receive from us all. I highly recommend them.

Sherry E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is an incredible no-kill sanctuary for animals of all shapes and sizes. The dogs, cats, pigs, horses, emus, guinea pigs, sheep, goats, etc., live out their lives in a safe and caring environment. Considering that there are over 1200 animals that call Rikki's home, it truly takes a village of dedicated volunteers. Having spent many hours there, I honestly am in awe of how well they keep everything running so smoothly. But, none of this would happen without those willing to give of their time, resources and help from others. I believe in Kerry and her vision of what Rikki's Refuge stands for and for those who support her every step of the way.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for Rikki's, I can say with absolute certainty that this is a place that goes above and beyond to help any animal that comes into their care. From cats to dogs and horses to guinea pigs, no animal at Rikki's goes without the proper care or love. I have enormous respect for everyone who works so tirelessly at Rikki's.

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Elijah A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Having been a fan of the larger animal refuges, like Farm Sanctuary, I was happy to find that there is one local to me; but I was awestruck when I saw how much they actually do & how many animals they've saved. Amazing organization. - Elijah Aust, Charlottesville, VA

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I love the work that Rikki's Refuge, aka Life Unlimited of Virginia, does. They save and provide a safe harbor for countless number of rescued animals that otherwise would be euthanized in shelters and farms. The refuge provides a safe home for 22 species of unwanted animals. The tireless work that the volunteers and staff do to feed and care for these animals is amazing and worthy of my donations throughout the year. I've been supporting Rikki's for over 10 years and look forward to supporting the work that they do for many more to come. I tell all my family and friends to support them, and I say to them - don't worry about me and gifts - give what you can to Rikki's and I'll be happy for that. It's just a great charity doing great work for the animals that I love. The ratio of funding going directly to the animals compared to the administrative or overhead costs is really good. I know my support is going for what I intended and the work done with my donations is outstanding, kind, considerate, and so important. I love Rikki's!

1 Martha G.

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is my favorite charity, and I have been supporting them since they opened in 1998. Rikki's takes in animals that would otherwise have been destroyed: old, disabled, behavior problems. With 1300 animals of 22 different species, and over 600 cats, Rikki's is a wonderful, live-filled sanctuary. ALL operating expenses for Rikki's come from donations, and it takes a lot of funding to keep the sanctuary open 24/7/365.

I retired and moved to Kauai, from the DC metro area, one year ago. Rikki's continues to be a big part of my life, and has been a major influence in my new life as a retiree: I now work with a non-profit feral cat organization. I am involved in fund raising, trapping cats to be spayed and neutered, and fostering kittens. I have been able to reach out to Rikki's Executive Director, Kerry Hilliard, for advice on my new "work." Ms. Hilliard has always taken the time to provide encouragement and helpful hints about rescuing and working with feral cats, and she has shared the joys and sorrows I've experienced with that work. Ms. Hilliard is a font of information on cats, given that there are over 600 cats at Rikki's, and she is always, ALWAYS there to share that information with anyone who asks -- either via email, or through Facebook.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is a no-kill animal sanctuary in Virginia that is home to nearly 1300 animals of 22 different species. I have been a donor and supporter of Rikki's since its inception in 1998. Rikki's takes in animals that would otherwise be destroyed, especially those who are disabled, elderly and/or with behavioral issues. Rikki's is staffed almost entirely with volunteers, so that for any donations made to this 501(c)3 charity, well over 95% goes towards food and shelter and veterinary care for the animals. Rikki's also does a great deal of community education: traveling to local events with several of their "differently abled" animals, to demonstrate that all animals, and be inference, all humans, have value. Rikki's also has a "spokescat" and a "spokesdog," both of whom are differently abled. The spokescat is missing part of his back legs, and the spokesdog is blind: both of these wonderful animals would have been destroyed had some kind soul not contacted Rikki's to give them a home. I have visited Rikki's a number of times. and I am always truly overwhelmed at the feeling of love that is everywhere. Rikki's operates solely on donations, and because of the nearly all-volunteer staff, they somehow manage to get buy on about one dollar a day per animal. Because of Facebook, Rikki's also has a world-wide following. This nonprofit organization is nothing less than wonderful, and I am proud to be a part of their family, and a supporter and donor.

