Saturday, December 06, 2014

Good Morning Good News !!!! December 6, 2014

Are YOU ready ??

Start this music playing before you read any further ......

At Rikki’s, we are known for never doing anything in a small way.  And so for our 1297 critters of 22 species .....  12 Days of Christmas would never be enough .....  we present to you ....   the 28 Days of Christmas at Rikki’s ....  follow along daily ..... 

On the Second Day of Christmas  .....
Look What Came to Rikki’s,
Rabbits a Mating,

.....   a Chukar in a Cherry Tree!

Well let’s talk about the birds and the bees for a moment here, and please don’t cover your ears !!! 

Those rabbits got “fixed” right away !  Fixed is often used to described speutering, the unisex word for  spaying and neutering. 

Yes, rabbits, like everybody else, get speutered at Rikki’s Refuge.  As a matter of fact NO reproduction is permitted at Rikki’s Refuge.  You may ask why?  Well it’s cus there are so many homeless animals in the world who are dying because they don’t have homes.  No matter what the species or the breed ... somewhere, somebody is without a home and will be put to death as if it’s a crime. 

So PLEASE remember two very very important things.

First, make sure ALL your animals are Speutered !!!  Even one litter is bad for the planet and devastating to the animals in shelters hoping to get a home.

Second, always adopt.  Never buy.  ANY kind of animal.  No matter what kind of animal you’d like to share your home with, there is one in a shelter just praying you’ll pick them.  Please shop only at shelters and rescues.  Your refusal to “buy” animals, is a huge step towards stopping the wonton breeding of animals.  The behind the scenes of breeding, including, and especially fish and birds, is worse than the behind the scenes death machines at many pounds and shelters.  For some species only one in a hundred survive even long enough to get into a store ....  and even less stay alive int heir new home. 

Speutering is terribly important.  It is the one fool proof way to stop the killing of so many innocent animals in our society.  Stop creating them by the dozens ..... Cuz everyone not born, is somebody that won’t be killed for being homeless.

I know ... I know ...  but Fluffy or Ruffy is cute .....  you’re thinking just one litter ... just one ... so I can have somebody just like Fluffy or Ruffy .... and I’ll be responsible ... I’ll make sure all the others get good homes.  

And you may.  Your kittens or puppies or bunnies or chicks or goats or what ever, may end up going to very good homes.  But think about this.  For every home one of your newly created animals goes to ....  there is one less home for somebody sitting in a shelter .... and that somebody will be killed. 

If there are 4 million homes every year ....  but 10 million animals born ... 6 million of them will be killed .....   only 40% will make it out alive. 

And that’s about what it’s like out there.  In just the United States alone, 6-8 Million healthy happy adoptable cats and dogs .... we’re not even counting the countless rabbits, guinea pigs, mini pigs, parrots, parakeets, goats and horses that are killed due to lack of homes .....    but 6-8 Million healthy happy adoptable cats and dogs killed every year just because a home cannot be found. 

Rikki’s Refuge is one of the many stepping stones leading the way to a NO KILL NATION ....  A nation that takes life seriously, regardless of the species.  A nation that cares.  A nation that supports their homeless animals.  A nation that educates their people to not permit pets to overpopulate.  A nation that supports their Community Cats (feral cats) with TNR (trap, neuter, RETURN to the location they were trapped, THEIR home). 

I don’t know a rescue that doesn’t run at capacity.  Nobody in the business of saving lives sit around with empty beds, not bothering to fill them.  Everyone is filled to 110% (at least) of their budget.  they are always on the edge.  That’s why you see all of us begging for financial help all the time.  We desperately want to save one more.  We can only do it with your help.

And everyday somebody out there is having just one cute litter of something.  STOP.  We can end this problem together!!!   Rikki’s is devoted to seeing a time when no one is killed for being homeless.  NO ONE.  NO ONE OF ANY SPECIES.

How do we work towards this goal?

In many different ways.
Our sanctuary, Rikki’s Refuge, makes a small dent.  We house 1300 animals on a daily basis that would otherwise be killed.  Every sanctuary and rescue specializes in what they do best.  We specialize in the elderly, the problem kids, the handicapped, the ones that fewer other rescues are able to care for.  There are many good adoption organizations, so we leave most of that up to them.  We provide life care for those who need it.

We promote speutering all animals and we are vocal about it, we reach out and educate, and help many people who can’t do it on their own.  Our residents are speutered.  The exceptions are large farm animals where the risk of surgery is great.  In those species, the males are speutered because it’s a simpler less invasive procedure which carries fewer health risks. 

What about the birds, people ask?  We use egg control for them.  Speutering is terribly risky due to their anatomy.  Yes, our wonderful vet has done extensive research.  Some species lay all the time, their natural instincts have been breed out of them.  Those are easy, the dogs eat the eggs, the skunks come round about midnight and scarf down any left over.

