CFC News


Sue Scott has been a dedicated volunteer at Caring for Creatures since 2005.  She is a faithful and tireless dog walker, volunteers at adoption events and craft fairs, and is well known for the Holiday Gift Bags she creates and sells every holiday season on behalf of Caring for Creatures.

For Sue, walking dogs entails much more than just a walk.  She also provides socialization, plays with the animals, and bathes them. The pooches all know they can count on Sue for regular walks and lots of love!

Sue’s work at adoption events and craft fairs has many goals, including spreading the word about the Sanctuary, seeking donations, sharing her knowledge about the dogs up for adoption, and selling hand crafted items made by other volunteers.

Sue heads up the popular Holiday Gift Bag fundraiser. The $5-donation dog bags include a bandana and either a rope toy or a tennis ball, along with snacks.  The cat gift bag includes homemade catnip pouches with fresh catnip, toys and snacks.  The bags are available at pet shops, veterinarian offices, and many local businesses in Fluvanna and Charlottesville.   This is a great fundraiser for Caring for Creatures.  With the help of other hardworking volunteers, Sue raises a minimum of $5,000 through this campaign every year!

It was back in 2005, that Sue saw a notice seeking volunteers for an animal sanctuary.  As described, it combined her lifelong interest in volunteer work with her love of animals so she decided to give it a try.  She has loved every minute and has convinced many of her friends to join her at the Sanctuary.  What Sue loves most is seeing a frightened, abandoned animal learn to trust and enjoy a safe and happy life while residing at the Sanctuary.

Sue Scott was born in the Bronx, lived in New York for her first 29 years, in Connecticut after that, and has been in Virginia for 13 years and counting.    She lives with her husband, Bob, who is also a CFC volunteer.  They have been married for 47 years and share their Lake Monticello home with Macey, the third dog she has adopted from Caring for Creatures.  In addition to her volunteer work, Sue and Bob enjoy traveling and visiting National and State Parks with their grandsons!

Asked who her current favorite CFC dog and/or cat is, Sue talks about Kia, a 15 year old dog who has been at the Sanctuary since a very large emergency rescue undertaken by Caring for Creature in 2005.  She describes Kia as “a bit shy, but full of love, tail wags and belly rub cravings.  She is polite and a good leash walker who has waited all these years for a home of her own and that special person to love.” Come meet Sue at Caring for Creatures, and you can meet Kia, too.  They’ll be glad to see you!

MCRUDERS_with cats_aug2014 (1024x815) (800x637) CCraig and Cheryl McGruder love the 150 cats and kittens who reside at Caring for Creatures. They have been enthusiastic volunteers for 10 years.  In the beginning, they volunteered the first Monday of each month, cleaning one of the rooms at the Scratching Post.  They helped the staff as they got to know and love the cats.  Eventually once a month was not enough and they started coming every Monday.

It is almost impossible to name the number and variety of tasks and projects that Craig and Cheryl have undertaken for CFC.  They do laundry (and put up a clothes line to help with this task) and dishes (no small task with 150 felines).  They have replaced the countertop surfaces in each cat room.  They built cat steps and benches and patio tables.  They had a Memory Garden constructed in honor of their parents, which provides a wonderful place for everyone to enjoy the peaceful Sanctuary that is Caring for Creatures.

The McGruders clean the leukemia positive room, which contains, in their words, “some of the most awesome cats at CFC. Watching them play and zip around the room is so rewarding and even if we have them for only a short time we know they are safe, warm, well fed, and loved without limits.”

Craig McGruder was born in Richmond and grew up in Henrico County.  Cheryl moved to Henrico County when she was very young.  They met in high school and married in 1969.  They have lived in Goochland County since 1977. They got to know Caring for Creatures initially when they were volunteering with a small cat rescue group in Richmond.  They had a FIV+ kitty named Mr. T and CFC agreed to accept him.  They were so impressed with the Sanctuary and its mission that they promised themselves that they would volunteer at CFC when they retired (a promised they kept!).

