Saturday, October 29, 2016


Good Morning -- Good News !!!
It's almost Halloween - and YOU know what that means !!!
Good News for the 500 or so herbivores at Rikki's Refuge who have been looking forward all year to

Seven new cows joined us last week and they don't believe the stories the older cows have been telling them about PUMPKIN SEASON. 
Everybody is excited !!!
The sheep, the goats, the horse, who may have a new horse friend by the time the first pumpkin truck rolls in, the big pigs and the little piggies too, the donkey and his goose friend, and all the other geese and the ducks and the chickens and the pigeons and the pheasants and the peacocks and even the partridge, well actually, they're chukars, but members of the partridge family in the pear tree ....  even if they're not allowed out of their aviary to so sit in the pear trees. 
Everybody at Rikki's Refuge are already drooling at the thought of those pumpkins ....  except the cats and dogs. 

So I guess this is why Opie has been so negligent in writing to you to beg for your help getting all those pumpkins to Rikki's. 

This is how it works -- churches, nurseries, and others who sell pumpkins by the truck load for halloween, don't want all those left over pumpkins on November 1st.  And they DONATE them all to us.  On ONE condition.  We must go pick them up. 

Now this was great fun when we started Rikki's and most us pumpkin volunteers were in our 40's, 50's, 60's .....  but now that us pumpkin volunteers are in our 60's, 70's, 80's and have knee replacements, hip replacements, canes and walkers ..... it's getting a bit hard. 

I mean, have you ever tried to pick up a pumpkin and shuffle over to a truck to load it when you need a walker to get around?

If we can count on YOU for any help with pumpkins
    to bring a truck to haul pumpkins
    to be on site to help load pumpkins
    to round up scout groups to load pumpkins
    to pick up pumpkins in your area and bring them to Rikki's
PLEASE email us TODAY at and let us know how you want to help
or when you're delivering so we unlock the gate for you

November 1 - pumpkin pickup at Salem Baptist Church in Fredericksburg. Pumpkins must be gone by end of day.

Saturday, November 5, 2016 - 8:30 AM until ???

It usually takes us ALL DAY to move these pumpkins - the more help we get, the faster it goes!

Pumpkin Collecting!  We have a very dedicated volunteer bringing a large truck to collect leftover pumpkins from church pumpkin sales.  The pumpkins save the Refuge an enormous amount of money, as they feed our pigs, cows, horses, goats and other hungry critters for several months!  Plus, they are extremely healthy for the animals.

But, our dedicated volunteer can't load all the pumpkins herself!  We need lots of help (and wheelbarrows) to move the pumpkins from the church pumpkin patches into the truck.  Here's what you get for helping: great friendship and conversation while hoisting pumpkins; good exercise in the healthy fresh air; a sense of accomplishment at seeing a field strewn with pumpkins now empty, with all the pumpkins safely loaded into our truck; the satisfaction of giving our herbivores (and even some omnivores!) a few months' worth of healthy meals!

Here are the churches at which we'll be collecting:

St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 8009 Fort Hunt Road, Alexandria

Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church, 2006 Belle View Boulevard, Alexandria

Immanuel Church on the Hill, 3606 Seminary Road, Alexandria

Pender United Methodist Church, 12401 Alder Woods Drive, Fairfax

I don't have a schedule yet ... the schedule will probably depend on when we can get people to help at each church ... I am imagining that some folks might not want to spend the whole day gathering pumpkins and following us from place to place ... so, I would like to schedule things according to when and where people would like to work.  Here's the way we've done it in the past, which I would probably see happening again: (1) St. Luke's, (2) Mt. Vernon, (3) Immanuel Church on the Hill, (4) Pender.

