Tuesday, November 08, 2011

November 9, 2011

The newsletter of thanks from grateful animals 
to their beloved rescuers brought to you by

         Duke Thomas Peabody                             and                                    Vincent D. Cat

Building a
Better Planet

One Rescued
at a Time 

portraits compliments of artist Wayne H. Morris

You can make Duke’s and Vincent’s job easier 

We are the Happy Animals of Rikki’s Refuge
who so thank you for giving us the gift of our lives and the tools to build our Refuge.  We represent all the animals, the world over, whose lives have been saved by kind and loving people just like you.  Thank you for being an animal rescuer. 

Hope to see you Saturday!
Please join us Saturday, November 12, 2011 at Rikki’s Refuge for
Noon - Refuge Tour
2 pm - Nature Hike
5 pm - Sunset Bonfire and Veggies on the Grill
7 pm - Full Moon Walk
$28 per person (minimum donation), for the full day or any part of the day!  All donations go towards the Wildlife Defense Fund.

In addition to the 1300 domestic and farm animals we care for every day, we protect 300 acres of pristine nature, woods and wetlands, for Native Virginia Wildlife. It’s a hard job, as development encroaches, large tracts are logged, hunters poach. This spring an adjoining landowner wanted to build a logging road, meandering a mile and a half thru the woods and wetlands of Rikki’s Refuge. We fought, and we saved the land and the lives of countless animals that call it home.  The resulting survey and legal bill is a devastating $28,976.16, at a time when we’re finding it difficult to cover the daily expenses for our 1300 resident animals; their medical bills, their food, their care.  Would you please give a tax-deductible donation of just $28 to help the animals?


Celebrate a Thanksgiving
Where no Animals are Hurt !
HURRY - Hurry - RSVP NOW - limited space so get in on the fun !!!   Vincent@RikkisRefuge.org

Remember last Thanksgiving for Rikki’s Friends?  It was DELICIOUS!!!  The Good News is Mariza is doing it again this year!!!  Rikki’s Thanksgiving Dinner will be served at her home, Spotsylvania close to the rt 3 / 20 intersection, you’ll get a map when you RSVP.  November 20th, Sunday, 4 pm the eating starts!!!  Appetizers, dozens of appetizers!!  6 pm, sit down dinner!! 

RSVP now as we do have to limit the number to how many can fit in Mariza’s house!  $25 per eater!  Delicious.  many many courses, all kinds of wonderful delicious things.  All vegetarian.  And yes, you carnivores are welcome too, you’ll never miss a thing!!!  So many different and varied delectable dishes!!

Are you ready for the Best Ever
Just in Time for Christmas Shopping
Auction ever?

Well I am !!!

And here it is!!
CLICK HERE http://www.rikkisauction.blogspot.com/ to see items and start bidding!
The auction is running now - It ends 7 pm Nov 21 !!!   In time to ship your items out for Christmas.

Bidding is EASY - Enter your bid in the comment box,

When asked "Comment as" pick the option best suited to you.
Facebook user - pick Name/URL from the drop down menu, enter your Name and your FB URL. 
None of the above, pick Anonymous and be sure to enter your contact e-mail in the comments - or just enter your name and send me an email letting me know which bidder you are so I can email you!!!

Keep track of who’s bidding on the items you like - click on “Subscribe to: Post Comments”  at the bottom of the listing, after the comment area.  Pick google and set it up to notify you by email, or pick any other option you like.

Questions?  On the “home” page, top right, “How to Bid” should give you answers!

Questions? Don't hesitate to ask Vincent Cat Vincent@RikkisRefuge.org the answer-cat!!!!

Over 250 items!!!!  To see them all http://www.rikkisauction.blogspot.com/

There are some really fabulous tings in here!!!  Here’s just a few!  Click on any photo for more details!

All items were donated to Rikki’s Refuge and all proceeds of the auction will be used to pay down Rikki’s Refuge’s debt!!!!  So BID with joy !!!!!!  

Over 225 MORE ITEMS !!!  To see them all http://www.rikkisauction.blogspot.com/

Rikki's Refuge
Where EVERY penny 
is spent on the animals!!!

The Pumpkins have Arrived !!!!

The more we get for the herbivores, the more money to buy food for me!

