CFC News

Extreme sleepover picture


Got a day, a week, a month or more?

Caring For Creatures offers the following foster and foster-related programs:


Our Extreme Sleepover is a short term fostering program developed for dogs during extreme weather conditions. It gives them the opportunity of being in a home environment in addition to freeing up much-needed indoor space at the sanctuary. Depending on the weather and availability of the foster parent, it can be anywhere from 1 night to 1 week, or more.

 Long Term Fostering is primarily used to assist those dogs or cats with special needs whether physical or behavioral in nature.  Animals that must go through a long-term recovery period from a medical condition (such as heartworm treatment, fractured bone, etc.) benefit from a more home-like environment and individualized TLC.

Animals who are shy or under socialized also benefit from receiving the more one-on-one interactions a foster home can provide. This helps to socialize and prepare our animals for adoption into a forever home.  Foster homes also provide senior animals or animals who have lived in a home setting prior to coming to the sanctuary with an alternative living experience.  The time that an animal spends in a foster home can vary, depending on the situation and needs of the animal/foster person.  We’ve had people make a commitment to the animal until he/she is adopted but this doesn’t have to be the case.

Two of our volunteers are currently fostering our pets; one has helped to socialize Helen and Joanie who were trapped from a nearby cat colony and the other has taken in one of our dogs, Scotch, who had never lived in a home before.  Thanks to the efforts of these volunteers, all are now adoption ready.

Day Tripper refers to volunteers who commit to taking one or more of the sanctuary dogs out for daytime explorations and they return to the sanctuary that same day!  This may include a car ride to a park or similar area for a long walk that provides lots of new smells.  It could mean a trip into Palmyra or Charlottesville to an animal-friendly store to buy a special treat and then head home again.  It could mean a visit to the volunteer’s home for a couple of hours to learn about being inside a house and hearing house sounds (TV, phones, etc.).  It could be a walk on the downtown mall just for the fun of it.   The dogs love doing fun and different things and the activities always help round out their personalities and adoption resumes!  Individuals interested in becoming a Day Tripper are required to attend our dog volunteer orientation and work with CFC to select compatible dogs for their off-site explorations!

What are we looking for in fosters:   Prior experience with animals, a home environment that is suitable for our animal’s needs and a commitment to the animal are all qualities we look for in a potential foster parent.

How do people qualify for fostering:  Prospective foster parents will be asked to fill out a questionnaire so that we can match the animal to their home environment. Are there other pets? Children? What form of exercise will be provided? Is there a fenced yard?  How much time will the animal spend alone?  – All of this plus more is taken into consideration when matching an animal with a family.  CFC may require a home visit prior to foster placement.

What are the expectations of fosters:

CFC expects our fosters:

  • to provide a safe and loving home environment for our animals;
  • to follow any medical and feeding instructions provided by CFC;
  • to report any medical or behavioral issues to CFC immediately;
  • to provide regular updates on how our animal is doing – this information is very helpful for potential adopters;
  • to be flexible/available to transport animal to an adoption event and/or make time available for a prospective adopter to meet fostered dog/cat.

CFC will provide contact information – there will always be someone to contact with any questions or concerns. We also provide medical records, ensure the animal is current on all their shots and inform the foster parent of any behavior/medical issues.  Caring For Creatures will provide food, treats, a leash, harness, crate/condo and medical care, if required.

The best way for people to get more information:  Interested individuals should call or email for more information on the above programs.  Phone:  434-842-2404; Email:

Don't worry, Winston, you'll be back soon!

Don’t worry, Winston, you’ll be back soon!

Our new Day  Tripper program has gotten off to a great start!

Pleasant Grove Park has been really hopping lately with CFC canines thanks to our new Day Tripper Program.  Volunteers have been grabbing our dogs left and right and heading over to the park for a fun-filled day of swimming and hiking.

Every time one of our dogs goes on a day trip, they are one step closer to adoption. It may be their first time riding in a car, or putting their toes in the water. They get to meet new people and make new friends, and we get to learn a lot about them and how we can help them find their forever homes.

Don’t miss out on all the action – become a Day Tripper today!

What exactly is a Day Tripper?  