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Vicki G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge provides love and care for all species of animals. Many of these animals would end up euthanized if Rikki's did not take them in.
The staff are lovely and the care and love shown to the animals is fantastic.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I visited Rikki's Refuge in early this year, from Australia. I was impressed by the dedication and love shown by the volunteers and employees for the 1300 plus animals that they have. I highly recommend this lovely place to everyone, it is so rare to find a place that cares as much as they do!

Diane111

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I learned about Rikki's Refuge through Facebook because of my love of animals. I have seen and heard wonderful things about the Refuge over the last couple of years and wish I could do more than vote for them when I get the chance but we have our own feral cat colony to care for on our farm in Wisconsin. You can see how well the animals are cared for by the wonderful, hard working people at Rikki's Refuge.

1 Cindee P.

Donor

Rating: 5

I, too, learned about Rikki's Refuge through Wayne Morris on Facebook. Ever since I check on Rikki's daily through Facebook and I've donated many items for them. They are such wonderful people. They are kind and make sure that they keep in touch. They have helped so many cats and dogs in need and they are a no-kill rescue. Since I am too emotional to work at rescues, I try to do as much as possible for them by networking and getting their message across to as many people as possible.
Just by daily voting, we can all help Rikki's feed the many animals that live there.
Rikki's is one of the BEST rescues in the country!

2 Merrie D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Many nonprofits are founded and run by caring people; rescues attract volunteers willing to donate their time and Life Unlimited of VA, Inc (aka Rikki's Refuge) organizes these volunteers into a labor force for kindness. Rikki's actually thanks every individual (via social media such as Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) so donors and volunteers feel recognized and included in the organization, contributing ideas as well as money. Simple thanks and kindness pervades this organization, making interaction with them a joy!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I learned of Rikki's Rescue thru artist Wayne Morris who does art work for Rikki's. When I found out that it is a no kill humane shelter that treats the residents with love and dignity I was immediately won over. I follow the face book page every day and enjoy hearing the stories of the staff members and animals living at the refuge, who I believe go above and beyond to maintain Rikki's Rescue. Life Unlimited of Virginia has changed my life by helping me understand the terrible plight of unwanted animals in our country. How they manage this huge task is amazing. Can you imagine tending to the daily needs of over 1400 different kinds of animals every day in all kinds of weather on a limited budget and still doing such a great job, I myself could never accomplish what is done at Life Unlimited. Bravo Rikki's Refuge.

4 Aquaberyl

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's helped me by accepting a FELV positive kitty when I could find no where else to take her. I made the trip all the way from Indiana to Virginia, and I was amazed at the numbers and kinds of rescued animals and the tender care and love they recieved from the whole staff. Kerry Hilliard knows the name and story of each and every animal! She is amazing, and the refuge she leads is awesome! Kerry has also given me wonderful advice with regard to my personal cats when I have sought her ideas. This is a truly wonderful organization. In addition to caring for all their 1300 or so rescued animals, they give programs in the community to educate children and adults about the importance of spaying and neutering pets, proper animal care, and they creatively use disabled animals as a bridge to show all living beings deserve love and respect, no matter what their health status or age or color! Truly, if I could give 10 stars, I would!

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Life Unlimited is a wonderful organization. I have visited their main branch, Rikki's Refuge, and it is an amazing place. This organization survives solely on donations, and 96% of all donated funds are used directly in the rescue and care of their almost 1300 animal residents. They also do great community outreach and teaching of the public on the care, welfare and treatment of animals and through the use of differently abled animals demonstrated to children that any and all differently abled beings can live rich, full lives and should be treated with dignity and respect. Life Unlimited of Virginia is very worthy of any and all support you can give them!