So, if you are excited about helping out, please email me at NOW, tell me the times you'd like to work, and which churches you'd like to come to.  Please remember that I will not be able to satisfy all time and church preferences ... it will depend on when our truck gets to each site.  Also, our exact schedule may slip by a few hours during the day, depending on how much help we get, the amount of pumpkins at each site, travel time, and how starving we all become during our day of hard work.  Please remember: pumpkins are HEAVY ... it is serious work to move them from the ground into a truck, as well as to move them around the fields in which the churches place them.  So, we need people in pretty good shape, who won't conk out from a few minutes of hard labor.  But, if that scares you, I actually could also use someone to drive to the sites, to give us estimates of the amount of pumpkins left at each site.  Especially on Friday, so that we can do better planning for Saturday.  Anybody who can bring a wheelbarrow would be REALLY helpful!

Many of you receiving this email have helped in the past, by loading your own personal vehicles with pumpkins and driving them down to the Refuge.  This year, I figure that our large truck will take care of the load, so that we probably won't need individual vehicles.  But, if you DO want to fill up a personal vehicle with pumpkins to bring to the Refuge, please write back to me, and we'll get you set up to do that.  During the week from November 1 to November 4 would probably be best for that, as it would get things going before we get our truck in there.  But, do offer to help load on Saturday ... we will definitely need you!  Having ten people to load our truck would REALLY get things moving well!

We usually pick up from Pender United Methodist Church, 12401 Alder Woods Drive, Fairfax, but sadly this year their pumpkin supplier lost their application this year, so they are not running a pumpkin sale.  We hope they'll be back on the list next year.

NO pumpkins can be picked up ANYWHERE before dark on Halloween night !!

Thanks for all you've done for the animals,

Opie's Daddy Fred


And since we reached half our goal by NOON today .....   our wonderful donor has ADDED another $1,000 to the double .....  and will DOUBLE UP TO $3,000 to anyone responding to this Good Morning Good News .....  and by golly ... that really makes it a Great Good Morning at Rikki's !!!!

If you can spare $1 or $10 or $100 .... help us reach this goal !!!!!

Rikki's Thrift Shop - Re-Tail
Great new items coming in to our Thrift Shop Re-Tail, 3503 Lafayette Blvd, Fredericksburg VA 22408, EVERY DAY.  Stop in and check things out.  Visit the kitties in the Adoption Room.

Have winter or holiday items to donate?  Please hurry and get them to us.  Get your tax receipt and help turn your gently used items into funds to care for the animals of Rikki's Refuge. 

Rikki's 5K Run/Walk for the Animals
WHEN: Saturday, November 5
WHERE: Lake Anna State Park, 6800 Lawyers Rd, Spotsylvania, VA 22551
REGISTRATION:  7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.
RACE TIME:  9:00 a.m.
REGISTER: (Rikki's 5K Run/Walk in search bar)
Registration Fee:   $25.00
Race Day Registration Fee:   $30.00 
Deadline for online registration 10/31/16
Phone:   540-207-2829
Contact:  Dennis Bane,

Will you be running this year??

Registration Deadline is Oct. 31 for guaranteed tee-shirt.

Prizes:  Awards to the top male and female finishers and top 3 in each age group (19-under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 and over.  Team award for the team with the most runners and walkers.  Prize drawings after the race.

Entry Forms can be picked up at:   Re-Tail Thrift Store, 360 Farm and Pet, Ed's Awards and Engraving, Harvest Market, and Lucky Road Running Shop.

Donations of pet food and/or supplies for Rikki's Refuge critters will gratefully be accepted.

Hounds at Hazelwood
Saturday, Nov. 5th, 11 am to 3 pm.

Rikki's Refuge will be here!
A fun fair for the family about greyhounds and sighthounds.
Where: Hazelwood Farm, 5325 Harrison Rd., Fredericksburg, VA 22407
Talk with adoption groups, enjoy shopping, food, face painting, pony rides!
See the greyhounds run!
No admission charge, but donations are appreciated.
Stop by the Rikki's booth for information on the refuge.
One of our spectacular photographers will be on site so
YOU can have your DOG's picture taken for a donation to Rikki's Refuge !

