CFC News

Moving forward matching gift cover rev


Dear Friends & Supporters,  It is with great pleasure and gratitude that I present to you our Moving Forward! $10,000 Matching Gift Challenge!  Beginning now through September 15, 2021, our matching gift donor will match your donation in any amount, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000!   Caring For Creatures is blessed to have an awesome circle of supporters that ranges far and wide. Our Matching Gift Challenge donor, Donna Horan, is one of those awesome, long-time supporters and volunteers. Donna is out at the sanctuary twice a week and also contributes her time and energy to fundraising projects like baking and our bandana sales – both of which suffered as a result of Covid but are making a comeback.   Thank you, Donna, for providing this much-needed opportunity for the CFC animals.Amidst all the craziness, fear and unimaginable loss of the past 15 months, those of us in animal rescue relied on our daily routines to help keep us going and remain somewhat sane. Pandemic or not, the animals still needed to be fed and their areas cleaned. There were still at-risk animals seeking help. And, like always, the animals provided the love and the feeling that all is well that we desperately needed. As we cared and provided for them, they returned the favor. The phrase – we’re all in this together –   became more than mere words. It became a way of living that, hopefully, becomes a part of our new normal. As we cautiously begin the recovery process and expand our footsteps beyond our personal safe zones, we look forward to getting out and about into the community and sharing smiles and laughter once again.

How will this $10,000 Matching Gift Challenge help us Let me share just a few of the ways your gift to this campaign will help the sanctuary. A portion of the dollars will go to fund our From Nose To Tail Medical Fund (see Page 3 for more details). Another percentage of the dollars raised will go to support the cost of our amazing staff who faithfully provide high-quality care every day to around 200 animals. Thankfully, during the year of Covid, CFC qualified for and received two PPP forgivable loans. This made it possible for us to keep our entire staff working! Otherwise, we would have been forced to cut hours and/or lay off critically   needed personnel. A true blessing. Lastly, a portion of your gifts will help us buy dog and cat food and cat litter.  Food and litter alone will run at least $2,500 every month. As you can see, your gift – in any amount – will directly support the health and wellbeing of the animals under our care.    We invite you to help us Move Forward by sending a gift to help CFC meet Donna’s $10,000 Matching Gift Challenge. 

All at CFC – the animals, staff and devoted volunteers – are grateful for your support of our work through the good times as well as the challenging ones. Through it all, the animals directly benefit from your generosity. Lives are saved and enhanced because of you. We also thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts – they are received in the hearts of all at Caring For Creatures.Please keep reading! We’ve crammed in as many updates as we could! (Read the entire newsletter by clicking on the following link: MOVING FORWARD MG newsletter.)

  • Sincerely,
  • Mary K. Birkholz
  • President & Founder


If you wish to donate now via our secure website, click HERE and select “Moving Forward Matching Gift Campaign” on the Donation Designation              drop-down menu. Your donation in any amount will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000!




Covid procedures web rev

In an effort to protect our staff so we can continue to care for our 200+ residents, we’re taking the following precautions:

We are operating by appointment only.  We are doing our best to receive visitors outside to limit foot-traffic in our buildings.  Any visitors to the sanctuary must wear a mask when entering the office or when in any of our buildings.


Adoptions are by appointment only.  We are only scheduling appointments for showings with approved applicants. If you are interested in adopting from us, please submit an application on our website – this can be done under our adopt/foster tab located at that top of our website page. Once we have completed review of an application, we will reach out to the applicant to schedule a time to visit sometime during our office hours which are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm. Due to the high volume of applications we are still receiving, the average time to complete review is 2 weeks. Please do not plan on visiting the sanctuary until you have a confirmed appointment with us.


At this time, we are not holding our required volunteer orientation for new volunteers, and are not accepting new volunteers or community service groups at the sanctuary.


We are still accepting item-donations here at the sanctuary during our regular operation hours.  We do ask that you please call the office at 434-842-2404 to make us aware of when you will be dropping off an item so we can provide further instructions that are dependent on the type of item you are donating.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.  We’re hopeful that by Spring of 2021 things will have improved enough for us to re-evaluate our procedures and open our doors more to the public in a safe and thoughtful way.

Med fd 3 webCaring For Creatures is dedicated to providing high-quality medical care for each animal who comes to us for help. In addition to routine care such as vaccines, parasite control, regular bloodwork diagnostics, and testing for heartworm, feline leukemia and FIV, the sanctuary also pays for spaying/neutering, treatment for heartworm disease, dental work, x-rays, and any orthopedic or other surgery for which the need arises.