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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.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's has saved so many animals who would have had no chance without them. They not only take in those in need, they are proactive in educating the public, especially children, about the importance of humane treatment for all species. Teaching compassion changes the world for everyone

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For everyone who envisions an animal sanctuary is all sunlight and roses and birds landing on your shoulder to sing to you - it's NOT Disney! It's hard work to feed and shelter and medicate over 1,000 animals of all sizes and temperments, in all kinds of weather - yet the staff and volunteers of Rikki's Refuge do it willingly every day of the year. And they still find time to dispense love and kindness to every creature on the property. When you leave Rikki's after a day of volunteering you're often exhausted, sweaty and not the best-smelling person in the world - but you'll sure feel good about yourself and are already looking forward to the next time!

emilyk78

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is an amazing place with volunteers that have hearts of gold. They rescue so many unwanted, injured, senior, and handicapped animals and give them the life they would've never had before, and I can't thank them enough for it! If I lived closer, I'd volunteer there as well!

Donor

Rating: 5

I support Rikki's because of all the lives they save! They take what are often the unwanted and give them a fulfilling life. Just because the animals aren't perfect doesn't mean they don't deserve a chance.

Donor

Rating: 5

I learned about Rikkis through my childrens dance studio. My children and family have been so taken by the good work this charity does. So many animals with so many needs all im a safe place with wonderful people that care. Animals are a gift from God, these vulnerable creatures give so much love and happiness to so many people. My kids are states away but love to hear the stories of the animals at Rikkis and see all the pictures of the animals. I believe that Rikkis may be one f the most unique charities I have ever encountered, any donation to the is pricledd in the amount it can hep the animals..

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is home to the elderly, the unwanted, the abandoned, the abused, the chronically ill; all those beings that no one else will take in. The work that is done there everyday by a small, dedicated staff is remarkable. Miracles happen at Rikki's every day. Animals that no one thought had a chance of a happy life recover at Rikki's with lots of love, lots of caring, vet care, a warm place to sleep and, of course, food! I've volunteered at Rikki's for almost three years and my heart is still touched by the caring, compassionate, hard-working staff every time I'm there.

Patsy S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I don't know what Orange County would do for their furry friends if it was not for our wonderful friends at Rikki's Refuge, I have trapped many felines and most of them went to Rikki's Refuge, thank God for this wonderful place for all types of animals but they do need help to feed and take care or them so please donate what you can.

Angela53

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have heard that Rikki's Refuge is a wonderful sanctuary for animals who have no where else to go. That Rikki's take exceptional care of there animals. It has been my pleasure to help in areas that I was able to.

1 Tari O.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to Rikki's on countless occasions. The wonderful people there have always been so kind and let me know the best place to put my donation as sometimes the needs in other areas are greater than others.

I have donated cash, cat food, dog food, and a dog house. I thought I was doing so well, until I realized just how much they go through of each of those. However, no matter how small the donation (even $1) they are VERY thankful for. It is obvious that those who volunteer or work there care so much about the animals.

They provide a service that not many would do. How fantastic for all those animals. All 1300 of them :)

Donor

Rating: 5

I am so impressed by the extraordinary care Rikki's Refuge gives to each and every animal in their care. They tirelessly help the hurt or sick animals, no matter what species. They have given physical therapy to a chicken, saved a baby pig with homeopathy, take in cats with feline leukemia when any other shelter would euthanize them, and keep all animals for life if they don't get adopted out. Reading emails from Vincent and Opie makes me smile when I read the things that go on at Rikki's. They took in a cat I had found which had feline leukemia and nursed him to health and he actually got adopted out to a volunteer who had other cats with feline leukemia. I will always be in debt to Rikki's and will always support them. Rikki's Refuge is what love and compassion is all about. Thank you so much to all at Rikki's Refuge and also to all who donate to Rikki's.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge volunteers and donors, helping homeless and handicapped animals, are what the word "compassion" is all about.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge took in my 3 cows from Massachusetts when no other sanctuary had room. My 3 "girls" lived their for several years until each one passed on to Rainbow Bridge. Rikki's took care of them when our land became unsuitable for them to have a quality life. I will forever be grateful to Kerry and Rikki's Refuge. We fenced 10 acres for them to roam and enjoy their time. LuluBelle, Sweet Pea, and India will be in my heart forever. I love you girls. Thank you Rikki"s.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer, fan & lover of Rikki's for over 10 years! Not only do they help so many cats, they help every walk of life that they possibly can! Anything the animals may need, they get. Whether it's medical help, food or love, these animals get everything they need! The dedicated staff works day & night to ensure the health & safety of all the Rikki's animals, sometimes staying 2-3 days in a row to make sure things are going as needed. The founder of this organization works tirelessly to submit grants & tax forms, obtain donations, doing anything & everything to help these animals. You will not find another individual who cares as much for the animals! Every donation received is used for the sole purpose of the animals in need - a rare quality to find now a days! As a whole, this organization is the tops!

