Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Good Morning Good News !!!! December 18, 2013

Oh my ... it’s really closing in on Christmas.  I’m working my hardest to fill my bag of goodies so I have something special for everybody on Christmas Day.  THANK you for helping !!!  I want to feed 1393 of us ....  22 different species ... so that’s a big variety ....  So far you’ve helped me collect for the Guinea Pigs and the Rabbits and the Pigeons and Pheasants and Iguanas ......  but I’ve still got a long way to go. 

Mom’s taught me I must help others before I help myself ....  so cats have to be the last on the list ....  and that’s getting scary ...  Will YOU help me fill my bag for the cows today ?  
Think I need a bigger bag?  They eat a LOT !
If you can help me with even a handfull of hay ...  I Thank you so much - I really want to be Santa to them all

Don’t forget to VOTE today !!!!!
Sunday is the last day, we’ve been moving up, thanks to YOU !!!  Let’s see if we can WIN !!
Click on Vincent to cast your vote for Rikkis Refuge, VA, USA .....  be a winner for the animals !!!! 

If you set up an account under this link, we could win an additional $1,000 too !!!!
$1,000 go so very far at Rikki’s --- and your votes make that possible.  Without YOU ... there would be no food, no medical care .....  no animals ....

Rikki’s in the News
Rikki's celebrates 15th anniversary
Click the Pic to read all about it !!!   From the Orange County Review

Mom’s been telling me about the times before me at Rikki’s ....  what it was like in the early days .... about all YOU wonderful people who made it possible .... about all the animals saved ....    I’m sharing my scratches about Rikki’s Refuge .... 15 Years in the Making with you as much as I can paw in at one sitting .....  if you missed Part I or II or III ....  you can catch up here and read from the beginning.

We ended last time hearing mom say, “...How many animals have been saved ...  ?  ...  I can tell you it’s thousands and thousands.  No doubt tens of thousands over the years.“

Rikki’s Refuge ....  15 Years in the Making    ....    Part IV

But that’s still not enough. 

The world has become such a small place.  Through social media we know animal rescuers on almost every continent and in many, many countries.  And through social media we can help these people help more animals.  We can help them with their so badly needed fundraising.  How huge to a tiny organization in Italy, to have us advertise their fundraising event.   How huge to the animals to spread the word of speuter clinics, vaccination clinics, free services and low cost services available. 

Feral cats are everywhere on the globe.  The “problem” is the same.  They are breeding unchecked, they’ve gotten in somebody’s way, and we don’t want to see them trapped and killed. 

The solution is the same everywhere on the globe too.  TNR (Trap Neuter Return; with a huge emphasis on Return).  Stop the reproduction.  Make sure they are cared for as the Community’s Cats.  So often a single person just needs some guidance, some resources, to be able to start a TNR program in their community.  It doesn’t matter what language the caretakers speak.  To the cats, it all says LIFE !

By helping people all over the globe with ideas, resources, knowing they aren’t alone, more and more are able to go forth and help the animals.  And each one of them helping, draws in others who want to help.  It’s a real domino effect. 

A few of you have been around long enough, or were isolated enough to invent rescue when you saw a homeless animal.  For most of you it rubbed off from someone you know.  You went to an adoption day and learned about the number of homeless animals, you went on a tour of a sanctuary and never before had thought about the elderly and the handicapped dying every day in shelters, you heard about a community “cat problem” and you read up on TNR and the solution, you had a friend who fostered for a rescue and you were talked into trying “just one”. 

For me, it happened something like 35 year ago.  One specific cat came into my care.  I needed help.  My vet referred me to “a lady I bet you’ll really hit it off with”.  She ran a humane organization.  I’d actually never even known about such a thing.  Though I’d take in strays and get them “fixed” and pass them off on friends and co-workers; I had no idea there were organizations, groups of people banded together, to do this.  How cool!!   I went to an adoption day.  I met really great people.  People who felt like I did about animals and life and death.  This was cool !!   

At that first adoption day, I listened and I learned that many, many animals were killed in shelters, were abandoned, had horrible things happen to them.  I was so stunned.  It was an eye opening experience I could happily have gone through life without.  How different that life would have been!  Sometimes I dream of it ....  but then I see the eyes of somebody who is alive because of me ... and I come back to reality.

Anyway, I went home that day with A foster cat.  How long that A didn’t last !!!  Soon it was lots, and soon I specialized in the handicapped, the elderly, the problems ... the ones that would have so much trouble finding a home and so likely end up dead without me.   You can see the seeds of Rikki’s forming here can’t you?  Well that’s another story for another time. 

Point here being, that for each person we help bring into the rescue world, they will bring in others.  And when everyone has brought in everyone and everybody is a rescuer ... it will no longer be acceptable to kill off the unwanted.  There won’t even BE any unwanted !!   Everyone will be loved and wanted and have a home. 

And yes, we have a long way to go.  But dog-gone it, look at how far we have come?  Rikki’s Refuge and all the others out there working tirelessly for all the animals.

