When Happily Ever After Is Hundreds of Miles Away
Sep 18

When Happily Ever After Is Hundreds of Miles Away


Transporting animals is a critical part of volunteer work at BARCS. Thanks in part to our partnerships with Franky Fund clinics and rescue organizations, we have animals coming to and going from BARCS for a variety of reasons. While these trips are usually pretty short, one dedicated volunteer and foster, Asta O., has gone above and beyond transporting animals to their happily ever afters. In her words, read what has inspired her to take the long drive to North Carolina...


When my 18-year-old cat passed away, I donated all of our cat related items to BARCS. Three weeks later, though, I realized that my house felt too empty without a cat, so I took a foster introductory class at BARCS... and had to replace all the supplies that I donated earlier. 


As I got more involved with BARCS, I started transporting animals. I had been transporting cats, dogs and wildlife to veterinary clinics and rescues in the Baltimore area when the need for a longer trip arose. 


The Goathouse Refuge, a rescue located outside Pittsboro, NC, was willing to take in three older cats with some health issues who had been at BARCS for a long time. A volunteer from the Goathouse met me in Richmond and transported the cats to Pittsboro. The trip was a bit noisy, as one of the cats sang his entire repertoire all the way down. I dreamt of meowing cats the next night.


The more I found out about the The Goathouse Refuge, the more curious I became to see the place. I read on their website that Siglinda Scarpa, who founded the refuge, had 200 cats on her property and was willing to give sick old cats a happy retirement. So when the opportunity came to drive all the way down to Pittsboro, I jumped at the chance. 



The six hour trip was definitely worth it. The Goathouse is a truly magical place. When I left, I felt revived and ready for the long trip home.


The third time around, I took an old dog, Zeusy, and an old cat, KC, with me. Since I was traveling with a large dog in addition to the cat, my husband came along to help take care of the animals. 


For each trip, I try to be well prepared. I take food, water, bowls, toys and a litter pan. I stop at least every two hours to check on everyone, give the kitties access to the litter pan, clean up potential accidents, feed my elderly gang, play with them and pet them. 


Notably, I have not lived with a dog for more than 20 years, so I was a bit rusty in taking care of one. Zeusy proved to be the perfect dog for rusty beginners and was the ideal travel companion. When he was not napping, he sat in the middle of the back seat and smiled from ear to ear. We took him for walks at rest stops along the way. Fortunately, there are plenty of rest areas on this route!



I don’t mind driving longer distances and I take great pleasure in being able to help these hard-to-adopt animals to live out their lives at the Goathouse Refuge. I would love to take a fourth trip to the Goathouse Refuge to see Siglinda and her kitties again and see how my sweet travel companion Zeusy is doing.