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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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am extremely greatful to Rikki's Refuge and all they do to care for the animal residents. I wish there were more caring people in the world, but rikki's is a great place with wonderful volunteers.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

GREAT, Home to Vincent the Best SpokesCat Ever...................................

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Went on a tour here and it's a wonderful place for animals of all kinds! The people who run this place is awesome and all of the animals are healthy and well taken care of. I actually bought some cat food I am donating to them this weekend.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband and I visited Rikki's for their Christmas Day tour. Having two rescue dogs ourselves, it was an amazing place to see unwanted animals having a place to go. The people that run Rikki's have given these animals a home that they would otherwise not have. We will definitely return in the future.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so happy Rikki Refuge is here b/c years ago a male cat crossed my path. I normally worked with the local Fredericksburg SPCA on strays/ ferals on finding them a home. However this poor guy aka Manny had Feline Lukemia. So with the work of a great lady at the SPCA she got Manny into Rikki's to live his cat life. If it asnt for Rikki's I dont know what kinda life Manny would have had. Thanks Rikki's !!!!!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Congrats to Rikkis for all their hard work and dedication to helping animals. Best luck and continued success in the future.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an amazing rescue organization. One visit to Rikki's Refuge will leave you wanting to return over and over. Everyone who works and volunteers at Rikki's is incredibly dedicated and caring.
Kerry Hilliard is an inspiration to me! She has devoted her life to caring for her family of 1,200+ animals. She knows the name of every animal---and his/her story. There aren't enough adjectives to describe her!

My first experience with Rikki's was when I was trying to find a home for a feline leukemia positive cat. No one would take the cat and I was advised to have it euthanized. Kerry took this sweet kitty in and gave him a home and love for the remainder of his life. After he died in the arms of Kerry's brother, I received a long e-mail from Kerry that was so heartfelt-----I kept that e-mail and re-read it many times.

Another example of how caring Kerry is: very recently, a stray kitty I had been caring for showed up in my yard, obviously very ill. I e-mailed Kerry for advice; without any hesitation, she told me that she would try to help the kitty if I could get him to her. She offered a lot of advice and support, which helped me through a very sad experience.

Rikki's Refuge does more than just provide a home for abused, abandoned, sick, and homeless animals. With Vincent as Spokes Cat, they serve as educators----and so much more.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is truly a wonderful place run by amazing people with big hearts. They help so many animals in need and offer a safe, warm home to them. Their spokes-cat, Vincent D. Cat is simply the best! He makes everyone so happy when they see him and he lets the world know what Rikki's is all about! This is the best rescue organization in the world.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

The need to help animals is so important. Rikkis refuge provides care for so many creatures that would surely no be part of this Earth. For my vote they are tops.
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Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is a blessing to all who live or visit there. Kerry Hilliard, founder and director, is the most unselfish human being that I have ever met - she gives so much and only asks that you help her help the beloved critters at Rikki's Refuge. God bless this wonderful sanctuary and all that make a difference for the ones that cannot speak for themselves.

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is a great place for abandoned animals of all kinds. So many animals have found refuge here, when there was nothing else for them. I have visited and participated in a few of their fund raising events. They take us on a tour of the refuge and we get to interact with the animals one on one by feeding them and petting them. It's obvious that these animals are happy and well taken care of. I plan on attending as many of these events as I can.

Review from Guidestar

LakeAnnarose

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thank God for the people that support Rikki's Refuge. They take of the animals that people discard because they are too lazy to have their pets spayed/neutered.

Review from Guidestar

Mark B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wonderful place for homeless animals!! A great place

Review from Guidestar

Libbe B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki's is a wonderul refuge that helps animals. Without thier love and care many animals would no longer be alive today. They are a very caring organization.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Love Rikki's, and Vincent of course!! The volunteers are fabulous - I read of all the hard work they do to save animals lives and give them a good home. They've helped so many find forever homes. I have met the volunteers, Vincent, Polly, and many other cats in need of homes at the DC area cat show - I am very impressed with the work they do for the good of animals. I just wish I could do more to help!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Great, valuable animal care. Wondeful site. Help where it is hard to find.

Review from Guidestar

Susan B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a member of a non-profit Cat Rescue, we are grateful for the amazing place that Rikki's Refuge is...the devotion and endless work to maintain a place such as this is mind-boggling..
Every animal there has been given a chance to live alife of love and dignity...

Review from Guidestar

Claire S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

GREAT, Home to Vincent the Best SpokesCat Ever - this place gives animals a second chance in life that they would not have if anywhere else. I think this is the best place in the world and I wish every abandoned and abused animal had the chance to live there. They deserve all the support in the world from everyone so they can continue to do the wonderful work they do.

Review from Guidestar

Paula C.