As you might guess, taking care of the animals in the sanctuary through veterinary care and medical supplies is one of our largest expenses!  On average, we spend $3,500 each MONTH on veterinary/medical supplies. That’s $43,000 annually!

Our goal is to maintain an ongoing balance of $4,000 in this fund to help offset these expenses.

Please help us reach our goal!  Donate online today by clicking here.   Select “Nose to Tail Medical Fund” on the Donation Designation drop-down menu.   Please consider setting up a monthly recurring payment – Any amount you can give on a monthly basis would be a huge help!

Or, mail your gift to Caring For Creatures, 352 Sanctuary Lane, Palmyra, VA 22963.  Note “Nose to Tail Medical Fund”.  Your gift of any size will be greatly appreciated!

Be sure to follow our Nose to Tail Medical Fund Campaign daily on facebook!

These days Eli can’t seem to stop smiling, and here’s why: To say that 2020 has been a tough year for many of us would be an understatement, and Eli is no exception. Eli came to us from a shelter in North Carolina. Due to COVID-19, that shelter closed, and Eli, stressed from shelter life, needed to get out. To make matters worse, Eli was sick with tick-related illnesses and heartworms. Things were looking bleak, and the shelter put out a call for help on his behalf. Eli’s luck changed dramatically when CFC spoke up for him and welcomed him to the sanctuary. When word spread of this new development, donations poured in from all over the East Coast to cover his medical treatment. After his mandatory rest and recuperation, Eli recently received a clean bill of health, and he is more than ready to embark on the next leg of his journey!  We’re hoping 2021 will continue on this positive trend and wind up much better than it started. He has one more obstacle to overcome: finding a home of his own! With his sweet temperament and playful demeanor, we think Eli would fit in well with just about any family situation–you name it, Eli’s your guy.

A Word from Eli

“Don’t let my handsome graying brows and beard fool you– I have plenty of energy and desire to go and do and play and go and do some more. People tell me I am a good-natured, gentle, friendly, and playful yet easy-going guy who loves people (and the treats they dole out!), going for walks, playing with toys of all kinds, and fetching tennis balls. When people approach my pen, I lean my whole body against the fencing to create maximum exposure for receiving pets. I love to collect toys in the exercise arena and will gently hand them to you if you want to join in on the fun.  I am also a quick learner when it comes to training and cues.

I had a great time at my extreme sleepover this winter!  My gracious hosts were able to learn a great deal about my likes, dislikes and general quirks. Overall they found me to be a wonderful houseguest! I really seemed to enjoy the cold weather, and really loved that stuff called snow, both rolling in it and eating it. I was so patient with coat and harness, even though I really wanted to go outside!  My hosts said I did great on the leash in the yard and I love sniffing around all the plants and bushes.  I am not really interested in walking in the neighborhood because those things they call cars really scare me. I want to stay far away from them!  The sidewalks were not a fave. 

Scratch me on my rear end, and I will love you forever! Stop too soon and I will move my rear end towards you to tell you when I am not finished receiving them yet! I am very respectful and do not jump on my hosts, or bark in the house (Well, maybe once when they were mixing my dinner and I got excited!) They did have these things called stairs…they confuse me!  I could do three into the house, but more than that? That’ll take practice!

Honestly, even though my hosts were super-nice, I found being in the house most of the time kind of boring. I need a yard at my forever home.  I am used to using the great outdoors to do my business, but I did make one mistake on a big hibiscus plant. It was so big that I thought it was a tree! I did check out what they were having for dinner, but I know better than to beg, so I went and lay down. I even left a potato chip somebody dropped! They told me “no, sir” a couple of times, and I understood them.”

What I Need in My New Home 

Eli will definitely be slightly nervous when he is adopted, and will need time by himself and with you at first. He would be happy to be an only dog. If you have another dog, CFC would be happy to set up a meet-and-greet to make sure everyone agrees it’s a good fit. He can handle the other cats and dog-friendly dogs, but should be introduced slowly over time, maybe as much as two weeks, with lots of love. He needs a fence around the yard, preferably at least 5 feet tall, and he need long walks each day. He will be okay with children, but please be sure to tell them he needs his space and not to jump all over him. Really, Eli will be a model dog once he has had a chance to settle into his new home!

