Rikki's Refuge, under the Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc. umbrella, certainly deserves the word "sanctuary." Rikki's is home to 1,300 animals of 22 different species, many of whom are differently-abled with issues ranging from missing legs/paws/ears/eyes to chronic conditions that can be managed with good food, medical care and lots of love. Other places would have put them down; at Rikki's they live out their lives in peace and love. The hard-working staff is there in all kinds of weather, doing their jobs over and above written descriptions and caring for those furry lives. From the largest steer to the smallest chicken, you can see how happy and well the animals are when you visit. Rikki's is a happy, uplifitng place. Visit and see for yourself!
What can you say about an organization that takes in animals with disabilities, animals who have been so badly abused that they no longer care to trust people, animals with chronic medical conditions that require care and medication which their original owners don't want to provide, animals who are "too old and won't play anymore; we want a kitten/puppy," animals who have lost their homes because of illness, death, divorce or financial woes? What can you say about an organization that gives all of these creatures a for-ever home, with food, shelter, medical care and huge whopping doses of love every day? What can you say about an organization that is no-kill, that promotes cruelty-free eating for us humans that advocates tirelessly for spaying and neutering of your pets and ferals? What can you say about an organization that exists on private donations, money from bake sales, yard sales, a thrift shop and various events and doesn't take one penny of government money? What can you say about the people who work everyday in all kinds of weather and conditions to care for 1,300 animals of 22 different species? You say: This is Rikki's Refuge and I'm proud to be associated with them!
I am a very lucky girl who has the privilege of being a Board member/devoted volunteer for this wonderful animal life care sanctuary. When I became differently abled some years ago, I was searching for what my new normal would look like. I have followed Rikki's Refuge (Life Unlimited) for so many years and just knew it was time to devote what I could to this amazing non-profit. Their values align with mine in that they believe that ALL species deserve respect, love, and a place to call home.
I have known of and been a supporter of Rikki's Refuge, Life Unlimited of Virginia INC, for many years. I recently moved down to Orange County, VA and now live within 15 minutes of Rikkis so I feel so blessed.
This animal sanctuary is incredible. Animals of all kinds - healthy, sick, old, and young - are treated with kindness, dignity, and LOVE. The owner, Kerry, is a rock star! The employees and volunteers are just amazing - caring for so many animals is HARD grueling work in any and all kinds of weather conditions - and they do it with LOVE. I was most recently at the Refuge on July 4, and when you are there, surrounded by the animals (cows, sheep, goats, dogs, cats, donkeys, chickens, ducks, pigs, emus and so many more!) it is immediately evident that these animals are HAPPY and cared for with love and respect. I think the animals KNOW and can sense how very lucky they are to have landed in this place, for whatever reason, and will be allowed to stay there for the rest of their lives.
That's why I will always support RIkki's Refuge, Life Unlimited of Virginia INC, with my money, my time, and my voice.
This is a great animal group! They take the unwanted, difficult to adopt cats and dogs, as well as farm animals, and gives them a safe, loving place to live out the rest of their lives. They are committed to the care of the animals.
Life Unlimited of Virginia, also known as Rikki's Refuge, is an outstanding example of what an animal sanctuary can do to help unwanted animals. What I love about Rikki's is how much the sanctuary can help people and even whole communities. My best experience at the Refuge was with a beautiful Treeing Walker Coonhound, appropriately named Walker. He was well known in Orange County Virginia, and in the Reston VA communities as the sweet dog that survived horrible treatment, such as being shot in the back and left in the woods to die. Rikki's took the Coonhound in and saved his life, but who knew that Walker would later reciprocate in his own way. I took Walker in as soon as a met him, and he served as an official spokesdog for the Refuge. My brother, who had just returned from nine months in Iraq, was wounded on the outside, but also on the inside. My brother was able to heal because of the love of animals, especially Walker. After four months of stress I was able to talk my brother into visiting Rikki's with me, and he became a new person that day. He had fun with the animals, and at the end of the day I heard him laughing, something I had not heard him do for over a year! His laughter was music to my ears. Walker was able to help my brother heal on the inside, allowing him to stop contemplating suicide like so many other soldiers have done. Walker passed on and crossed the Rainbow Bridge three years ago, but his story lives on as one of many, many wonderful stories that Rikki's Refuge has to offer.
If there is a heaven on earth, it is sure to be Rikki's Refuge, a beautiful 450 acre animal sanctuary in central Virginia. If the 1200+ animals saved by Rikki's could talk, they would tell you that it is a glorious place with loving, compassionate people changing the world, one critter at a time. I work with the dogs, all who had a very sad life story before they found their way to Rikki's. Now they flourish in the green fields with a second chance in life. So many of the animals never knew what kindness was, until they entered the gates here. Rikki's Refuge has never met an animal that was not worthy of living a full and happy life, no matter what it takes. Truly heaven on earth!
I first learned about Rikki's while helping Winging Cat Rescue make a transport of supplies to them after adopting a baby kitten in GA. Bringing 800lbs of supplies, I was offered a tour and gladly accepted. I got to see firsthand how much they do with EVERY bit of food sent, every dollar raised. I saw happy, loved animals everywhere given a second chance at life.