So many of you have been working hard and hauling pumpkins to Rikki’s !!!!!   have you seen a pumpkin stand that we haven’t cleaned out??  Report in immediately!!!!  STOP, fill your truck, your truck .... grab those pumpkins and come on out to Rikki’s

No matter who
small or ....

we’ll eat all the pumpkins you can bring us !!!!!

Volunteers ARE a Big Deal at Rikki's Refuge!
Yes, we staff.  Our staff is wonderful, too.  Our budget is so limited that we are only able to afford to have staff for the absolute daily essentials.  The feeding, cleaning, medicating.  It’s a lot of work and it has to be done on a schedule every day, day in and day out.  No matter what.  365 days a week.  Rain, snow, sleet or heat. Holidays and mundane days.  We love volunteers who like to come in to help with this work too.  Some come in just to wash the dishes one day a week.  Others to help with the regular cleaning.

And lots of volunteers come to build new Animal Neighborhoods, make repairs to existing Neighborhoods, mow acres and acres of grass, do special seasonal scrub ups of Neighborhood Houses, and to keep houses warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  Every one of our 22 species needs volunteers!!!  
CLICK to Learn more about our wonderful Volunteers!!!  

The Fall Furr Festival
Was lots of fun!!  Meet the Animals Up Close, Hay Rides, Games, and More 

The Haunted Forest
..... was it to scary for you to come ????

What’s on YOUR Calendar? 
Did you remember 

Nature Appreciation Day, this Saturday, November 12th 
Noon - Refuge Tour
2 pm - Nature Hike
5 pm - Sunset Bonfire and Veggies on the Grill
7 pm - Full Moon Walk Rikki’s

Thanksgiving Dinner 
Sunday, November 20th
RSVP Vincent@RikkisRefuge.org

Holiday Auction 
over 250 Fabulous Items!


November 9, 2011

PS: I count on YOU to help me keep the Refuge Running.

The Fine Print
Rikki's Refuge in Orange County, Virginia, is a 367-acre, no-kill, all species, peaceful sanctuary supported solely by donations from kind and loving individuals just like you!   We help farm animals, domestic animals, and wildlife.  Over 1200 individuals of 22 different species now reside at Rikki's Refuge.  Please continue to help us help the animals.  To learn more about Rikki's Refuge go to http://www.rikkisrefuge.org/, http://www.rikkisrefuge.blogspot.com/, and http://www.flickr.com/photos/rikkis_refuge . 

We survive on donations from kind and loving people, just like you.  We live on a shoestring and make it on less than one dollar per day, per animal.  So if you can spare a couple of bucks to buy a few meals, please go to http://www.paypal.com/ and use our email address of mail@rikkisrefuge.org .  We do accept checks, money orders, cash and stuff, too!  Thanks for your support.  Rikki's Refuge, PO Box 1357, Orange VA 22960

Your donations directly support the Critters of Rikki’s Refuge.  Rikki's Refuge is owned and operated by Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc., an IRS 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Virginia Corporation. Federal Tax-ID 54-1911042. We hold membership in all Combined Federal Campaigns in Virginia #77674, Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign #3163, PetsMart Charities #1377, iGive, Benevolink, paypal.com (mail@rikkisrefuge.org), your donations provide direct support. A financial statement is available upon written request from the State Office of Consumer Affairs.

Volunteers ARE a Big Deal at Rikki's Refuge

Ever wanted to be Mayor of your Neighborhood?
Dreams come true at Rikki’s Refuge!!!  And you could be the Mayor of a Neighborhood. 

Volunteers are a big deal at Rikki’s Refuge. 

Yes, we staff.  Our staff is wonderful, too.  Our budget is so limited that we are only able to afford to have staff for the absolute daily essentials.  The feeding, cleaning, medicating.  It’s a lot of work and it has to be done on a schedule every day, day in and day out.  No matter what.  365 days a week.  Rain, snow, sleet or heat. Holidays and mundane days.  We love volunteers who like to come in to help with this work too.  Some come in just to wash the dishes one day a week.  Others to help with the regular cleaning.

And lots of volunteers come to build new Animal Neighborhoods, make repairs to existing Neighborhoods, mow acres and acres of grass, do special seasonal scrub ups of Neighborhood Houses, and to keep houses warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  Every one of our 22 species needs volunteers!!! 