Some lay only a few eggs and have that instinct to sit on them.  In the emu, it’s the male that sits on the eggs, guarding them with his life.  It’s a little tricky to get those eggs and escape un-eviscerated, but so far we’ve been successful !  

Some birds, like the pigeons, must sit on eggs or they will keep laying eggs till their bodies are calcium depleted.  They are given artificial eggs or boiled eggs to sit on.   Eventually when the season is over, they give up and they move on. 

There is so much more to caring for 1300 animals than just feeding and cleaning !!!

We educate.
When people understand the ramifications of having a litter of animals, they are more likely to take measures against letting it happen.  We speak in schools and at groups and teach visitors to the refuge about the value, the necessity of speutering ALL animals. 

Our Life Center is a wonderful new avenue for education.  We’ve started yet another wonderful program.  Kitty-Litter-ature, where kids will learn compassion and caring while reading with the animals.  The younger kids are read to by Opie, Duke and their friends.  Then when they are tired of reading, the older kids will read to the animals!  There will always be a lesson of compassion and speutering is a hugely compassionate gift you can give any animal.

I spoke at a school once and told the fairly young kids about ways to stop your cats and dogs from having babies all the time.  it was spring and many of them were talking about too many cats and dogs and the trauma of seeing their parental units kill the excess.  I told them to have their parents call us or call the local shelter for help with speutering if needed. 

With all the speuter clinics springing up everywhere, with all the programs for assistance, it’s almost impossible for some one to truly not be able to get their animals speutered at a rate they can afford or thru an assistance program.   If you’re having trouble or know someone who is, email us and our volunteer who helps people line up speutering will help you find a place that it can be done affordably. 

Anyway, so later in the year during a tour this little boy ran up to me and threw his arms around me.  He was hollering, mom, mom, here’s the lady who said we don’t have to keep having kittens and puppies and dad doesn’t have to kill them ....  she can tell you how to make them stop having babies !!!!   

Mom looked most skeptical as I told her about speutering.  It seems almost impossible in this day and age and in the society you live in that anyone could possibly not know about speutering.  But a lot of folks just need education.  Who would have told them before?  If nobody tells you and you aren’t in the animal circle with all the latest news ....  how would you know ?

I got mom all set up with some vouchers to get her critters speutered.  She seemed so happy to know about this.  the endless cycle of birth and death had taken a toll on her as well as her son. 

I can only hope that the mom and son told other people about this great idea and they too wanted to stop the endless cycle.  I think that little boy might keep our conversations in his head and he might grow up to be a more caring, sharing, loving person. 

For every person who truly loves an animal, the world will be changed, just a little bit more.  It may be one animal at a time.  But it’s happening.  I see it every day.  How many rescues are there now?  Many many more than there were 30 years ago when I first learned about rescue.  Once upon a time I had no idea how many animals were killed for being homeless. 

When I learned 30 years ago that the numbers were 38-40 MILLION every year ....  it changed my life.  I knew I had to be a part of that change.  Today it’s 6-8 million ....   that is still 6-8 million too many .....   but it is also 30 MILLION + FEWER .... 

and all thanks to everyone of you who rescue,

those of you who volunteer,

those of you who donate,

every one of you !!!

You have made that change !!!

Help Rikki’s Refuge head into another year of change and wonderful news for the animals.  We can only do it with your support.  www.RikkisRefuge/Donate  There is NO government funding, NO big grants, NO support but for your donated dollars. 

Here’s a few of our special programs for compassion, education, or speutering you may wish to support.  You can make a gift in honor of anyone, just mention tell us their name and address and we’ll send them card letting them know you did !!  When making your donation, just include a note telling us where you’d like your funds use.  We always follow your wishes. 

AND best of all, our overhead is less than 2% of our expenses.  So that means better than 98% of your funds are going directly to our programs.  How can we do that?  Only because of our wonderful volunteers who donate their time doing all the things many organizations have to pay for.  Things like accounting, fundraising and so on.  Thank you, you wonderful volunteers.  You don’t only help Rikki’s, you are helping EVERY donor too!

Kitty-Litter-Ature -- Animals and Kids reading and learning compassion together.

Wild and Feral -- educating and promoting TNR of Community Cats (feral cats), this division of ours is located in Pulaski, Virginia

Pana Speuter Clinic -- we help to support Mayan Families’ Speuter Clinic in Panajachel, Guatemala.  We helped to set the clinic up in 2008 and it has been running successfully ever since.  Funds designated for this program help the indigenous Mayan people Speuter their cats and dogs. 

We’d like to expand our global reach to Speutering in other countries, especially in rural, isolated, poor communities, like Pana.  If you work with, or know of organizations in such places, let us know, we may be able to add them to out Helping Paws Abroad program.

Speutering New Residents -- this is mandatory for all new residents.  Often being able to accept a new resident is contingent on the funding for their initial medical care and quarantine, including Speutering. 