When asked about their favorite part of volunteering at Caring for Creatures, Cheryl responds, “The feeling I have at the end of the day that we have helped in some small way.  Mary is such an amazing woman that you just want to help in any way you can.”  Craig adds, “Interacting with all the different kitty personalities.  We mourn when one passes and we celebrate when they go to their forever loving homes.”  They both love watching a shy, scared and sometimes terrified cat realize that everything is going to be OK.  Seeing that stark fear leave their eyes to be replaced by trust and love is so rewarding.  They also have met some very special humans at CFC.

When they are not at the Sanctuary, Craig and Cheryl live with 9 very spoiled kitties ranging in age from 4 to 15.  They also foster a very petite 4 year old FIV+ kitty from CFC named Porsche as she recovers from dental surgery.  Five of their cats were adopted from CFC and four were rescues from Richmond.  Sitting in their sun room reading the Sunday paper surrounded by these wonderful creatures is one of their favorite activities.

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Donna and Lulu

Donna and Lulu

Donna Horan has been a really “sweet” volunteer for Caring for Creatures since 2005.  She began making and selling baked goods soon thereafter, donating the proceeds to CFC.  Her baking has satisfied many a sweet tooth and bread lover!  When Donna isn’t baking, she is busy walking CFC dogs, washing them, helping with fund raisers, and transporting dogs to and from CFC’s very helpful Veterinarians.  Donna also sells dog bandanas, cat toys, and she has just added cat nip bags, all of which provide much needed revenue for the Sanctuary.

With all of her caring for Creatures activities, it’s hard to believe that Donna has time for anything else, but she loves cooking and baking, working around her great house, traveling and cruising, and having family and friends come to visit.

Donna and her late husband Bernie lived in Hicksville Long Island, New York before moving to Lake Monticello.  They built their house in 2003 and moved in in 2005.  Soon after, persuasive Sue Scott (see other Volunteer Spotlights) came knocking and asked Donna if she liked animals and would be interested in helping at an animal sanctuary walking dogs once a week.  Donna said yes and the rest is history.

When asked who her favorite dog is, Donna chose Lulu, a five year old black and tan beauty.  “She really is beautiful, she’s house trained and just a sweet girl who needs a loving family,” Donna said.

Donna’s husband died in 2012. She is sustained by the love of her friends at Lake Monticello, her family, and the unconditional love of her four legged friends at Caring for Creatures.  CFC is a peaceful spot to walk dogs, and the rural setting and the quiet helps to reduce stress.  In her words, “you get to escape for several hours from the craziness of the world.”  She especially appreciates the “thank you” and the “I am glad to see you” doggie kisses, and the barking and tail wagging when she arrives at the Sanctuary.  It makes her day!

Come find out for yourself why Caring for Creatures is such a special place.  You can meet Lulu and the other dogs and cats at CFC.  You might even see Donna walking or washing dogs.  You can also check out the dogs and cats at

adoption special cat dog

Help Us Celebrate our 30th Anniversary!


As a thank you to our community for helping to make the past 30 years possible, we will be offering discounted rates on select adoptions throughout 2019!


Adopt ANY  CAT for $30 – Includes kittens!

(Regular adoption price is $75)

Adopt one of our SENIOR DOGS

(Ages 8+) for $30

(Regular adoption price is $125)

Visit our website to browse our adoptable pets and submit an application.

Caliope_Kenja flags in placeHelp our sanctuary animals by sponsoring a Faces of Love Flag!  Your gift will go directly towards much-needed food and medical care for our 200 residents.

Even though our Matching Gift Challenge has ended, we are continuing to offer flag sponsorships. They make a great gift for loved ones and gift cards will be sent to those you choose to honor.

Our Faces of Love flags are also a wonderful way to honor a CFC animal (current or past resident or someone you have adopted from CFC).  Your tax-deductible gift of $125 goes directly towards the care of our 200 cats and dogs currently in residence.  Order on line by clicking here, or download a copy of our reply card here and mail it along with your check or credit card information to CFC, 352 Sanctuary Road, Palmyra, VA 22963.

Who are the faces of love?  They are animals who have graced the sanctuary over the past 30 years.  A great majority of them endured neglect or mistreatment from a human or were abandoned by them; some were left homeless when their human died; others are dealing with a chronic or disabling health condition which requires daily medication, a special diet or other form of support. After years of helping these animals and being helped by them, we wish to honor these Faces of Love in a way for all to see, enjoy, and respect.