And so through helping others with advertising, advice, just sharing that they aren’t in it alone, we’ve helped to save thousands and thousands more.  Just imagine if only one person in one country that we lend a paw to each year starts up a successful rescue or TNR program  ....  saving “only” 100 animals a year, over 15 years, that’s another 1500 animals ....  and I seriously bet the numbers are much closer to 100 people each inspired to save 100 animals ......  and that’s 150,000 more over the last 15 years .....

It’s a snowball effect ....  a domino effect .....  and it takes a lot of us to make it happen.  

All of us working to save all of them  .... one animal at a time ....  will you join the Rikki’s Family and help us make it happen?

Remember: Your donation does mostly go to support our animals ... for food, housing, medical care, day-to-day facilities cleaning and maintenance, etc.  But, it also reverberates around the world, as we spread our philosophy of love and life through various social media outlets and supportive help to other caring individuals and organizations. 

Rikki's believes that an animal helped
is an animal helped,
no matter which organization does it.

Isn’t it wonderful to be a part of Rikki’s and know that YOU are helping here at the sanctuary and all across this wonderful planet of ours? 

Especially at this time of year ....

it really brings our mission home ...

Peace on Earth ... Goodwill to all Animals !!

Your donation today WILL ENABLE SOMEONE to be cared for, to be loved, to have a home.

Thank YOU for keeping the animals of Rikki’s alive and happy this holiday season!

On line donations are easy at  you can even sign up for a life saving monthly recurring donation!!!

I’m always happy to hear the check is in the mail!  Rikki’s Refuge, PO Box 1357, Orange VA 22960

Credit cards are accepted on line at or over the phone. 

You can call me directly at 540-854-0870 x5 to make sure your credit info is kept confidential.

Volunteers needed Friday, Dec 20
Mike Woods is driving over the mountains and thru the woods to pick up 11 pallets of nums from Purina in Pennsylvania ....  he’ll even rent a truck to do this !!!   We never know what the nums are until they are here.   It’s always dry food.  Sometimes cat, sometimes dog and some times treats.  Once we got 8,000 pounds of treats !!!!  

We’re praying there’s a lot of cat food on this load !!!! 

Will you come out to Rikki’s Refuge Friday afternoon to help us unload ??  We won’t know the exact arrival time of the truck -- cus of loading time at the plant and road conditions and so on -- but it’s usually between 1 and 3 pm ...  if you can come spend the afternoon with us and help unload we’d greatly appreciate it.

First Day of Winter Tour is ON this Saturday !!
Well the weather is looking ok for Saturday's tour at noon.  Things are very muddy out here right now, so please wear good boots!  Due to the soggy grounds we will not be able to offer any riding tours, even 4 wds will slip and slide around here.  Depending on how much rain/snow/sleet we have between now and Saturday we may have to offer a slightly abbreviated tour, but we'll do our best and you'll get to see most every one !!

The Nature Hike for 12/21 is cancelled due to the muddy conditions.

The Christmas Day tour at noon will be followed by a reception in our new Education Center.  You'll get to meet and kiss Opie, Timmy & Duke our Spokes kitties and Spokes doggy.  I won't know until closer to the date if I will be able to offer riding tours on Christmas.  Since it's looking like a wet winter, I'm guessing I won't be able to.  But if you need transportation, let me know, and if we can, then we will, and we'll let you know a few days ahead of time.

The New Years Day Hike is at noon.

Advance tickets are required for all events.  Please request YOUR ticket application package with all the details about these events at

Tickets to these events are complimentary as our Holiday Gift to YOU !!  Though you will still need a ticket in hand ... so get yours now before the limited supply runs out. Tickets will be emiled to you and you will need them in hand to attend the events.  There is limited space at all events -- it's a ratio of humans to porta potties and it's out of our control -- so space will be given out on to the first ones we receive applications from.

This Saturday and Sunday, the 21st and 22nd, from 11 am - 3 pm

Turn your unused items into food for the animals !!!   ALL donations to our thrift shop are TAX DEDUCTIBLE for YOU and benefit the animals of Rikki’s Refuge and the community!! 

Please help out and clear out closets, your cabinets, your shelves ... your attic, basement and garage !!!!   And stop off with your donations.  If you have donations, and are in Virginia or the DC area, but can’t drop them off ....  let me know your address and the size of your donations and I’ll see if I can find a volunteer to pick up ---  no promises, but I’ll try!  If you’re further away ....  YES it’s fine to mail items ....  obviously bulky ones probably aren’t practical ...  but especially if you have smaller items it might be perfect to fill one of those USPS flat rate boxes and send off to us at the store !!!

I’ve heard some folks ask how we could possibly afford this building and this thrift shop venture when we’re struggling to make ends meet for the animals .....  well I’ll tell you a secret ....  not one penny of your donations have gone into making this store happen ....  it’s all being done by wonderful and generous people who want to see the refuge thrive ....   NO money is being taken from the animals to make this happen.  And we’re all hoping that in January, when the store opens for business, the animals will begin to see the benefits !!!