Elizabeth99

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I became friends with Vincent Cat on Facebook and found at the other end a wonderful, caring and hard working refuge. Not only do they do help cats and dogs, but all manner of animals that other places would be turned away. And the help doesn't end with animals. As an artist I found inspiration in the many photos of the great critters who call Rikki's home. I hope one day to complete a book of cartoons inspired by these critters. To sound cliche a vote for Vinny and crew is a vote for a better future.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Any one family, supporting the amount and diversified animals that this family has is simply incredible! I stay friends with 'Vincent Cat' on Facebook because he's a true inspiration of helping those in need that can't speak for themselves with people words. The consistent updates and photos for the last few years that I've known him has brought joy to my life when all I really needed was a reason to smile. As long as he'll keep me as a friend, I do believe we'll be distant friends for life!

Colleen27

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki's holds a part of my heart. I learned about Rikki's when help was needed for 2 death row cats to get Transported there and I decided to help. After that, I wanted to go see where the cats were going and I was invited to visit. So I made to ride from NY to VA. And I fell in love. With the animals, the people and the land. They take the animals no one wants and love and care for them for the rest of their lives. It doesn't matter if they are sick, unwanted have birth defects, missing parts....they are LOVED. The people their know they have souls. I have been to visit twice and will be back again.

Kath J.

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is an amazing place with fantastic people, they save countless lives and never turn an animal in need away. I came across them via the internet and am planning a visit this year, I live in the UK. In a round about way they have helped animals here also as I now volunteer in this country. Long may they be able to continue there work.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Through reading about the animals and everyone at Rikki's I have learnt so much about what we can do help each other. Through looking at the problems that can happen to our lovely animals I have learnt that by pulling together we can help our animal friends and each other. I take a keener interest in my local animal centre volunteer and raise funds. I would not be doing this if I had not come across a cat called Vincent and through him met some truly amazing people.

Wayne12

Donor

Rating: 5

I can only say, they are an organization that saves lives of all and any animal of any type. They are sent from heaven, they work countless hour to preseve lives that have only a voice that is herd with ones heart. God bless Rikkis Refuge and all the fine people that work there.

NinjasMom

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family & I are active in animal rescue & rights. Rikki's is one of the most far-racing & dedicated animal sanctuaries we've come across & we are honored to help them in fundraising & awareness efforts. Kudos to all at Rikki's for their kind hearts & endless hard work on behalf of all...fur, feathers or scales, differently abled or older, previously unwanted or in need, they now know love.

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Donor

Rating: 5

I regularly support Rikki's Refuge as a donor, voter (on sites like Animal Rescue Site & facebook contests to help them win donations of both money and goods) and wholeheartedly promote them whenever I can. I use GoodSearch & GoodShop to benefit Rikki's. As a no-kill shelter where animals of any age, ability or background are accepted with love and understanding, they are very deserving of assistance wherever and whenever possible. Interacting with spokeskitty Vincent on facebook, I have witnessed the good they do for differently-abled animals as well as those who've been abused, abandoned or simply had no home to begin with. I am confident that whether you give $3 or $3000, buy a t-shirt or bid on auction items for Rikki's, volunteer personally with the animals or send supplies, that every kindness counts toward helping the animals.