Please consider donating to this worthy cause.  Your beautiful act of kindness will help so many animals with nowhere else to go.

Dani website 3

Pet Supplies Plus Charlottesville is helping Caring For Creatures!

Donate a 5 lb. (or larger) bag of Redford Naturals and receive a 10% discount off your order!

This offer is on-going and good on Redford Naturals grain-free dry cat food

- or -

Any variety Redford Naturals dry dog food


Pet Supplies Plus Charlottesville
1240 Seminole Trail
Charlottesville, VA 22901

BBQ Buddy and crew3 good rev

Our first annual Cure the Critters fundraiser was a huge success!  A huge thank you goes out to our sponsor, Buddy’s Banging Que, Event Coordinator, Alexander Stone of James River Good Works Group, Musicians Ethan Hamburg and Four Hits and a Miss, our volunteers and to everyone who participated in this event to make it a huge success!

Thank you Scottsville Monthly  for publishing this News Release:

Cure the Critters Fundraiser A Success

The Scottsville area community showed strong support for homeless animals at the May 20 barbecue benefit held to raise funds for Palmyra’s Caring for Creatures animal sanctuary and its Medical Needs Fund.  Cure the Critters event sponsor Buddy’s Banging Que served up a “sell-out” 270 barbecue sandwich plates, for which appreciative diners dropped $2471 into the Caring for Creatures donation jar at the end of the food line.  And there was more to it than the great food.

A fun time was had by the event attendees, as they enjoyed live music by local artists Four Hits and a Miss and Ethan and His Keyboards; held, hugged and petted adorable puppies that motivated five spontaneous adoption applications; judged a pet fashion contest; and viewed displays exhibited by several local service organizations.

Caring for Creatures President Mary K. Birkholz was moved to say “Even after 30 years of doing this work, I am always moved by the generosity of others and the deep caring so many in our central Virginia community have for animals — especially those who have been neglected or abandoned. All of us at CFC send our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this event possible.”

Owen kuranda bed CR“Hi! I’m Owen and as you can see, I love sleeping on my kuranda bed every night! But not all my friends here at the sanctuary are as lucky as I am. They’re hoping they can have a kuranda bed of their very own too! Can you help? Kuranda Shelter Beds has made it easy to order and have a bed shipped directly to Caring For Creatures. Simply click here to order and they’ll take care of the rest:

Oh, one more thing. I’m here waiting for my forever home! Volunteers say I’m a friendly, fun-loving guy. Click here to read more about wonderful me.

Love, Owen”

Dawn 800x600

It’s Dawn! Time to wake and meet this dainty, petite brown tabby girl and start a beautiful and rewarding partnership. You provide the love and adoration and she will contribute loyalty, kindness, and everlasting devotion to the union. While she’s always among the first to greet visitors to her room and she welcomes petting and attention, she can’t sit still for too long before she’s off of your lap and on to other adventures. Capturing fuzzy mice and knocking balls around can be awfully time consuming you know. Don’t let her diminutive size mislead you, for she has a big purrsonality full of light and life. She adores people and she delights in being brushed even if her short fur doesn’t demand such grooming. She gets along very well with her roomies and would flourish with another cat, or cats. One of her volunteer admirers says that there is something ethereal about her, tiny and fragile looking but yet quick and energetic. Her name befits her; what day could welcome a fresh beginning without a Dawn? She’s a funny and joyful little one who deserves a loving home of her very own. Could it be yours? Come visit and it’s just possible that it will dawn on you that you just can’t live without Dawn.

Dawn will be a year old in June.  Click here to read more about this precious girl.

T shirt each animal




We love our new t-shirts and we think you will too!  Kudos to volunteer Cheryl McGruder for her awesome design and for sharing her artistic talents with us.

  • Color:  Ash Gray
  • Unisex Sizes:  S, M, L, XL
  • $20
  • Plus P&H:  1 shirt – $3.50; 2 or more shirts – $4.50

To place your order on line via our secure website, please click here Or, mail your check to:  352 Sanctuary Lane, Palmyra, VA 22963.  Please note ‘t-shirt’ in the memo section.


All net profits from shirt sales go to assist with medical expenses for the animals.