Day Tripper refers to volunteers who commit to taking one or more of the sanctuary dogs out for daytime explorations and they return to the sanctuary that same day!  This may include a car ride to a park or similar area for a long walk that provides lots of new smells.  It could mean a trip into Palmyra or Charlottesville to an animal-friendly store to buy a special treat and then head home again.  It could mean a visit to the volunteer’s home for a couple of hours to learn about being inside a house and hearing house sounds (TV, phones, etc.).  It could be a walk on the downtown mall just for the fun of it.   The dogs love doing fun and different things and the activities always help round out their personalities and adoption resumes!  Individuals interested in becoming a Day Tripper are required to attend our dog volunteer orientation and work with CFC to select compatible dogs for their off-site explorations!

To become a Day Tripper, please call our office at 434-842-2404 or email us at



If you own a vehicle of just about any type and it is no longer of use to you, please consider donating it to Caring For Creatures through Donation Line, one of the largest, most visited and trusted vehicle donation centers in America.  This service is hassle-free and there is no charge to you.  All you need is a clear title (for vehicles that are titled) and Donation Line does the rest.

 Click here to go to the Donation Line website and complete the necessary website form.  Select CARING FOR CREATURES from the list of organizations and you will be helping the animals here at Caring For Creatures.

This “vehicle” of donating has been a very fruitful one for the CFC sanctuary.

Rock volunteer spotlight 3 Dogwalk.jpg800x600Rayn and Doug Rock have been tireless volunteers at Caring for Creatures since 2002! Anyone who has ever attended a CFC event can appreciate the hard work that Rayn and Doug contribute to each and every event that they plan and manage, everything from putting up tents to working with all of the volunteers, from creating props to cleaning up when the event is over.  It’s impossible to list all of the work that goes into an event, but Rayn and Doug have stepped up to take charge of numerous events, especially the wonderful CFC Dog Walk that they helped manage for many years.

In addition to helping with major events for Caring for Creatures, the Rocks have filled just about every other volunteer role.  They’ve walked dogs, given tours, fed animals, adopted from CFC, and assisted with rescues.  The very first project they worked on was building and repairing porch roofs on several of the dogs’ houses.

Their many volunteer experiences include the Columbia rescue in 2005, where CFC assisted with the care of more than 100 animals left in extreme stress when the owner died suddenly.  It presented an incredible challenge, but Rayn and Doug were an important part of its success.

The Rocks chose to volunteer at Caring for Creatures because of how they were treated as customers.  They were looking for a no-kill shelter for a “not very nice” dog who had appeared on their property and wouldn’t leave, and most places were not interested nor equipped to help them.  CFC wasn’t well equipped either, but asked lots of question.  When Rayn and Doug said that the dog would have a home for life if he were well behaved, the support was strong and lasting and included what was for them a very important introduction to animal communication.

Rayn and Doug have a very special relationship with Caring for Creatures.  They have experienced the essence of CFC and everyone at CFC (humans and animals) can see them living CFC’s motto when you watch them in action.  That motto is “Each animal in trouble matters.  Every one counts.  Caring for Creatures is helping, one animal, one person at a time”.

Rayn’s favorite volunteer activity is providing tours to first time visitors. In her words, “To share the sights, sounds and feelings of the CFC motto brought to life with visitors is a joy”. Doug’s favorite volunteer activity is walking and spending time with Stephie. She is full of energy and appreciates so much the walks, hugs, and kisses she receives from Doug and other volunteers!  Stephie is their favorite CFC animal because she is such a love bug.

Doug was born and raised in Virginia, from Chesterfield to Richmond to Goochland.  Rayn was born in New York.  As part of a military family, she moved every two years to multiple states in the U.S. and she lived in England.  She made her way to Virginia for the 7th grade and hasn’t left.  They live with two horses (Pocket Change Charlie who is boarded with them and Zipper Jeanne, who fulfills Rayn’s childhood dream of having a horse of her own), one cat (Baby Jesus), and three dogs (Steve, Buster, and Chester).

Come visit Caring for Creatures!  If you’re lucky, maybe Doug will be there and will introduce you to Stephie and/or Rayn will be there and will give you a tour!

Marie S with Aaron3_july2015 (3).jpg resizedMarie Sokolovic has been a very special volunteer at Caring For Creatures for almost 15 years!  She is a wonderful role model for all of us. She is still walking dogs regularly at age 88.  She loves coming to this wonderful no kill sanctuary and walking a few dogs.  They love her and we love seeing her.