Polly W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I found Rikki's Refuge when I joined Facebook and love keeping track of all their news. I quickly became Vincent Cat's online girlfriend and we shared lots of stories and escapades with all their Facebook friends. They help all animals which come their way, either in providing a home for life or finding a home for animals through their vast numbers of contacts. I would love to go there in real life but I doubt whether that would ever happen as I live in the UK. However, we know a lot of the animals as though they were our own. We do help with donations and gifts of food whenever we can afford it and I know those donations and gifts are put to the best possible use. Long live Rikki's Refuge!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Rikkis Refuge via facebook, we live in the UK, and follow Rikkis progress via their postings. They are a very caring organisation and offer good advice when requested. Their procedure for ensuring that their animals are adopted by the right individual, family etc. is absolutely superb and we wish more rescue organisations had the same system. We try to support them whenever we can from donations, to voting or writing reviews. Pity we don't live nearer as we would definitely have got our family pets from them and I would definitely recommend them to any of my friends who live in the area.

3 Sirikit L.

Donor

Rating: 5

I live in Spain and know Rikki's Refuge from Facebook. I've seen lots of videos of how they are great with animals and I decided to help them with money because I'm to far away to volunteer. If ever I go to the US I will sure visit them. The great thing is that there aren't oy cats and dogs but all kind of animals.

1 Theresa Lorenzo

Donor

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Rikkis a number of years ago by a friend. I am so impressed with how much work they do with what they have. It is amazing to hear how they work with so many different kind of animals and do so much for each one. It is also wonderful to be part of a network of friends - people who are all working towards the same goal. It is a phenomenal group of volunteers, Board members and donors who all help in their own way. My husband and I are proud to be a part of this and call these people friends.

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Donor

Rating: 5

The only thing you can really say about Rikki's is that they never stop doing good works. They have taken animals in that no one else wants and keeps them until their time with us is over. There is no better bang for your buck than contributing to Rikkis. They use coupons, shop well and don't turn down offerings of food and supplies. They have a wonderful group of volunteers who are there day in and day out. Rikkis is the most together group I have ever had the privilege to support. I love them.

Dianne I.

Donor

Rating: 5

A land locked Noah's ark. You drive down a dirt road past cows and chicken pens (one has a dog peacefully sleeping inside with chickens around him) and you pass a large goat resting in a goat/dog house. You are greeted by a large turkey and his "wives" and then the tour begins. Brightly painted cat houses with large fenced yards and peacocks strutting alone the ridges of the houses. There are huge pigs, small pigs, horses (one an abandoned movie star), cows, emus and then the dogs. You will meet an abandoned police dog that had been injured on duty, now living his life at Rikkis. Huge blood hounds, coon hounds and multiple mutts all happy to see you. It is a huge undertaking to care for all these once unwanted creatures, but you will see volunteers and those that can be hired working continuously to keep everyone fed, clean and healthy (and most come to Rikkis sick and injured). Kerry Hilliard's spirit and energy and dream made this a reality. When you see the reaction of those that visit you realize the magic of this sanctuary. Hundreds of acres with sanctuary for natural wildlife and education on humane treatment for all creatures. Yes, there is a rainbow .There is no other refuge like Rikkis. Those of us who support Rikkis know that there is no waste of any funds, any food, any donation of any sort that is given to the refuge.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

