Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Good Morning Good News !!!! June 22, 2011

I’m Vincent D. Cat and here to make you happy! You are HEROES! You work hard every day and you deserve to smile every day! Those of you working to save us animals hear so very many very sad things. And there’s lots of very glad things too and that’s what we talk about here! All pawsitive all the time! I want my friends to be happy and smile and know there’s a lot of good - including YOU - in this world!! Be kind and pass it on! Please send me your Good New and Fun Stuff to share, personal or global. Let’s keep it fun and interactive!! After all, if we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane!

Today is Dedicated to Teen Volunteers
Want to know about our fun summer plans at Rikki’s Refuge? This will be the second year for our exciting summer program for teens, ages 13 - 18 years old. And I get to go this year too, cuz I had my 13th birthday on April 30, so I’m officially a TEEN now, too!

At last summer’s program, some very special teens worked hard and showed tremendous Leadership Skills. They’ll be back this year helping to run the program. Congratulations to Kristina Anderson of Fredericksburg who’s been volunteering since the summer of 2007, Grace Fisher of Orange, Erin Paxton of Orange, Morgan Colonna of Spotsylvania, and Paige Receveur of Fredericksburg.

Teens CARE Program meets every Wednesday from 9 am - 3 pm, starting June 22th and running thru August 24th. On August 27th we have a great big celebration party for all the good work we did all summer long! Teens can sign up for the whole summer or for just a few days. Contact Katarina Galvin, our Youth Director, at or 540-854-0870 x3.

If you’re not a teen anymore, but you ARE young at heart, you’re welcome to come too! And if you’re not a teen YET, but you do love animals, ask your parent or guardian to come and work with you.

CARE is an acronym that tells you
what the program is all about.

We teach kindness and compassion, because we firmly believe those with compassion for their fellow humans and animals help make a better planet.

They learn first hand the importance of neutering and spaying, so unwanted litters don’t end up in the shelter. There are so many inexpensive clinics now as well as financial assistance for those truly in need, so nobody needs to keep having puppies and kittens, call your local shelter or rescue group or call Rikki’s for a referral, 540-854-0870.

Teens get to work, hands on, with 22 species of animals. Cats and dogs and horses and cows and rabbits and more. They learn proper feeding and caring, grooming and cleaning. We’ll have a professional dog trainer spend a day teaching the tricks of the trade. Teens will hone their skills teaching dogs to walk politely on a leash, sit, stay and other useful commands that make them more adoptable.

Heee Heee Heee can’t teach us cats things like that!

We’ve come a long way in 13 years at Rikki’s Refuge. And there’s a long way yet to go as we continue to improve our animal neighborhoods, Feline Fields, Doggy Downs, etc. New construction allows us to care for more animals and animals of different species.

Teens help with repairs and new buildings and do a wonderful job of making things more beautiful. Several returning Teens are very artistic. They’ll be painting murals. Everyone can help.

Every year more and more folks come for tours to meet the animals. Summers are especially busy. The YMCA of Fredericksburg has signed up for four days of tours and volunteering. Teens who show maturity will train to be educational tour guides. You need to know something about all the different kinds of animals so you can ask questions!

Teens will learn to care for a vegetable garden during the summer. As summer comes to an end, they’ll have the fun of picking the veggies and feeding them to the animals!

We stress preservation and protection of our environment. Teens will be help make a six mile long path around the perimeter of our 367 acres. They’ll clear brush and set up nature observation sites and picnic areas.

We count only on donations at Rikki’s Refuge and it takes a lot of work to raise enough money to feed and care for 1250 animals every day!! Teens will learn how much and how we do it. They’ll learn to write promotional material, make posters, talk to donors. Teens learn to budget and to get special bulk deals. And most fun of all, they’ll get to attend events like the Vegetarian Festivals.

Bringing joy and happiness to the rest of the world is a very important goal at Rikki’s Refuge. Some returning teens have asked to visit retirement homes with the animals this summer. This and many other new projects will happen this summer.

Our Youth Director, Katarina Galvin, said the most impressive experience was learning the necessity of facing and doing important tasks you don’t really like and doing them from a standpoint of love, such as what must be done for the animals. She loved watching the kids embrace responsibility and compassion. For many teens at the awkward age of transition, the CARE program raised confidence levels dramatically, just in time to enter high school.

Toni White, mother of teen Grace Fisher who’ll be back for her second year, says, “The overall culture of Rikki’s Refuge fosters a higher moral character than general society. Sadly, most principles that Rikki’s exemplifies, like compassion, integrity, hard work and self-sacrifice are fast-fading from day to day life. Thank goodness they can still be found in a few rare places....and definitely at Rikki’s!”

And it doesn’t end at the end of summer. Last summer’s teens helped sponsor Rikki’s Refuge Fall Furr Festival, Haunted Forest and they made Rikki’s Refuge float for the Orange Christmas Parade!

Did I tell you? Teens CARE Program is FREE!!!! It’s a public service offered by Rikki’s Refuge.

More from Rabbit Rotunda II!!!!

Doves and Pigeons move in

Wedding Dove moves in

The TEEN CARE Program kicks off today
by helping to put new nesting boxes and roosting ledges in Rabbit Rotunda II.  30 new pigeons will be arriving Sunday and the Teens will be preparing their houses.  Then it’s time to

Add more color to Feline Fields
as the cat houses will be painted the bright sparkling colors of the rainbow!!!  After that .... murals?????

‘ey Duke ...  Can you learn to dance for your dinner?

Did you know Duke Thomas Peabody has his own web page now!  Please join us for all the fun on Facebook.

of course the number one place to be, but the number of friends are limited

and here I can have unlimited friend, just sign on and “like” me

Duke’s new page and he’s only got 129 friends, so grab a friend slot before they’re all taken

“like” Duke here too for exciting news about Doggy Downs

is a great place to keep up with the competition between the cats and the dogs, Vincent and Duke are always bantering with each other here!!

This is where the serious stuff is.  If you don’t want to listen to talking cats and dogs, this is the place to be!

Join us everywhere for all the fun!!!!

Thanks Dad!
For sending me a picture of the oil painting mom’s friend Kathy did for her one Christmas.  This was all of her kitties back then.  WOW that was a long long long time ago.  You can read more about this in yesterday’s Good Morning Goon News.
See Skinny Teddy the Cactus Pooper on the left!!  Jake there in the middle.  And Kash lower right, the first totally psychotic kitty mom ever had!!!  The absolute love of my dad’s life.  


Help me keep this wonderful Refuge running! 

PPS You tell me what you want! Email me at with instructions to change your subscription: additions, deletions or modifications! Subscriptions:  Vincent’s VIPs - up to the second alerts about issues at Rikki’s Refuge for those who care and want to be intimately involved. Scheduled as needed. Good Morning Good News - a little something to get you going in the mornings, for those of you who want to keep smiling with us! Scheduled daily. Hairballs - so you know what’s coming up at Rikki’s! Scheduled weekly.

Rikki's Refuge, supported solely by private donations, houses over 1200 animals of 22 species. On line at Checks, money orders, cash, items at Rikki's Refuge, PO Box 1357, Orange VA 22960

Rikki's Refuge is owned and operated by Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc., an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Virginia Corporation, tax-id 54-1911042. Combined Federal Campaigns #77674, Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign #3163, PetsMart Charities #1377. A financial statement is available upon written request from the State Office of Consumer Affairs.

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