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2017 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

55 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

Kaila C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I work in the county social services and often call Rikki's Refuge to help a client. A juvenile who's been in a little trouble and needs community service hours. Unemployed people who need a job, or who need to learn some skills and can volunteer. Families who need help with pets when they've been displaced from their homes. Handicapped clients who need a place who'll love them and appreciate them and Rikki's has special programs for them. I'm so glad we have Rikki's Refuge, they are a huge asset to our community.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.