My first trip to Rikki's Refuge (Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc) was in 2003. I am a volunteer for a cat rescue group (CARE) in Richmond and one of our volunteers was donating a SUV. We stopped by Ukrop's and filled the back with donated day old vegetables and found our way to the refuge. When we arrived I was delighted to see many species of creatures all living in harmony and safety. Nanny the goat must have smelled the carrots and other good food because when opened the tail gate she jumped in and started choosing her favorites. I am a responsible business woman but on this day I became a little girl trying to absorb a peacock romancing a goat, pigs that just wanted to be petted and a bevy of cats and dogs. The cats had tables and chairs and those wonderful wire cages with space to interact and/or have privacy. I loved the dogs and saw a very frightened border collie in the corner. He watched me cautiously but would not trust himself to come to me. I have no idea why I chose this little dog but I knew he was coming home with me. After some checking of my animal rescue background, Kerry said that I could take Popei home that day. She had driven a long way to a rural area to rescue him from being put to sleep. The vet just could not bring himself to kill this frightened little dog and called Kerry. As usual, she would not or could not say no. Popei came home with me and it took a year of patience and love before he would come when called or even consider coming in the house. He preferred his large, heated doghouse. I cannot even imagine how Kerry manages all the rescues, the daily maintenance and the demands of caring for so many creatures. She is a woman with a big heart and so much talent. Can you believe she said yes when my rescue group called her to ask if she would take a cat that had one leg removed, part of another, no control of body functions, etc. and let him live in her bit of heaven? She said yes and Vincent has become a spokescat for those who cannot speak and a symbol of a true animal rescue refuge. Please anyone reading this - do all you can to support this unique refuge - you will probably never find another like Rikkis. Dianne Inman, Richmond, VA

Nanette

Donor

Rating: 5

What a wonderful way to spend your day just walking around visiting a little piece (and getting bigger!)of heaven here on earth .The volunteers are the angels tending to Gods special creatures!

4 Will A.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to Rikki's Refuge on Facebook, and over time became friends with it's founder, Kerry Hilliard. Rikki's not only cares for over 1200 animals, but is also a no-kill sanctuary and takes in all species, all of whom receive daily care, shelter, love and appropriate veterinary care. Adoptions through RIkki's are done with great care and responsibility, requiring interviews and home visits, and the signing of a contract for the animal's welfare. Rikki's is actively involved in their own community as well, providing education in various venues, for animal rescue/care/welfare issues...and has a huge social media presence...which has proven to be a successful outreach for them. Thousands of people all over the world have sought advice from Rikki's, so their impact is world-wide. Rikki's helped us immensely when we adopted an adult cat with feline leukemia. Kerry took the time to personally educate us about feline leukemia and helped ease our anxieties. Because of her advice, our FeLV+ kitty had two good years with us and none of our other cats contracted the virus. Also because of Kerry teaching us how cats with and without feline leukemia can co-exist peacefully and safely, we'd do it again. We donate when we are able to because our resources are pretty limited, but I know even the smallest donation is gratefully accepted and it's use is considered wisely, as Rikki's is extremely transparent with their financials. We especially like the fact that this sanctuary is an ALL SPECIES sanctuary, because Rikki's Refuge believes all life has value and is precious. Our support of Rikki's Refuge will be life-long, because we agree with them.

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The founder of Rikki's Refuge took the time to help educate me about feline leukemia when I adopted an adult cat who tested positive for it. One year later, following her advice, Franklin is doing very well and is healthy (remains asymptomatic). She gave me the confidence to keep him and care for him. I have also been involved in a few cases of setting up state to state transports for cats that Rikki's Refuge has rescued. Networking on various social media is usually how transports are initially set up. I appreciate the financial transparency of Rikki's Refuge. I can easily find out how money is being spent to maintain the refuge, provide vet. care, and food/supplies. I appreciate the committed attitude of Rikki's, toward their staff and volunteers, toward the refuge mission, toward all the animals in their care. Additionally, Rikki's Refuge is not really "animal specific" and they take in dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, pigs, goats....ALL kinds of animals! What I like the most, is the personal interaction with Rikki's Refuge. I'm not just reading a newspaper article or hearing about them on the news...I AM TALKING DIRECTLY TO THEM! Every day! This makes me feel like I am involved in a deeper way, and that's really nice.

1 Donna S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge in Orange, Virginia is a dedicated no kill all species sanctuary. I have assisted by transporting cats to Rikki's, as well as collected foods, and delivered items from another volunteer who lives near me in Richmond. Everyone is always friendly and happy to be working to support the animals. They follow their guidelines strictly and everything is done properly. I love Rikki's and their spokes kitty, Opie.