Sierra May 2021Adopted in 2014 but returned to us five years later, Sierra is one of the sweetest cats around.  She’s quick to trust and rewards petting with gentle headbutts.  She prefers to stay in her condo but will allow you to pick her up for brief periods and will stay on your lap for a while if she’s put there.  Sierra is clearly a cat who’s comfortable with people and misses having a family of her own.  If you’d like to add her to yours, come by R1 at the Scratching Post and pay her a visit.

Learn more about Sierra here!

Kroger_logo.svg.png 800Register for The Kroger Community Rewards Program and

Help Caring For Creatures!



Register on line at

Be sure to use NPO number RN488

New online customer?  Click on ‘Sign up today’ in the ‘New Customer’ box


*   *   *   *   *   *  

Participants can shop at any Kroger store in the following states:


West Virginia

North Carolina



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.

Extreme sleepover collage Dec 2018

The Extreme Sleepover! 

Join our severe weather corps of people who assist our dogs for a brief time when we have extremes in weather.  By taking a CFC dog into your home, you will ensure that ALL of our dogs are comfortable  during extreme cold snaps and heat  waves.

If you are able to help, please click on the “Adopt/Foster” tab on the top of our home page.

Thank You!


We are once again holding our cat and dog volunteer orientations! If you are interested in volunteering, please click HERE to fill out an on line application.  

Orientations are held the third Saturday of every month.  

Dogs:  11 am – 1 pm

Cats:  1 pm – 3 pm

During orientation, you’ll get to meet our awesome animals and learn about the various ways you can help.    Attend one or both of the orientations, depending on whether you’d like to work with our dogs, cats, or both!

Dog walkers and ‘cat socialization specialists’ are always in high demand!  In addition to working one on one with our animals, volunteers are always needed to help out with various adoption and  fundraising events.

  For more information on volunteering,  click on the ‘Volunteer’ tab at the top of our webpage.

We will look forward having you become a part of our Caring For Creatures Volunteer Family!

AldenRadioSpot3 (1024x984) (800x769)

The Great American Mammal Jamboree

By Alden E. C. Bigelow


A book for all ages!

Order now from Alden’s website –, or pick up your copy at Caring For Creatures.


“Alden Bigelow weaves a mysterious tale that takes the reader on a wonderful journey, full of lessons learned and special mammal friends, and starring Jessie, the lovable narrator.”

                                                     - Dr. M.E. Adams


“Invisible cloaks, ghostly soldiers, and benevolent sabotage!  The Great American Mammal Jamboree spins a tale that compels us to suspend our disbelief as we root for the good guys to win.  While the animals in this unique fable are witty and entertaining, they underscore the serious theme of  animal cruelty and what needs to be done to combat it.

Animal lovers will delight in this lighthearted tale, but its value as a lesson for humanity makes it required reading.”

– Gerry Kruger, author of On Kruger Pond: Charlie’s Story


Here’s Alden Bigelow discussing his new book, The Great American Mammal Jamboree, with Mary Birkholz:


ALDEN BIGELOW, the voice of Caring For Creatures, teams up every week with MONTICELLO MEDIA to share news from the sanctuary and feature one of the great CFC animals waiting for his or her forever home.  Alden Bigelow is a creative genius and gifted writer with a passion for and love of animals.  He has utilized those talents along with his advertising/public relations expertise to help the 200+ animals currently in residence at CFC.  All of us at Caring For Creatures are grateful to Alden and his beautiful wife, Marjorie, for their commitment to Caring For Creatures for over seven years.  It is through their efforts that many lives are saved every year.  Alden’s literary genius has led to the publishing of several books:  Growing Up With Jemima, I Have My Reasons, Norton’s Lament and his most recent novel, Killing Time in a Southern Town.  Based on what we know of Alden, we might attribute some of his inspiration to the many animal companions he has had over the years.  Currently, Alden and Marjorie share their lives with canine, Elvis and Buddy, both adopted from CFC.


ALDEN BIGELOW, the voice of Caring For Creatures, teams up every week with MONTICELLO MEDIA to share news from the sanctuary and feature one of the great CFC animals waiting for his or her forever home.  You can listen to Alden MONDAYS/8:30 A.M. with JAY LOPEZ on GENERATIONS 102.3, and

FRIDAYS/8:07 A.M. – 8:30 A.M. – Live with JOE THOMAS, WCHV 1260AM and 107.5 FM