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2016 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

74 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

Previous Stories
1

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.

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.

Previous Stories
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.

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.

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!

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!

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 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 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

Donor

Rating: 5

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

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

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

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.
.

Review from Guidestar

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

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

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