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I want to be a volunteer someday soon - Vincent D. Cat got his start with a group I volunteer with from time to time in Richmond, CARE. He is now Rikki's spokeskitty and giving voice to so many that can't speak (at least so that we hear them), but Vincent hears all! Rikki's is always doing so much for so many and I appreciate all they do each and every day of the year.

Review from Guidestar

2 Kate V.

Donor

Rating: 5

I found out about Rikki's Refuge through Facebook. Despite being incredibly busy, they take the time to reach out with advice and kindness to their correspondents, wherever they are.

Holly

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is top of the line when it comes to true no kill shelters. They provide excellent care for the many animals who live at the refuge and never transfer pets to kill facilities. Rikki's Refuge is run with compassion and integrity. I recommend them highly.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki's refuge is wonderful with helping people understand the plight of special needs animals in a positive way. Their programs are an inspiration to shelters everywhere.

Review from Guidestar

Barfi W.

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is awesome! I have followed them on Facebook for a few years now, and I have donated to them regularly. The animals that they save are precious, and are forgotten by much of society. They provide a save haven for them, and I am forever grateful for that. I will continue to support, financially and otherways, Rikki's Refuge.

I was so enamored by them, that I named one of my one dogs, Vincent (Vinnie) after Vincent Cat, their spokescat!

Susan183

Donor

Rating: 5

We visited Rikki's on Dec. 25, 2012, all I can say is that these people and the animals are awesome! It was an amazing experience to see the dedication. I only wished I could volunteer, however, my job takes me to No. Va. almost every day, so I did the next best thing, gave a donation, next time I can make it out will be with food, and fruit for Petunia!

Michael69

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After having followed this group on facebook and e-mailing with them my wife and I made a trip from Syracuse NY to visit them...they were everything they claimed to be. The atmosphere and attitude at Rikki's is amazing it really is all for the animals. We were very impressed!

IcyCat W.

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge helped me find transport for a cat I adopted from New York and I live in Michigan. They are one of the most caring and loving animal rescues I have ever known. Not only do they take incredible care of their own animals, they are always willing to help anyone else in need as they did for me. They all work incredibly hard to make life better for every animal they meet. They are an organization that you can trust and if you donate to them, it goes directly to the animals. I have made several donations and will continue to donate to them. This is an excellent organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is an amazing place that is home to nearly 1300 animals of 22 species. It is a no-kill refuge, and it takes in animals who are inured and disabled -- the ones nobody wants. Rikki's spokescat in VIncent D. Cat, a differently-abled cat who travels all over to show people that differently abled animals are worth saving because of the love they return to the humans who own them. The CEO and Director, Kerry Hilliard, is VIncent's mom, and she has the biggest heart of anyone I've ever met: she loves all animals and will always take the time to help animals in need. She has arranged freedom-train-like rides -- a series of drivers who are each willing to drive a rescued animal part of the way to Rikki's to get love and proper care. Also, more times than I can count, Kerry has taken time to answer questions about problems I'm having with my cats. Taking care of over 600 cats makes Kerry an authority on just about any cat issue, and I am always amazed that she takes time from her incredibly hectic scheduled to counsel me on whatever issue I need help with. I first met Kerry right after Rikki's opened because I had an older Shepherd-Husky mix who had become unglued and unhandleable after my divorce. Although friends and family urged me to put my Sheba to sleep, I couldn't do this to my friend of 13 years. I happened upon Rikki's website one sleepless night, and wrote to Kerry with my story. She responded and said that she would be able to take my Sheba in. So I went to visit and see Rikki's and to meet Kerry. And shortly after than, I made the incredibly difficult decision to give my best friend away. Sheba only lived another six months or so, but I knew that she was with people who loved animals, and that gave me a great deal of peace of mind. Since that time, I have been a regular contributor to Rikki's. And I am about to adopt one of their rescue cats. Rikki's is a wonderful place that operates on a shoe-string, from day to day. I wish Rikki's had all the money it needed so that it would never have to worry about expenses again, and so that it could take in even more homeless, abandoned and different-abled animals. I love Rikki's!

