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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

75 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Amazing animal sanctuary. I have supported them for years and have visited many times. The sanctuary is amazing and the animals are so very loved. Every time I visit this place or read the stories on their social media sites, I am filled with a peace and am so grateful that the animals have Rikki's Refuge and will be loved and cared for the rest of their lives. They are true

Lolly B.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

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3

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Lolly Busey

Donor

Rating: 5

What an amazing sanctuary for the animals in most need. The first time I walked on the property, I felt peaceful. The first time I saw some of the animals, I felt love. This wonderful animal sanctuary takes those animals in need that others can't or won't take on. For that alone, they will always have my support. Thank you Rikki's Refuge (Life Unlimited), thank you for all you do!

Lia F.

Donor

Rating: 5

At Rikki's Refuge, at any given time there are close to 1300 animals in sanctuary. All are well fed, safely housed, get vet care including vaccines and parasite preventatives all from donations and thrifty spending of those donations! Some of the animals are free range but they know a good thing and don't wander away.
I visited for the second time last year and brought home an 8 yo kitty! Aimee was deamed unadoptable in a Georgia shelter due to a scarred eye from abuse. Rikki's took her in for life sanctuary. However, she worked her magic and came home with me, 500 miles away and is now a Yankee doodle princess!
If Rikki's wasn't there Aimee would have been killed as would all the other residents. All are safe at Rikki's for the rest of their days. They are my only charity and I can go there anytime to see how my donations make a difference.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor to Life Unlimited of VA, aka Rikki's Refuge for many years. Living more than 400 miles away though, I only saw their facilities via pictures. I finally was able to make the trek this year and had the best time of my life. My first vacation in 16 years!
The people who work and volunteer at Rikki's are amazing individuals. They care so much for each and every animal. they know all their names and when there are almost 1300 animals of all kinds, that's a lot of names to remember! The work is physically demanding and the hours are long but each person gives their all with a smile and a kind touch.
They do their very best and run on donations alone to feed and care for those that would not even be alive if Rikki's didn't exist. Differently abled, unwanted, ill, and old will find a home at RIkki's. The animals know they are safe. The animals know they will be fed and cared for until the end of their earthly days. I saw with my own eyes how well the animals are cared for and would trust one of my own to them any day.
They tirelessly fundraise and apply for grants so they can continue to care for the animals in their care. They promote education so today's children will continue their good work in the future.

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Donor

Rating: 5

I am in love with this spectacular animal sanctuary. I have been following and supporting Rikki's Refuge (Life Unlimited of Virginia) for more than 15 years. They are an amazing life care sanctuary for both farm and domestic animals and the beloved critters at the sanctuary are so loved and cherished.

They specialize in caring for the sick, the old, the disabled animals. Also, another blessing to this vegetarian of more than 30 years, they save farm animals from being sent to the prodution market. Thank you!

I enjoy going on tours and have brought many friends over the many years who have also fallen in love with the place. It is peaceful and calm and loving...exactly what the animals that come to spend the rest of their lives deserve.

As an elementary teacher, I also appreciate that Rikki's Refuge is so active in education and they work so hard to educate the public on animal safety, Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), as well as teaching children, through classroom education and various events, about compassion, kindness and caring for animals. Knowledge and power starts at an early age and I love that Rikki's Refuge gets it.

I rate them 5 stars but would happily give 10 stars if that were an option. Keep up the great work guys and gals and I'll be back next month for another visit.

Give a kiss to my Sally the goat!

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!

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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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!

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

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 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

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.

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.

Previous Stories
1

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.