NOTE --  Lacy Home Appliance Sign may still up at this address this weekend ....  our sign goes in soon ....  don’t let this scare you away !!!!

Rikki's Education Center
21410 Constitution Hwy, Rapidan VA 22733

Donation Drop Off - Every Saturday, noon - 2 pm  - bring a Christmas Gift by for the animals.  Right now our biggest needs are Scrubbie Sponges, the kind with a sponge on one side and a scrubbie thing on the other, Canned Cat Food, Dry Cat Food, Wild Bird Seed, Pigeon Seed, Laundry Detergent, 30 Gallon Trash Bags.  A Donation Drop Off Docent is here every Saturday waiting for you.  Opie drops in to help when he can and you’ll get a kiss for making a donation.

Interested in a job at Rikki's?  Be at the Education Center at NOON for an orientation and application.  Don’t be late !!  Promptness and reliability is everything at Rikki’s !!    SATURDAYS IN DECEMBER

Full time employment available.  We need a few good Animal Caretakers !!! This is the time of year the less than fully dedicated drop out. It's cold, there's sleet, the mud is up to their knees ..... and the work must go on. No matter how cold your hands are cleaning one more water bowl .... they all must be done ... every day .... no matter what ..... Don't matter how much snow or ice .... you gotta be able to show up for your shift .... and if you're worried about the weather ... spend the night to be sure you're on duty when the animals need you. Us animals get to lazy around ... stay in bed on cold days .... but them hoomans don't get no rest round here !!!! It's work from dawn to dusk and often beyond. SO we're looking for a few good hooman hands !! 5 days a week ... everyone works weekends and ALL holidays -- these are our busiest days .... it takes all hands on deck ... it's for the physically hardy ..

Time to change the litter boxes? You'll be lifting 1800 pounds of litter - it is divided up in 40 pound containers - and putting them in the truck -- driving to the cat houses -- unloading it off the truck -- carrying it in to the houses -- dumping the old 40 pounds into trash bags -- hauling that out to the truck -- dumping the new 40 pounds in the litter boxes -- then driving the old to the dump and unloading all those 40 # bags .... so that means you're picking up 1800 of litter at least 6 times .....

This is a fabulous work out program !!! You'll build muscles and lose fat working at Rikki's Refuge. On your lunch break -- you can snuggle and love ME !!!!  

It is seriously hard, heavy, stinking work -- 90% of animal care is cleaning up, scrubbing, mopping, washing, mucking .... it simply never stops. Soon as you've mopped the floor one of my friends will poo on it. This is not a job for the feint of heart .. it's for the seriously dedicated person who wants to help the animals. Nobody, but nobody makes it here if they aren't hard core dedicated.

With everybody hiring, folks will leave real quick to work indoors with no poop at 7/11 or McDonalds if they are not in it strictly for the animals. And so ... if you are ... we will have an Orientation followed by applications and interviews at our Education Center at noon on Saturdays for the next several weeks. 21410 Constitution Hwy, Rapidan VA 22733. Gates open at 11:30 am and the orientation starts promptly at noon ---- no late admittances. Promptness and reliability are of utmost importance to us ... so being on time for learn about the job is way important !!!! Anyone interested PLEASE PLEASE stop by this Saturday ... or a Saturday in the future !!!! Thank you !!!!! And hurry please ... my litter box is FULL ......

SHOP and WRAP at Barnes & Noble Book Store
Our volunteers wrap your gifts for donations to help feed the animals !!

We’ll be at the following locations.  And we NEED YOUR HELP WRAPPING, especially the Northern Virginia, Falls Church location ...  Daddy and Uncle Paul have NO one else to help them on there two 12 hour days ... that means they can’t even leave the table to go potty or to eat ....  if you can help them for even an hour between 10 am and 10 pm ....  please tell my daddy at

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, 1035 Emmet St N, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Wednesday, December 18, 2013  5 - 8 pm
Ron Herfurth - to volunteer

FREDERICKSBURG, VA, 1220 Carl D. Silver Pwky, in Central Park                         

Saturday, December 21  -- noon to 4pm and 4pm to 9pm                 
               or possibly 10 pm - the store closes at ten and
               we can stay that late if we want.)  What a
               chance for night owls to help!
Sunday, December 22  -- noon to 4pm
Monday, December 23 -- 4pm to 6:30pm and
               -- 6:30pm to 9pm (or 10pm) - to volunteer

Thursday, December 19, 2013
Friday, December 20, 2013
HELP - We need people for almost all shifts ... Thursday and Friday, two hours, starting on the EVEN hours, between 10:00 AM and 10:00 PM. 
Fred Friedman - to volunteer

... with your support we’re able to help so many into their new furrever happy homes ....  and to give that life long home to those not quite so fortunate ...  Thank you for your support
Without YOU none of us would be looking forward to Christmas this year  !!

Love you bunches,
           Opie and Timmy