Page 3


closeups 6

Melvin Brown & Rae Moriarty A stellar combination


Solving Everyday Problems Chris Muldrow


barbara taylor hart ....eye for composition


porch talk 4

on the porch...life in fredericksburg Messages


“rappahannock” ...Award winning film



Our Heritage: windows -soul to an historic home history’s stories.: fredericksburg canal


companions: winter weather wellness


emancipated patients: the story of josh hardy


Senior Care: resilient aging


wellness: big impact of small organisms natural health: placenta encapsulation


scene & heard...in the ‘burg!


VA Wineries... off-beat wines wins gold


fxbg music scene joanna smith




renew: life patterns valya karcher


fredericksburg sketches


from my porch: go fly a kite poetryman:latency autoknown: green

1st Friday gallery trolley


downtown buzz: main st 2nd anniversary


a new way of doing business


vino: noche


season’s bounty: in like a lion


Cooking with Kyle Mason dixon cafe


local night life: colonial tavern


Calendar of events


A Safe Haven for Animals By Christina Ferber


...And more!

breakout game: can you beat the clock?



choosing to see: domestic violence


what the doc saw...photography of seth craig


val folden: coaching football & finances


My Favorite Places: march pick, cmor

Cover Photo By Sue Henderson

Luck of the Irish

Rikki’s Refuge

What do a blind dog, a turkey who thinks he’s a chicken, and a three legged cat have in common? They are all the lucky residents of Rikki’s Refuge, a 450 acre no-kill, all species animal sanctuary located off of Route 20 in Orange. Kerry Hilliard (above) opened the refuge in 1998 as a way to help the animals that no one else could. “My plans included retiring to a tropical island, not a farm,” says Hilliard,

who is also a local realtor. “But when I saw the property something in me felt like an animal sanctuary belonged there.” Circumstances that lined up perfectly, including a significant donation from Hilliard’s mother, Louise, allowed her to buy the property and started her on the path to being an animal refuge owner and director. She hasn’t looked back since. The sanctuary is named after Rikki Tikki Tavi, the kitten who r a i s e d Louise’s spirits after a severe illness. “We inherited cats, dogs, and chickens with the property, and after hauling away 50 dump trucks full of trash, opened it up to farm animals that don’t always have as many options as household


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March 2015

Front porch fredericksburg

pets,” says Hilliard. Animals get to Rikki’s through various means. Stray emus are picked up by animal control and brought in, pot belly pigs wind up there after they become too big to continue as house pets, and sheep sometimes come from breeding programs at Universities after animal rights activists get involved. Wild donkeys are brought to

the sanctuary after being confiscated by The Bureau of Land Management, mail

order chickens make it there after being left behind, and shelters and pounds will contact Rikki’s with animals that aren’t adoptable. “We specialize in the animals that can’t be adopted. We take them all: the elderly, the handicapped, and those with various health issues. We have a few threelegged animals and blind animals, as well as some with ill personalities,” says Hilliard. “We rarely allow adoption of our animals, but when we do there’s intensive screening involved. We put a lot of physical and emotional time into these animals, so we want to be sure they go to homes that will treat them as well as we do.” 21 species of animals call Rikki’s home and an army of volunteers and paid staff help manage the 1,300 animals each day. Hilliard has become a fast learner of taking care of each individual species and the unique personalities that they possess. “We’ve got roosters who live with the cats because they can’t get along with the other birds, and we have to keep one of our turkeys apart from the rest of his species because he thinks he’s a chicken. We’ve been asked to take some of the National Zoo’s alligators, a herd of TBpositive elephants, and a herd of buffalo at one time or another, but we won’t take any animal unless we are able to care for them appropriately,” says Hilliard. Rikki’s offers various programs that allow people to get involved either as a volunteer or visitor. Run completely on donations, fundraising such as “Adopt a Species” programs, membership drives, and the “Re-Tail” store on Lafayette Blvd. keep the sanctuary going and the animals fed. Tours (held most Sundays) and special holiday programs, like the upcoming Easter Egg Hunt, help to educate the public on the plight of the animals housed at the sanctuary. “Even though it isn’t the plan I had for my life, I realize a peace working with these animals that I couldn’t find anywhere else,” says Hilliard. To find your peace and help the animals at the same time, visit rikkisrefuge.org and find out other ways that you can help.

Christina Ferber is a teacher, writer and a mom who loves all creatures large and small.

front porch fredericksburg

March 2015 2015


Profile for Virginia Grogan

Front Porch Fredericksburg ~ March 2015  

Front Porch Fredericksburg ~ March 2015