Ron, is our Director of Serving Cats.  His project this weekend was fixing up the temp quarantine pens.  This is an area where a group of ferals can do their quarantine time together and not have to be separated into scary cages.  They’d had a lot of water damage from recent flooding.  Now they’re all nice and clean and have new decks!!

Ron would love to vote you in as Mayor of a Cat House.  Your duties would be to keep that one house looking nice and special, arranging the furniture, the climbing toys, seasonal scrub up, keep the nesting boxes nice and warm with new fresh bedding, maybe even some painting.  It’d be up to you on how to make YOUR cat house the prettiest!!  And imagine the looks you’ll get when you go to work Monday morning and says, “I spent my weekend working in a cat house!”

Stacey is the Mayor of Rabbit Rotunda.  Every weekend she rakes out to keep the ground nice, scrubs house, works on drainage control, brings extra treats for her special friends.  Thank you Stacey for keeping Rabbit Rotunda looking so nice!!

Katarina is our Volunteer Director katarinagalvin@yahoo.com she can train you to be a useful necessary part of Rikki’s Refuge.  She worked all day Saturday and Sunday with lots of projects going on.  Keeping her eyes open and lending a hand where needed.  She had projects going on at Feline Fields, Rabbit Rotunda, Cavy Castle, Pigeon Palace, Doggy Downs and was working on lairs for werewolves and dens for ghouls for THE HAUNTED FOREST.    You are coming on October 22 aren’t you?  http://rikkisrefuge.blogspot.com/2011/09/dare-you.html

Next weekend, on Saturday the 15th, she’s putting on The Fall Furr Festival - and it’s THE place to be !!!  http://rikkisrefuge.blogspot.com/2011/09/rikkis-refuge-presents.html  Games, tours, raffles, craft tables, the bestest bake sale, she’s got the best group of volunteer bakers you’ve ever seen, come and try them out !!!!!

If you’d like to help us get ready for the event, we could use extra clean up and set up crews Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning.  Contact Katarina to help out.  katarinagalvin@yahoo.com

My special friend Victor,
who kept me warm at last years Christmas Parade, helped do all kinds of thins all weekend too.

Doggy Downs Clubhouse One is getting it’s much needed new roof, thanks to Dan.  This is his first big project at Rikki’s!!!!

Robyn is a jack of all trades and works in all the Animal Neighborhoods, this weekend she was fall cleaning for the rabbits and guinea pigs.  Even the tops of their houses need cleaning cuz where there’s a will there’s a way and there will be poop in high spots and low spots!!! 

Jan, our Tour Director, lead the Sunday tour.  She’s our PR Director too and she brought lots of cool news paper stories she had submitted and printed for the Fall Furr Festival and the Haunted Forest.  You are coming, right???

Karen came and brought nums for us critters.  She and mom have been friends since they met working at the same humane society far far away about 30 years ago!!!!!

Laurie had extra veggies in her garden and brought them down for the critters!!  Num num num.  We’re not picky, it doesn’t matter if it’s too much or if it’s damaged.  Our piggies and rabbits and guinea pigs and everybody but us cats and dogs is very happy to get something fresh and healthier than pellets!!!!

Ann scrubbed up all the dishes and helped with the washing.  Do you have any idea how many dishes, food bowls, water bowls and plates and platters 1300 animals can use in one day?  Helen and Adam call it Mount Dishmore when they come out to help scrub up.  And the laundry, which was running behind schedule cus the machine broke.  Everybody had to break and go get a spare one out the barn and install it.  THANK YOU people who donate your working appliances that you’re replacing!!  With a bed in every cage, quilts on the floor for sleeping, lots of linings for cubbies and cuddle areas - it’s mounds of laundry.

And I know there were more of you out there this weekend.  I went to check the log to make sure I got all the weekend activities and oh no !!!!  Nobody filled out the volunteer log since Sept 22!!!  But I know lots of you have been there !!!!   Please remember to sign in and out and enter a brief description of what you did!!!!   You deserve a big thank you and I don’t want to miss anybody!!!! 

Thank you Dennis for bringing nums for the critters!!!! 

And Jon our new Produce Procurement Manager for running the Recycle Unwanted Pumpkin Project 2011 !!!!  Yeahhhh.   With Catnip Candy in the hospital, she can’t be the one out there on the streets, so Jon graciously offered to take over the project!!!  Big clap for Jon please !!!!!!