Before moving to Lake Monticello, Marie lived for 23 years in Babylon, Long Island, New York.  In addition to her volunteer activities at Caring For Creatures, Marie enjoys playing mahjong, and she is active in her church.

When asked about a favorite CFC animal, Marie mentions Aaron and Kia as current favorites because, in her words, “they are old and not pullers, just like me”.   Aaron is a hound mix and Kia, a black and white Labrador/hound mix, was recently adopted.

So, come on out to Caring For Creatures and meet Aaron.  Hopefully, you can meet wonderful Marie also!

You can also check out the dogs and cats at

Judy Shell resizedWe are celebrating Judy Shell’s 15th year as a dedicated volunteer at Caring for Creatures.  During her many years of service, Judy has worn many different hats, including walking dogs and providing fun outings for them as she transported them to adoption events. At these same events, she also provided baked goods available for purchase, watched over the dogs, and/or worked at the sales table.  She’s also known for her hot dog grilling at Open Houses held at Caring for Creatures.  Judy is a wonderful dog walker because she is so calm.  The dogs love being around her.

In addition to her volunteer activities at Caring for Creatures, Judy and her husband have adopted two dogs from CFC.  In 2002 they adopted Trapper, who passed over the Rainbow in 2014. In 2005, they adopted Rusty who is a very happy member of the Shell family.  Rusty is a medium sized hound mix who gets very excited about going for walks in the neighborhood and at the dog park.

Judy Shell was born on Long Island and lived there until 1976.  She and her husband Forney found their way to Lake Monticello via California in 2000, and soon after they found Caring for Creatures.  In addition to her volunteer activities, Judy enjoys line dancing and ballroom dancing with Forney.  She plays Mahjong, enjoys reading mysteries, and does oil painting.  Forney works at Monticello and is a travel agent.  They also enjoy cruising and visiting children and grandchildren in Kentucky and Nevada.

When asked if she has a favorite CFC dog, Judy talks about Nova.  In her words, “She is a very sweet and loving girl.  She gets all happy and wiggly when I go to her pen to walk her.  She is a nice walker on her leash.” Nova, a 50 pound hound mix, is 9 years old.  She was born at the Sanctuary, adopted, and then returned in 2013 when her owner could no longer take care of her.

You can meet Nova at Caring for Creatures, or you can check her out at  If you head out to CFC, you might see Judy too!

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Order our new short sleeve special edition T-shirt and wear your support for the sanctuary!

  CFC’s new Friends Of The Sanctuary t-shirt design was a huge success as we quickly sold out of our long-sleeve edition.We now have a supply of short-sleeve shirts with the same design which will be perfect for the warmer weather.

The shirt is short-sleeve, sport grey with 2-color Friends of the Sanctuary* imprint on the back and a 2-color small CFC logo on the front.

*One of our dedicated volunteers, Cheryl McGruder, who has an amazing artistic talent, has generously given us the gift of this custom design.

Sizes:  Small/Medium/Large/X-Large 

Price:  $15.00

Plus Shipping and Handling:  (Not needed if picking up at sanctuary)

P&H 1 Shirt = $4.00

P&H 2 or more = $5.00

 Order by mail or on line:

1)  Send your check to:  Caring For Creatures, 352 Sanctuary Lane, Palmyra, VA 22963, along with your shipping address, or let us know if you would prefer to pick up your shirt(s) at Caring For Creatures.

2)  You may place your order on line by clicking here.

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Page and Tye

Page Gifford has been a very active volunteer at Caring for Creatures since 2002, when she adopted Holly. Holly was a very shy dog and difficult to train, but with Cheryl Faulkenburry’s help and her own persistence, Page learned to work with Holly and they became best friends.  As a result of this experience, Page has continued to help train dogs at Caring for Creatures, including difficult dogs.  “They are the most challenging and the most rewarding,” Page said.  The training that Page does is so important in helping the dogs to be ready for adoption.

In addition to the training that Page does, she also walks dogs, participates at adoption events, washes dishes, and works with staff and volunteers.  The friends she has made at Caring for Creatures (human and canine), keep her coming back year after year.

Born in New York City, Page lived in New York, Connecticut, and New Hampshire before moving to Virginia in 2001.  Soon after, she was volunteering at CFC as well as becoming active in the local community.  This very talented lady is a writer for the Fluvanna Review, has been in or directed several plays with the Persimmon Tree Players, has had her artwork displayed in the County and led art workshops.  Page is a member of the Board of the Fluvanna County Arts Council and Vice-President of the Fluvanna Art Association and chair of the Wildlife Committee at Lake Monticello.