I also have seen them help countless other shelters with social networking and even overload. Rikkis is everything a sanctuary should be and I believe in it so much I later joined the Board of Directors and it was my platform of choice as Mrs Virginia US 2014. Animal rescue is my passion and Rikkis does it right as a no kill sanctuary!
I am not paid and the money goes to the ANIMALS care and ongoing quality of life, no matter if they are old or undesirable-Rikkis is heaven on Earth for countless animals of over 20 species. I can't think of a better place that does more to save lives with the money they receive . Call for a tour and see if you don't become a believer too!
I first learned of Rikki's Refuge through an adoption placement of a wonderful Siamese kitten that I found with Winging Cat Rescue in Griffin, GA. While visiting the rescue in GA, I asked what happens to the kitties that don't find homes soon, such as the blind or Feline Leukemia pets? Donna told me about Rikki's, a place where these pets are cared for the remainder of their days with love and comfort. Being a Virginia resident, I volunteered to bring back from GA (about 600 miles) to this shelter a full truckload of supplies to help the animals that had been donated. In doing so, I got to tour this amazing place---gunnea pigs and bunnies and birds that can't fly all living in complete happiness in safety out in nature, available for adoption and cared for better than many private homes I've seen...pigs of every kind, Sally the loving goat, Kikki the dog...I saw animals of every kind that were turned away as "unplaceable" and given a place and a home. Even more impressive, Rikki's places animals such as emu, Easter chicks that "grow up", lame horses, and other wildlife in an environment where they can be happy as Nature intended. Not everyone understands that some animals are not suited to be pets, and have special requirements. Rikki's strives to give those animals the home they really need and freedom to roam in safety. Those who are pets, many of them DO find a forever home and my heart was touched seeing these animals cared for so well and known by name by the volunteers...no small feat with this many mouths to feed! Until every pet is born into a forever home already, the work Rikki's does will continue to be necessary and touch many, many lives.
Review from Guidestar
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.
Almost every day at Rikki's sees a new animal saved. What happened this year? An animal got hit by a car and brought in ... saved, recovered. Animals coming from hoarding situations (several!) ... acquired, rehabbed, now happy members of the group. Animals of many different species ... yes, a lot of cats, but also sheep, goats, pigs, cows, emus, ducks, dogs, don't stop me now! ... the list goes on for 22 different species! The love that the staff shows to all these animals is amazing ... every animal has value ... every life is precious. And it's good for people, too ... Rikki's helps distressed pet owners keep their pets, provides programs for children to learn to respect animals, and spreads an awful lot of happiness all around.
Rikki's is growing! They just added 64 acres, bringing their total land for keeping animals safe to 450 acres -- 100 acres for world-class managed care animal neighborhoods and 350 acres for native Virginia wildlife! And they're international! Rikki's got their Combined Federal Campaign national and international level certifications! More and more people are coming to know Rikki's ... coming to respect Rikki's ... coming to love Rikki's! Be a part of it today!
I was looking for a place to volunteer my time and make a difference. i knew i wanted to work with animals but i couldn't bear the thought of walking into a shelter. i heard of Rikki's Refuge and as soon as i walked on the property i knew i found the right place. Their mission is "everyone and everything deserves to live a long, happy, peaceful and, loving life; no matter how old, how disabled, or how temper mental they are." The animals at Rikki's Refuge are actually "HAPPY". They have wide and bright eyes. You don't leave there sad or guilty for not taking anything home with you, because you can just see and feel how well they are being taken care of and more importantly how much they are LOVED. Thanks to the employees that work so hard caring for the animals in the middle of snow storms, rain and unbearable heat 24/7, the dedicated volunteers that help get funding to keep the refuge going and Kerry (the refuge executive director) who can make a dollar stretch so far is impressive. 15 years later and the refuge still takes my breath away. Not only do they believe in human compassion, peace and love for all the creatures on earth...but they actually live it. Too bad we don't have more places like Rikki's Refuge, if we did, maybe we could finally find "peace on earth".
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.
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.
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
Rikki's Refuge is the most peaceful place on earth! With over 1200 animals, many of whom are "differently-abled", the animals get marvelous care, and lots and lots of love. Duke, the spokesdog (pictured here) was born without eyes. In a shelter situation, he would have been euthanized. But, at Rikki's, he's living a wonderful life! Boomer, an aussie mix, has made himself Duke's guide dog! And Duke goes to schools and events to teach people how to be kind to others who are different -- they are all the same on the inside. Rikki's teaches care and humanity and love to humans, as well as animals.
The care that is given to the animals at Rikki's Refuge is incredible! All of the staff and volunteers truly love the animals. And the animals are happy, too! The people are the most hard-working people that I've ever met. They certainly care for all of the needs of the animals.
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.
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
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
Rikki's Refuge is a non-profit, no-kill animal sanctuary located on 367 acres in Orange, VA. There are over 1200 animals of 22 different species. Rikki's provides a permanent and loving home to the forsaken. The majority of the animals are elderely, handicapped, or require ongoing medical attention. Rikki's is run by a small staff of hardworking and dedicated individuals, a board of directors, and volunteers.
Review from Guidestar