Tuesday, June 28, 2011

You are cordially invited to see MY art work, featuring paintings made by ME and the other animals of Rikki's Refuge!  15 of us artists of 10 different species. 

Not only are paintings for sale, but we have Christmas ornaments painted by the animals, photos, and the Too Hot for Spot window cling car thermometers! All will benefit Rikki's Refuge. 

Help support the "Starving Artists" (not really starving, but Vincent can be soooo dramatic!) of Rikki's Refuge!

The animals of Rikki's Refuge recently spent a day painting!  15 artists of 10 different species put their talents to work.  And we have been invited to show at Dog Krazy, The Arts Center in Orange, Salem Church Library, where many of our works sold!

Paintings by the Animals of Rikki’s Refuge
About the Artists

Vincent is the Spokes Cat for Rikki’s Refuge.  He came to Rikki’s Refuge when he was 18 months old. His mom was directing him and his siblings across a street, when a car struck his entire family.  Vincent was the only survivor.  He had severe injuries to his rear legs and internal organs. He lost one rear leg, and is not able to use the other.  He also cannot control his bathroom urges.  Vincent visits schools, and attends many fundraising events. He has thousands of friends on Facebook! He recently won a photo contest for Bissell cleaning products, and his picture will soon be featured on a Bissell product!

Candy is a 16-year-old horse. She was a professional jumper, and had won many Blue Ribbons and lots of money for her people.  One day, while jumping, she had an accident; a very bad accident.  One leg was badly hurt, and she had injuries to her back. She would be lucky if she ever walked well again, and she could never jump or be ridden. Her people paid for one month of field board, and never came back.  Instead of being sold to the market for bad things in order to cover her rent, she was brought to Rikki’s, and her rent was forgiven.  With massage and loving care, she now walks and even runs almost perfectly. You don’t even notice her injuries unless you really look for them.


There are many Chickens at Rikki’s, some of whom were taken out of bad situations such as having been used for fighting, while others came from owners who simply could no longer care for them.  You will find chickens of all colors and sizes at Rikki’s.


Dante is a rabbit who, at one time, was a family pet.  The family let Dante run loose in the house to play with the children. One day, when an adult was not supervising, the baby’s high chair was knocked over, and it landed on Dante. Dante’s back legs are now paralyzed, so he can no longer hop.  He now lives at Rikki’s where his best friend, Gertrude (a guinea pig) is also his roommate. Dante visits schools to teach children and adults how fragile small animals are, and that people need to be vigilant in their supervision of children around animals.

Duke is a blind Doberman Pinscher.  He was born without eyes.  He is the Spokes Dog for Rikki’s Refuge.  He and Vincent compete year-round for who can raise the most money. Duke came to Rikki’s when he was 7 months old. He was found wandering in a park in Baltimore, bumping his head against trees. He was taken to a shelter, and they advertised many times, trying to find his owners. But, they never claimed him.  Since they had a policy against adopting out “damaged” animals, he came to Rikki’s. When he was neutered, it was discovered that he also has a bleeding disorder, much like hemophylia. He also takes medications for a seizure condition.

Flash is a beagle who loves to live outdoors, and thinks that Rikki’s is the greatest place on earth!  He came to Rikki’s 8 years ago because he was too old to hunt any more. Rikki’s adopted him out to three different homes, but he tore things up, peed all over the house, clawed at the doors, and howled all day and night, until he was let outdoors.  Neighbors would complain about his howling, and the owners were tired of the damages he was causing (not to mention the smell from all of the urinating! He would lift his leg in dozens of places all around the house, within 5 minutes!). So, now he is living the outdoor life that he loves at Rikki’s Refuge.

Greta came to Rikki’s in 2008 at the age of 24.  Her family thought that she was getting too old and slow to be any fun to ride. They wanted a new, younger horse to ride. They would not pay to let Greta live out her life in retirement with them, so she came to Rikki’s, where she is loved, no matter what her age or athletic abilities (or inabilities).

Gruffy is an 11-year-old goat who came to Rikki’s after his family turned him in to a shelter. They said that he was an “old goat” (at the age of 8), and that he stunk like an “old goat”. The smell was because he had not been neutered.  He came to Rikki’s, was neutered, and now lives a nice life with lots of other goats, sheep, horses, and other animals.