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's is a one of kind safe haven for many kinds of animals in need of a second chance!

Review from Guidestar

Isilwath T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge takes in animals of all species and special needs animals regardless of medical condition. We transported 2 cats from Winging Cat Rescue that Rikki's agreed to accept. One cat had IBS and the other was FeLV+. Rikki's gladly accepted both of these special needs kitties when other sanctuaries would have turned them away.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikkis is truly a santuary for all creatures great and small. You cannot remain unchanged for the better after even one visit to Rikkis. One visit and you'll want to come back to volunteer at this refuge for old, handicapped, sick and dumped animals. Each animal at Rikkis gets medical help, plenty of food, warm dry shelter and LOVE for the rest of their natural lives. There is no other place on Earth like Rikkis Refuge.

Review from Guidestar

Peter A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge has long been an inspiration to me for the wonderful work they do for special needs animals of every kind. Vincent the cat is their wonderful goodwill ambassador who helps to spread the word about this wonderful refuge on facebook and to the world. I know from personal experience that if called upon and if they have room, there is always room for "just one more".

Linda R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is home to Vincent, the best spokes cat in the world!!! They do great things to help the homeless, abandoned and abused animals.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is an amazing place that does amazing things - helping animals in a caring and loving environment - animals that might not have a chance to live or thrive in any other place. The Refuge takes in all sorts of critters and provides them a safe and nurturing haven in which to live. I give as much as can and always encourage others to do so too.

Review from Guidestar

CatAnna

Donor

Rating: 5

There aren't many rescues that does what Rikki's Refuge does. They specialize in special needs animals... the abused, injured, handicapped, elderly. They are constantly looking for forever homes for them, many are adopted, and those who aren't have permanent shelter, care, love and compassion at Rikki's.

Review from Guidestar

Andrew S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is a remarkable place for providing a loving home for many wonderful special-needs animals who would otherwise die or have lifes of misery.

Review from Guidestar

Sally B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been friends with Rikkis Refuge for 10 years. We have adopted quite a few cats from them. We like the cats with special needs and no on else wants. Rikkis Refuge notifies me if they come across a special needs cat and we go to them. We have had blind cats, cats who walk funny from brain damage etc. We love the staff at Rikkis. They also give great advice. It is a very compassion place to visit

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is the most amazing place. They help so many kinds of animals -- from the typical cats and dogs found at many shelters to peacocks and iguanas and emus and goats....and, well, I'm sure if it has feathers or fur or feet Rikki's will try to help.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Thank goodness for Rikki's Refuge! I first heard of them when my high school son's club volunteered to unload a truckload of kitty litter for them. He's been out of high school for 10 years, and I'm still donating to them. They do a much-needed service for our area.

Review from Guidestar

Stephanie L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have learned more and more about Rikki's Refuge over the last year. I am continually amazed by what they do, the population they serve, the self-lessness of the employee and volunteers. I wish only that I could be on that side of the country to contribute in a more meaningful way!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is always there to assist our special needs kitties by opening their doors AND HEARTS, giving them all a much needed 2nd chance. Fiv+, felv+, senior cats, three legged kitties all received a warm welcome and continue to receive excellent medical care and TLC. All of these animals were abandoned at high kill animal controls --many of which used the gas chamber to euthanize. Rikki's is a wonderful example of humane existence for the many different species there--without Rikki's help, so many of these cats would have been euthanized at those high kill animal controls instead. Their open houses are wonderful examples to show & educate the community and our following generations the need to respect and care for all creatures on this planet.

Review from Guidestar

Mr.Twister

Donor

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization that takes in animals with special needs or for whatever reason have been unadoptable and allows them to live out their lives in a safe, relaxing environment.
Their spokescat, Vincent is a wonderful tool they have to educate the public about humane treatment of all animals. Vincent teaches that education is the first and most important step in humane treatment of animals. He teaches that all animals can feel love and pain, are intelligent beings that protect and help people heal, and most importantly that we need them as much as they need us!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This rescue is awesome! What I admire most about them is that through their spokescat, Vincent, and other animals they are educating the public about humane treatment of animals. Their educational outreach is terrific!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I got acquainted with Vincent (Rikki's spokescat) over a year ago on Facebook. Since then I donate to them weekly via my paycheck. Rikki's is such a great place for animals to go when they have no home. I love their no-kill policy.

The volunteers who work on site and volunteers who have been recruted via Facebook all act together to make Rikki's the best shelter in Virginia and one of the top in the US.

Donor

Rating: 4

I love that Rikki's Refuge cares for all animals. I have been donating now for over a year and I wish I lived closer to bring Vincent Fancy Feast myself! I look forward to the newsletters that are sent out giving updates on all of the animals and the happenings of the shelter. I like the pictures too! Keep it up!