**Dirt floor - wear sneakers!
***All family pets must be on a leash and current on vaccinations.
Questions? Call 540-786-9527.

A lovely 4 br 2.5 bath house nestled on three side by Rikki's Refuge has gone on the market for sale.  It's on a little over 18 acres, pool, great big barn.  MUST be ANIMAL friendly and perfect if you want to be  regular volunteer at Rikki's Refuge.  Interested in more info, ask

Fill the Barrel for Rikki's Refuge Wine Tasting
Sat Nov 12, 1-4 pm
Horton Vineyards, Gordonsville, VA

We will be inside by the fireplace with a large wine barrel to be filled with donations for Rikki's Refuge (and hopefully emptied and refilled many times). Anyone that brings a donation gets free wine tasting. There will also be a food truck there that day for nums. Opie will be attending.
For more details write to

Paint your Pet night at Re-Tail!
Friday, Nov. 18, 6:30 p.m.

Cost is $55 per person. Instructors will help you paint an 11"x14" portrait of your pet!

Event Code: WD4080

Saturday, November 19

Mark your calendars! Join us for our Annual ThanksLiving Tour and Animal-Friendly Potluck Celebration!

We celebrate the lives of our beautiful resident turkeys (and all of our beloved animals) - we dine WITH our friends, not on our friends. Join us for a TOUR of Rikki's Refuge where we will bring a feast of produce and goodness for the animals to enjoy, then we will head to our Life Center where we will celebrate the season with an animal friendly potluck (vegan and vegetarian only).

$25 or Vegan/Vegetarian Dish to Share - for more information or to RSVP, email us at
Please join us!

For more information check out our Event Page.

Thursday, Nov 24, NOON

Email to RSVP and get your ticket.

If you PROMISE to not eat any of my friends this entire holiday season, your ticket will be FREE!

It's good for YOU and good for the ANIMALS!

JOIN THE FLOCK! Will you consider making a meaningful difference in the lives of our amazing rescued turkeys at Rikki's Refuge by sponsoring one of them? For just $10.42, you can feed one turkey for an entire month and for a mere $125 you can feed one for an ENTIRE YEAR!

This holiday season, why not gift yourself, your friends, and/or your family a TURKEY SPONSORSHIP instead of a turkey dinner??

Our turkeys at Rikki’s Refuge ~ Ellie, Mr Turkey, Clementine, Lars, Claire, Tillie, and Everett ~ are sweet, playful, social birds.

And if you sponsor one of our beloved turkeys, we will email you a PDF photo of thanks of one of the kids (that you could frame to announce your gift? hint hint!). Now remember, it is only $10.42 to feed one turkey for a month, and $125 to feed one for an entire year! and put TURKEY in your payment note OR send through PAYPAL directly to  and put TURKEY in the notes section of your payment!

It really is that easy!

Kitty Litter-Ature
November 27th

Every fourth Saturday of each month bring the young ones out to red with the animals.

Pictures with Santa!!!!!
DECEMBER - Every Saturday and Sunday

Get a photo of your pet(s) with Santa! At Re-Tail, 3503 Lafayette Blvd., Fredericksburg, Va., 22408. Every Saturday and Sunday in December. Cost is $10.

You will walk out with a 4x6 photo, and we will e-mail you all of the photos taken of your pet!

"Like" our Re-Tail page to stay tuned to times offered. And let us know if we need to add a weekday to the opportunity!

Angel Trees
We put up beautiflly decorated Christmas Trees in local businesses where our donors can pick an ornament to KEEP and buy a special gift for an animal.  From bleach to keep things clean at Piggy Paradise to Wild Bird Seed ......   Donors leave their gifts under the trees ....

and this is where YOU come in !!!

We need Elves to stop by stores in Orange, Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, Culpeper, Richmond, NOVA ....  and YOUR local shop  .... to pick up donations and bring to Rikki's.