Jon is a feline person (YES read Cat Man!) raised on a small dairy farm in WI and retired Army Corps of Engineer Officer.  You may have seen him hanging out with the cooks at Refuge events or hauling cat food and the like.

Remembering Candy Erhard

Catnip Candy
The good news is that I was blessed to know and love Auntie Catnip Candy.   

The Good News is Candy was a great big huge part of Rikki’s Refuge from her first volunteer day on December 6, 2005. 

Candy had read about Rikki’s in the CFC (Combined Federal Campaigns #77674, Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign #3163) catalog a few years earlier and had contacted mom to ask some questions.  She and Paul then became donors.  Later they came on tours.

Candy had retired and their first volunteer work day turned out to be December 6, 2005.  The day after every single roof on every single run in Feline Fields and Rabbit Rotunda, had collapsed under a huge snow load the day before.  Mom had sent out a plea for help to get the roofs temporarily up off the grounds and the runs secure and usable.  many volunteers turned out.

Candy and Paul arrived and said, HI.  They had not yet heard about the disaster.  Mom just assumed they were there to help with the roofs and said thank you, thank you, so much for coming and too them to Cat House #3 where everyone was working.  It was freezing cold, there was snow up to hooman knees, fingers were frozen, and it was hard work trying to shake off the snow from the netting roofs, now laying on the ground, and hoist them overhead and get them tied off with line running back and forth from wall to wall.  Candy and Paul worked tirelessly.  Mom kept looking at Candy’s feet in dockside shoes and thinking, gosh her toes must be frozen, I wonder why she didn’t wear boots.  Once or twice mom mentioned it and Candy smiled her big smile and said, I’m not as cold as you need help!! 

At the end of the day Candy and Paul were talking to mom and told her they’d just come down to donate some food!!!  That’s why they didn’t dress so warm, they didn’t know it’d end up being a day they worked in the freezing weather till after dark!!!!  Mom thought, uh oh, they sure are nice people, I bet today just scared them away forever!

But the Good News for Rikki’s was - it didn’t!  They came back and they helped with so many things.  They’ve both been members of our board for many, many years now.  Such an integral part of Rikki’s that it’s hard to remember a time before Candy and Paul!

Candy makes and sells her famous catnip sacs for Rikki’s.  Candy and Paul worked at events, especially the Wine Festival in Front Royal every year.  They ran the Mile Long Yard Sale in Alexandria.  They volunteered at the National Capital Cat Shows.  They helped with adoption events.  They worked on teams building and improving Animal Neighborhoods.  They scooped litterboxes when we needed them to.

It was Good News when Candy took over the Pumpkin Runs in October and November of each year, meeting up with churches, nurseries and others selling pumpkins, coordinating pick ups and delivering to Rikki’s.  All the animals except us cats and the doggies love pumpkins.  It’s really good healthy food.  If you can drive one or more loads of pumpkins this year, trunk full, van full, truck full, please contact Jon O'Connor jocors@comcast.net who’ll be heading up the Pumpkin Patch this year.

It was Good News when Candy picked up produce, bread and broken bags of dog and cat food from several different stores, and delivered to Rikki’s usually at least twice a week.  Rain or shine, snow or heat, Candy’s smiling face was there helping the animals.  She did this for years, saving huge amounts of money on our grocery bill. 

It was Good News that Candy kept track of the pantry and when we were low on cleaning supplies - any idea how much bleach, laundry detergent, trash bags, paper towels, dish soap and so on it takes to sanitize 1300 animals every day? - she’d put out a plea for the needed supplies.  Often what others didn't donate - she simply bought and donated to Rikki’s herself.  Never saying a word.  Just stocking the pantry.

Same with cat food.  If enough wasn’t coming in - watch out - she’d order a huge batch from Wegman’s  (best price around on their own brand 13.2 oz cans) - and the pantry would be stocked again.

Last year when that bad lady stole a lot of Rikki’s donations and stole money from credit accounts and bank accounts and mom was so scared about what would happen to Rikki’s - Candy and Paul made a hugely generous donation to keep Rikki’s floating till things could be recovered. 