India is a cow who came to Rikki’s in 2004, along with her sister and her daughter.  It was a classic case of “I can’t take my pets to my new home”.  They had lived on a mini farm in the outskirts of Boston, having been saved from the market by a young girl.  The girl grew up, bought a condo, and mom was selling the mini farm. So, they came to Rikki’s. India’s sister, Sweetpea, had advanced cancer when she arrived at Rikki’s, and passed away in 2006.  Lulu Belle, India’s daughter, passed away from age related issues in 2008, at the age of 16. India is now 21 years old, and very elderly.

Lucky is a former police K-9. He and his officer retired after many years on the police force.  When Lucky’s  officer died, the family kept Lucky tied to a tree outdoors, and did not give him the love and attention that he deserved, or needed.  Lucky became very old, and his arthritis and lack of exercise caused his legs to quit working properly. Lucky could no longer stand and walk. The family took him to a shelter, and the shelter called Rikki’s.  After a few months of love and attention (and medical care) Lucky began to walk on his own. Now, although he’s a bit rusty from old age, he greets visitors when they come to Rikki’s.

Miles is a cat who had been a neighborhood stray, many states away from Rikki’s.  A family had moved away, and left him behind. A nice family began to feed him, and took him to the vet to be neutered. He tested positive for FIV (Feline Aids), so he came to Rikki’s where he is one of the first free ranging kitty mascots. He is now a teenager.

Nanny is an 18-year-old goat.  Diagnosed with intestinal cancer several years ago, Nanny was not expected to live much longer. But, with the love and care that she receives at Rikki’s, she is still going.  Although she no longer moves quickly, she walks all around the refuge, looking for the sweetest grasses to eat. She loves to greet visitors when they come to Rikki’s.

Peepers is one of many emus at Rikki’s Refuge.  Found running the streets of Orange county, she was brought to Rikki’s by animal control, when her owner could not be located.

Petunia is the only farm hog at Rikki’s. She loves to sleep, eat, and wallow in the mud.

Prince is the youngest pot-bellied pig at Rikki’s.  Rejected by his mother at birth, Prince was taken home by one of the employees of Rikki’s, who bottle fed him, and cared for him until he was big enough to live at the refuge.

Martha is another pot-bellied pig at Rikki’s.  We believe that he may be Prince’s father. Vincent held a “name the pig” contest, and the winner chose the name “Martha” for the male pig.  Silly humans! Martha is one of the many pot-bellied pigs at Rikki’s.  At one time, pot-bellied pigs were popular to have as a pet. But, people did not realize how big they could get, and that their needs were more than what a suburban house could give them. Many of these pigs ended up in shelters.  Rikki’s takes them as they have room for them.

Rockstar is one of the many guinea pigs at Rikki’s. Again, people get guinea pigs as pets for their children. But, as the children become bored with them, and no longer care for them, they are turned in to animal shelters.  Rikki’s takes as many as they can provide for.

Taco is a purebred Havana Brown cat.  This is a rare breed of cat. There are approximately less than 40 unaltered Havana Brown’s in the United States.  But, as will all of the cats at Rikki’s, Taco is neutered.  Taco was in an accident which caused him to lose his tail, and also did internal damage so that he does not have control of his potty habits.  His family did not want a cat who pottied all over the house, so they brought him to Rikki’s.

Walker is a former hunting dog.  But, he did not like to hunt. He preferred being a loving pet. But, his owner wanted a hunting dog, not a pet. So, Walker was dragged in to the woods and shot in the back where he was left to die.  But Walker had the will to live and love, so he made his way home.  The owner tossed Walker in to the back of his truck, and took him to the animal shelter. He dragged to dog inside, and told the workers to “finish him off” because he could not do it. Then, the man drove away. The workers immediately took Walker to the vet, and called Rikki’s. He recovered beautifully! He did not live at Rikki’s for very long, when one of the volunteers fell in love with him, and took him home. He still comes to Rikki’s every weekend to volunteer with his loving owner. Walker is now an alumni spokes dog for Rikki’s, attends fund raising events, and spreads the word against animal cruelty.

Meet Vincent and other Artists at Rikki's Refuge

Self Portrait in Black and White

Vincent VanCat
A deep and philosophical self study of how the artist perceives himself.

Vincent’s Secret Cabin in the Woods

Vincent VanCat
Vincent’s Secret Cabin in the Woods where he finds solitude to paint.

Eggplant Gone Wild

Vincent VanCat

Vincent has spent many hours pondering why one would eat an eggplant
when so many flavors of Fancy Feast are available.


Katty Piggough
Peeppers Monet
Katty and Peppers spend many afternoons together painting and
sharing their memories of delicious plants of Hawaii.


Flash O’Picasso
Flash has spent a lifetime studying worldwide varities of Dogwood blossoms.