Won't YOU help us?  Let us know at

You can ask ANY store in your area if they'd like to participate, you can put up the tree, we have lots for you to use, and then just monitor donations and deliver to Rikki's !!!!


Our volunteers come out to help wrap books and gifts at Barnes and Noble in the weeks before Christmas to earn donations for Rikki's Refuge.

We have reservations to wrap in Falls Church, Fredericksburg and Charlottesville.  Will YOU please sign up to take a two hour shift wrapping .... it's all inside and warm and cozy.

Let us know which location works best for you ...

YOU can talk to the manager at YOUR local Barnes and Noble and set side  few days to wrap .... let us know so we can help you get volunteers to help and advertise the dates and times you'll be there. 

SUNDAY, December 25, 2016, NOON

Email to RSVP and get your tickets

If you PROMISE to not eat any of my friends for the holidays, your ticket will be FREE! It's good for YOU and good for the ANIMALS!

New Year's Eve Sleep Over  With Opie
December 31, 2016

Bring your own sleeping bags, and something nummy for potluck dinner, MUST like LOVE cats !!

Email and we'll tell you more as the details unfold ...

New Year's Day Tour & Nature Hike
January 1, 2017
Yes, it's getting close !!!! to get your tickets !!

Date and time TBD

Volunteer Nora has created wonderful Wool Balls right from out very own sheep !!!!  You sort and clean the wool and then felt it and create balls.  Lovely for many uses, especially as dryer balls.  Add a couple to your dryer and YOU SAVE on electricity, your load will dry in about half the time. 

Really ... we tried it right here at Rikki's Refuge ....

Lots of other fun ideas for Wool Balls ......

We're looking for about 10 VOLUNTEERS to gather one Saturday or Sunday for 3 hours or so to help prep the washed fleeces.  We can work on the deck. Pizza and drinks at the end.

Interested?  Let us know

PS ... must NOT be allergic to wool !!

Did you know that if you are a federal employee, you can give to Rikki's Refuge (Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc) through the Combined Federal Campaign?  You can also use our CFC # to give to Rikki's Refuge through the United Way, no matter where you're employed!

Another easy way to make a BIG difference!!

Did you know if you're a state employee of Virginia, that you can give to Rikki's Refuge (Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc) through the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign?


It's not too early to start thinking about Christmas shopping!

And a friend of Rikki's Refuge is throwing a Pampered Chef Fundraiser!

A percentage of sales will go directly to the animals of Rikki's Refuge!! Check it out.

Pampered Chef has some amazing kitchen tools, food products, and cookbooks for preparing food in the home! Something for every cook in your life!

Know how to create and maintain a lovely website using WordPress ?
We're looking for the purrfect volunteer to help us !!
If you have the skills and the interest please contact us

Opie can write such nice fancy letters to you ....  with all kinds of wonderful pictures and all.  He keeps claiming he's too busy eating to have time to write, so I'm sorry you've had to put up with our littler letter here.  We'll try to get Opie back on the job soon.

In the mean time, Keep up with us on Facebook and you'll get the minute to minute details about what's going on at Rikki's Refuge .... you'll be the first to see the new residents .... and the first to know about up coming events !!!

Rikki's Refuge

Opie and Vincent's Page

Duke's Page
Hey, Duke needs a hooman volunteer to help him type, if you'd like to be the one, let us know at

Re-Tail Thrift Store in Fredericksburg

The Duke Thomas Peabody Antique and Collectables Shoppe in Culpeper

Opie's and Mom's Purrsonal Profile

Opie's Edibles for Fun Animal Friendly Recipes and Cooking Tips:

Vincent D. Cat's Gathering Place, a place to hang out, chat, and have fun

Kitty Litter-Ature

Rikki's Crazy Cat Person Club

For the Love of Black Cats

Our Website
which needs help getting up to date .... if you "do" WordPress and would like to help, let us kow

 Your Pumpkin Hauling Team,

We're so looking forward to meeting YOU to help us get those pumpkins to Rikki's Critters