Review from Guidestar

Vincent C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Without Rikki's Refuge I wouldn't be alive!!! They took me in, injured, sick, in need of thousand of dollars of repairs. They loved me, they vetted me, they gave me a home. In return I have become their SpokesCat and I now travel to schools and groups teaching humane values. Thank you all who made the dream of a sanctuary for the unwanted, a REALITY !!! I LOVE YOU !!!

Review from Guidestar

Sugar D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love Rikki's Refuge! They saved Vincent D. Cat. Then saved hundreds more. Rikki's is a refuge with a heart! Mwah!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge is one of my favorite charities because they give so many wonderful animals another chance at a happy life.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikki's gave me the most precious gift - the gift of love. My wife and I got one of our rescues from them and the little female dog (Starr) has been a blessing every day since.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great, great, great place. A real sanctuary for both the furry folk and the human folk.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikkis has a great reputation for supporting a large number of homeless animals and caring for them until suitable owners can be found to take car of them. They must really love these animals to dedicate so much volunteer time and resources to the cause. Support Rikkis..

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's is amazing. They offer homes to the homeless, love to the unloved, and offer hope to all those who are affiliated with them. I only wish I lived closer so that I could volunteer.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's is an awesome place. A relatively small property in rural central Virginia that is home to more than 1,000 otherwise homeless and unwanted creatures. All are homed and welcome here, the halt, the lame, the blind and deaf - and despite their numbers all of them are loved and treasured.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's sees the value in all life and opens its heart to all species!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Rikki's inspires me every day because they do so much with so little!

Review from Guidestar

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

Jan M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Kind,caring and compassionate refuge that does great work. Also it is the home Vincent, the Best SpokesCat Ever!!

Review from Guidestar

Kristina Z.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I got my cat from Rikkis Refuge and she's been with me for two years so far. They do good work at Rikkis and I am happy to support them.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Rikkis refuge and the home of vincent cat is a wonderful place saving all types of unwanted animals and our lost little ones thank God there is a place like this in our world they deserve so much respect and all the help they can have

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for about 5 years. Rikkis Refuge is the most wonderful place. Kerry and all her workers take such good care of all the animals. Most of them are special needs animals that no one else wants, but we love and cherish them forever. I wish I could give more time and more money to help these wonderful people and animals. I truly love them with all my heart.

Review from Guidestar

Darlene R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge gives the few lucky ones a sleep safe at night, away from those who hurt them. I hope the dedicated people who wake up everyday to help the injured, hug the broken, and kiss the abandoned, get all the blessing they bestow on those without a voice. This goes out to all volunteers all over the world who's work and love for animals goes undeclared.

Review from Guidestar

Mrtaylandlady1900

Donor

Rating: 5

A terrific animal refuge for all sorts of animals; often the last resort for some abused and abandoned helpless ones. The director and staff go beyond all expectations to take care and provide love as well as food and medical care to those at the shelter. They help other rescue groups with animals who have run out of options. It truly is a wonderful caring shelter for these little creatures.

Review from Guidestar

Anna H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Kind,caring and compassionate refuge that does great work.

Review from Guidestar

15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rikki's Refuge Animal Sanctuary is "Heaven on Earth" to animals that have been abused, injured, neglected and/or abandoned. I have seen the angels at Rikki's perform so many miracles with animals that have been so horribly abused and malnourished resulting in happy and healthy animals under the compassionate care of Kerry Hilliard and her staff. Kerry Hilliard, Director of Rikki's Refuge, is the most unselfish, kind, caring, and remarkable human being that I have ever met.

13

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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

16

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

11

Donor

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar

5

Donor

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar

6

Donor

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar

6

Donor

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

Review from Guidestar

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

As founder and director of Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc and it's divisions Rikki's Refuge and Wild and Feral, I've seen us grow from nothing but a corn field to a fabulous organization who houses 1259 animals daily. 22 different species. Well over 3,000 domestic and farm animals have been housed here since our inception. Thousands of native wild animals and been relocated here or returned to the wild here after rehabilitation. The tiny staff works hard from sunrise to sunset to provide the best environment possible to the residents. Dozens of hard working dedicated volunteers strive to improve every aspect of the organization every day. Our funding in minimal, $1 per animal per day - yet we are able to provide clean, spacious housing, food, medical care and preventative care in a warm, loving, kind environment. For the animals in our care, this is their last chance. No one and no other organization would help them. They all have "problems". Some social issues. Some health issues. Some are just elderly and needed a retirement home. The one thing they have in common is they all needed US to save their lives. Thank you to the thousands of wonderful people that make this refuge possible through hard work as volunteers or through generous donations.

Review from Guidestar