It was Good News if Candy was your friend.  Always there for who ever needed them, Candy and Paul helped their friends and anyone they met, too.  Down and out?  Need a hand?  Need an encouraging word?  Candy was there.  And Paul was always there with her.

Puppy Pals, a program where you can donate $15 on a particular day each month to feed canned food to the doggies was dreamed up and implemented by Candy.  And that was Good News!  You can still pick a day of the month that you’d like to claim as your very own to be a Puppy Pal: http://rikkisrefuge.org/donate.php?purpose=Puppy%20Pals  Every single doggy will be your pal one day a month!!!!

It was really Good News when Candy started Vincent’s Vittles just for ME and my feline friends!!  Her dream was that everyone would pick a day and a cat house and for only $25 a month you can feed one whole cat house full of felines for the whole day !!!!!   Just pick your cat house, and your day, and sign up!  http://rikkisrefuge.org/donate.php?purpose=Vincent%20Vittles

It was bad news when Candy went to the hospital in early September.  She missed the National Capital Cat Show and we missed her terribly.  We all gathered together and we prayed and we prayed.

And it was very, very sad news when our beloved and always smiling Candy passed away yesterday (Wednesday) morning.  Her husband Paul, her mom, sister and her beloved nephew, Chris, were with her.

Condolences can be sent to
Paul Erhard
5409 Richenbacher Ave
Alexandria VA 22304

You can sign Candy's memory book here: http://www.tributes.com/show/Sharon-Candy-Erhard-92492964

There will be a visitation to say good by to Candy and to give Paul a hug on Monday, October 17th from 2 pm - 4 pm and 6 pm - 8 pm at
Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home
1500 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, VA 22302

There will be a visitation Tuesday, October 18th from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm and Wednesday, October 19th from 10:00 am to 11:00 am, followed by a service Wednesday, October 19th at 11:00 am at
McComas Funeral Home, Abingdon
1317 Cokesbury Rd.
Abingdon, MD 21009
(410) 676-4600

Candy will be buried near her home town and where her mother and sister still reside. 

Mary had a wonderful idea and I'd like to share it with you: I suggest that Rikki's people who knew Candy write something about her (your favorite memory, things at Rikki's that will remind you of Candy, what you liked about her, etc.) so we can put together a memory book of what Candy meant to Rikki's Refuge.  You may send things to me (Mary Walker horsesdcats@aol.com) and I will coordinate it.  Please try to keep your comments positive, not sad.  We want this to be a book of happiness and joy, just what Candy’s smile always brought to us!  Please send in your special pictures of Candy to be included, too.

At the request of a number of friends we have started the Candy Erhard Memorial Fund.  We’ll use the funds for a special project just for Candy.  I promise we’ll brain storm and pick something she would love! http://www.rikkisrefuge.org/donate.php

While just searching google for Candy’s on-line information, I discovered she was quite famous!!!  That smile grabs everybody’s heart!!! 

I bet you smiled when you saw her smile!!  Didn’t you?

Oh Candy!  How much and in how many ways you touched us!  I’ll love you always.

PS You tell me what you want! Email me at Vincent@RikkisRefuge.org 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 http://bit.ly/Give-a-gift-to-Rikkis 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.

Learn more www.RikkisRefuge.org and help spread the good word, tell everyone you know about Rikki’s Refuge

Haunted Forest

by Katarina

Not scared yet?  You can see watch the segments of a full trip thru the Haunted Forest on youtube.

Thank you all for coming out to visit and for volunteering for the Haunted Forrest! You made it super scary this year! All the actors were so awesome! You really out did yourselves.


                                                                  We loved having our wolf man back, thank you James!

The zombies were REALLY creepy.

Adam it was great to see you out there and you awesome popping out from under the bridge. Robyn, you were a fantastic tour guide and at least one person I spoke with told me she didn't recognize you at all =o).

Dawn, thank you for coming out and helping with the zombie make up and adding cuts and scabs to people!

The big huge scary gorilla (our own Sean Sandy!),

Clown, dead prom queen, and masked demon were great additions to the group this year.

And of course, Fred you were a very velcoming vampire guide.

Thank you ladies and gentleman for helping to sign people in and send them in the direction of the woods.

Wait!  What's that on Helen's shoulder?  We don't have any pink kitties!
Yikes, you won't see me hanging out in Rabbit Rotunda after dark anymore!