Page shares a house at Lake Monticello with her brother John Campbell (Cam), Tye, a fox hound-collie mix, and Benton, a beagle-coon hound.  Holly, who started Page on her role as trainer, passed away in 2010.

When asked about a favorite dog at the Sanctuary, Page mentions Scotch and Rudy.  In her own words, “Rudy is excited every time he sees me, because he knows we are going for a long walk and he loves it and he’s a great trail walker.  He’s good with humans and bonds easily.  Scotch is smart and has learned his training well.  Scotch, unlike some of the others, always showed his need for love, and it was touching.  Just looking into his eyes I could always see it. I am glad he finally found the ideal companion for himself. It’s great when they get adopted and find their new best friend for life.”

Come meet Page and Rudy at CFC.   You can also check out Rudy and all the dogs and cats at

Here’s Page with her dogs Benton and Tye.

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Join the Caring For Creatures Postcard Revolution and single-handedly make a positive difference in the world!

What is the Postcard Revolution?

With news of extreme violence and discontent arriving with alarming regularity, we often experience increasing levels of fear, sadness and helplessness.  In the Postcard Revolution, you are armed with fun postcards.  You add a brief message of love and good cheer, and mail to a friend, family member, or co-worker – anyone and everyone.  The more the merrier!  This is one revolution we feel will result in lots of smiles and positive feelings.  It is our hope that this Postcard Revolution will, in some small way, provide a way to take back our power by choosing to extend a little love and kindness back into the world.

The postcards are sold in a pack of ten 4″ x 6″ cards – five each of one of our sanctuary dogs and cats (see below).  The cost is $10.00 per pack of ten.  You choose whether you would like to pick them up at CFC  or have them shipped to you at an additional charge of $2.50 regardless of how many packs of 10 you order.

$10.00/package of 10 postcards

5 Lucille (dog) and 5 Julie (cat) cards

The dollars raised by the postcard sales will go directly to offset the costs of caring for the 200 animals who currently reside at Caring For Creatures.

Click here to order today!

Connie with Grover (800x600)Connie Seyller has been a terrific volunteer at Caring for Creatures since 2006.  She is one of those special volunteers at CFC who is happy to do whatever is needed, including walking dogs, bathing dogs, doing dishes, and helping with fundraising events.  She also “sanctuary sits”, which entails staying at the Sanctuary when Mary Birkholz is away, caring for Mary’s animals and being one of the overnight guardians of the CFC animals.  She has even provided some lovely embroidered towels that are sold at the fundraising events.  In addition, Connie and her husband adopted Grover from the Sanctuary in 2007.  Connie said it was love at first sight.

In 2006, Connie was looking for a volunteer opportunity that could combine her love of animals with her love of walking/hiking.  Sue Scott, her friend and neighbor, told Connie about Caring for Creatures and invited her to come out with her.  Connie was hooked from the beginning.  In her words, “I enjoy every moment I spend with the animals.  Also, I have met so many great people while volunteering there, other volunteers as well as staff. I really think I get as much enjoyment out of it as the animals do.”

Connie was born in Washington, D.C. and has lived in Virginia since her marriage, more than 41 years ago.  She and her husband Phil moved to Lake Monticello after they both retired from working with the Defense Department.  They share their home with their four legged son Grover, who keeps the home fires burning while Connie is walking, shopping, and spending time at CFC, and Phil is golfing.  Connie calls herself a “golf widow”, but doesn’t mind because she has Caring for Creatures and her four legged friends to keep her busy. Connie and Phil also love to travel and have travelled far and wide, including Tanzania, China, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe, Peru, and Ecuador.

When asked about her favorite dog and/or cat at the Sanctuary, Connie says that she has a soft spot for Maria because she was Grover’s pen mate when he was at CFC.  She is also very fond of Scotch and Cosmo, those furry dogs in black.  She adds that all of these canines would be loving and loyal companions!

Come visit Caring for Creatures and you can meet Maria, Scotch, and Cosmo!  You might even see Connie walking or washing dogs, doing dishes, or helping in any way needed.  Before you come out, you can always check out the creatures at