Adrielle K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

rikki's is a wonderful place that does so much good!

Lorna D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The day I was able to visit Rikki's, I was greeted by staff and furry friends. I brought supplies which were promply unloaded. I was taken on a tour by an employee and she was delightful. She told stories of all the animals, how they arrived at Rikki's, and how long they had been there. She showed me habitats that volunteers had built and the animals living in them. All the animals knew her and responded to her voice when she spoke to them. I wish I could visit more. Rikki's helps animals near and far. They set up rescue travel plans, raise money for other animals in need, and Vincent the cat is sooo friendly. Each animal is given what they need despite the cost. I wish I lived closer so I could volunteer on a regular basis.

David71

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Last summer Rikki's helped get a kitten from a kill shelter in NC that they rescued that we then got from them. We have been there a couple times and they are a wonderful place. With so many animals they are helping they need more help and more volunteers. They give a home to animals that would have been thrown away and forgotten. These animals are given a forever home to live out their remaining days. I wish there were more places like them.

2 Jessica C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ever since I took the mini-tour I fell in complete love with this refuge! Even with all the animals there are, they all find a way to be spoiled and loved. All the employees have a great love for animals and truely make it a great place to volunteer.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm involved in animal rescue in Northern VA and am often contacted by people with heartbreaking situations with animals they've found or sometimes have to give up. I've made it my business to find and know rescue agencies, shelters and sanctuaries that I can feel good about referring people to. Rikki's is the best of the best. It is a truly remarkable, loving place that provides the best of care and a second chance to over 1100 animals. I feed 10. They feed 1100 DAILY. That inspires me every day.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a wonderful place for all species! Rikkis has helped me to help and save countless animals who had slim chances before being rescued and who were not so cute and cuddly! They have thrived at Rikkis! Bravo, Kerry!

Review from Guidestar

1 Susan M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki's is a GREAT rescue/refuge! The rescue group I work with teams up with Rikki's at times to find a safe home for some of our 'unadoptable' furry darlings....we send them to Rikki's knowing they will have a safe, loved, happy life there as long as they are on earth. Just awesome, and I ADORE Vincent! The best-est Spokes-Cat there ever could be!

Review from Guidestar

1 Jeanine B.

Donor

Rating: 5

I first became aware of Rikki's Refuge when Vincent friended me on FB. The more I learned, the more impressed I was with RR. I tell everyone I know about RR. They ROCK!

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

vincent works tirelessly to help rikki's refuge animals! he da bestest cat ever!

=^..^=

Review from Guidestar

1 Taffy R.

Donor

Rating: 5

Best spokescat ever. I love how Vincent on Facebook cares about all of the people who try to help out in some way, big or little. I've seen pictures of Rikki's Refuge and all the animals look so well taken care of.

Review from Guidestar

Diana K.

Donor

Rating: 5

If God were to create a type of Eden for the animals with broken bones, tearful hearts, and down-trodden spirits, where their bodies and souls could be healed, I think that Rikki's Rescue might be that place. Rikki's is sanctuary for ALL the forgotten and lost animals.
The people who work for these animals are the most kind hearted and hard working individuals that I have met. They can do so much with their limited resources. Truly, Rikki's Refuge is a Miracle of Love. It has even healed quite a few human hearts!

Review from Guidestar

luckykiten

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love Rikki's Rescue. They do so much for so many animals. Their love and care for all there residents is truly selfless. I am so grateful for Rikki's. I wish there were more places in the world like Rikki's Rescue for homeless animals. God Bless them all.

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikkis refuge is amazing. They do so much with so little!

Review from Guidestar

Blund M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best Spokes Cat EVER.....again and again and again

Review from Guidestar

Glen G.

Donor

Rating: 5

What places like Rikki's Refuge do for so many homeless & unwanted animals is indispensable, fighting against the odds & going to financial extremes to save these helpless creatures is a true measure of a modern, caring society. Bless them for all they do.

Review from Guidestar