This week, 8 animals will be visiting the Virginia Kinchloe Speuter Clinic in Fredericksburg.  The five pyrenees who joined us from a sheep farm in Alabama that went out of business.  They found themselves in a world of trouble in a high kill and luckily found someone willing to drive them here.  They’ve been thru heartworm treatment and treated for lyme and other tick diseases and are now ready for speutering !!!

Big Mac is a beagle spaniel mix who was left at the emergency vet clinic to be killed, he’d been attacked by other dogs three days before and had festering wounds and now the owner just wanted rid of him.  The emergency doc said, I’ll fix him up, if you can take him.  The wounds are nasty, but not life threatening if treated asap, and he’s such a nice guy.  He’s all healed up but now needs neutering.

Ebony is a black kitty who turned up at the Life Center, living in the barn.  It’s possible she’s been a barn cat who came with the property and has eluded being seen, or she’s found her way to a safe place.  She’s semi feral semi friendly, I’m guessing never been a real people lover but used to seeing them around.  And it’s time to get speutered.  We’ve been working on the compliment of barn kitties that were left at the Life Center and as far as we know ....  she’s the last ....  hopefully she was that final one hiding out !!!  

We believe strongly in TNR, Trap Neuter Return.  For everyone should be returned to their home (when ever possible, exceptions do apply in dangerous situations).  But following our belief of Zero Population Growth , Ebony must get “fixed” before re-joining her friends !!!

The bill for speutering these 7 dogs and cats?  $860 ....  WOW ....  to us that’s pretty huge.  But on the global scheme of things, it’s quite cheap.  Speuter clinics are life savers.  Very seriously.  For every speuter surgery they do .....  countless lives are saved down the road.  Bless you, everyone who works in, who volunteers in and who supports Speuter Clinics everywhere. 

If you’d like to contribute to any of these programs, you can leave your mark, and make the world a better place right here  if you don’t see a drop down for the program you’d like to support, just write it in the comments !!!   

And Please, if you can, help us raise the $860 this weekend, as we must pay the full amount, no credit at the Speuter Clinic !!!

Thank you so much !!

If you have time over the holidays,
even a few hours, volunteer at your local shelter, take them some much needed food or other supplies.  Every shelter needs our help.  Spread the love.  Share your caring.  Let’s see how few years it will take us to reach the goal of ZERO homeless animals killed !

And remember, speuter your pet.  Give gift certificates to speuter clinics to folks who haven’t speutered.  Just imagine if everyone with an un-fixed animal received a gift certificate for speutering instead of some silly or unnecessary object !!!  



Click the rabbit in the photo above to make her dream come true !!!!

Photos With Santa -- at Re-Tail, starts TODAY !
Gift Wrapping in Charlottesville, Fredericksburg and Falls Church - please volunteer to help !
Christmas Day Tour - RSVP Tickets now !
New Year’s Day Nature Hike -  - RSVP Tickets now !

Would you Like Santa Opie, Duke or another Rikki’s animal to send an authentic letter to your child (or to a friend)?  Send me an email and I’ll send you the details.

Gift Certificates Available at Re-Tail --  THE best gift of all, give the gift everyone will want, from Rikki’s Wear to a special Treasure !

At Rikki’s we don’t care who threw you out, who left you homeless, where you came from.  We only care about making your future bright and happy.  Will you drop a penny in our favorite cat’s hat this holiday season to make the days bright and happy for the 1297 animals YOU have saved !!!   Thank you !!

click on Vincent’s hat to make our dreams come true !!

brought to you today by the Rabbits of Rikki’s Refuge
you share with us, and we’ll share with you
Click on a leaf of kale in the photo above to make the rabbits dreams come true !

... with your support we’ve been able to save so many animals ... it’s only with your continued support that we can continue to care for them each and every day ....  Thank you for your kind and generous support for food, medicine, doctors, cleaning supplies ... and love !!

Without YOU

none of us would be here

thinking about what the holidays might bring this year !!
THANK YOU !!!!!!
Your donations saved every one of us and will keep us all alive the rest of this year and into 2015 .... we pray.  Please HELP US as we stock our pantries for another winter at Rikki’s Refuge  !!!!   Take the Opie Pledge and promise to work each and every day to make the planet just a little bit better.  If the pictures of the animals you have saved in this issue have made you smile, please take a few moments to make a donation so we can keep them smiling!!! 


PS I want you to know something very important.  We always spend your funds very wisely and frugally.  We buy the basic necessities, we buy generic in bulk, volunteers drive many miles, donating the cost of gas, to get the best deals, we use day old produce, recently expired products, others left over construction materials and recycled products. 

We don’t need luxury, we don’t need the best ... we just want to save lives and create a world of happiness and contentedness.

When we can meet our basic needs, we are happy ... so very happy.

Thank YOU for making that happen.

Join us on
Rikki’s Web Site:
Help the Animals:
   our thrift store
   Location:  3503 Lafayette Blvd, Fredericksburg VA 22408  
   Phone:     540-891-5300
   Hours:     10 am - 6 pm Monday - Saturday
              noon - 5 pm - Sunday