Firecracker (in foster) - ADOPTION PENDING! Firecracker (in foster) - ADOPTION PENDING! Read More
Willow Grace Willow Grace Read More
Skywalker (in foster) Skywalker (in foster) Read More
Alice Alice Read More
Moonbeam Moonbeam Read More
Yarrow (in foster) Yarrow (in foster) Read More
Missy 2 Missy 2 Read More
Kitty Kitty Read More
Peppa (Rosarita) Peppa (Rosarita) Read More


The Goathouse Refuge has many incredible cats in need of loving homes.

Behind the Scene

Special Stories of Special Cats Your Support Helps


Tax deductible donations and gifts of goods to help run the refuge are always welcome.

Goathouse News

Goathouse Refuge Open By Appointment Only

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Goathouse Refuge is closed to visitors beyond essential staff except by weekend appointment only.  Masks and hand sanitizing are required. If you are sick or have symptoms, please stay home for the safety of our staff and cats.
*If you are interested in adopting from us, please complete our online adoption application and you will be contacted to schedule an appointment.
*If you are interested in just visiting, please schedule an appointment here: https://calendly.com/goathouserefuge
*For questions email: goathouserefugeoffice@gmail.com and please be aware that a 24 hr notice is required.  Stay safe and we’ll see you soon!

Happy Thanksgiving from the Goathouse Refuge!

We at the Goathouse Refuge wanted to wish all of our donors, friends, and family our warmest wishes for this Thanksgiving holiday. While we all are preparing to celebrate the holiday and its traditions in very different formats from prior years, we at the Goathouse have much to be thankful for in this most unusual year even as we are anxious to close out this chapter.
While we all had to deal with the disruptions of shutdowns and unknowns of the pandemic, we are thankful for generosity of donors who stepped in so many times to help us keep the Refuge going for the cats. We are thankful that our founder, Siglnda Scarpa, celebrated her 80th birthday and came through a major surgery and health challenges. We are thankful for the research community, feline health experts and donors to enable our FIP  kitties to survive what just a few years ago was nearly always a fatal diagnosis. We are thankful for our volunteers and partnership with Cat Tales Cat Café that saw record monthly adoptions of both kittens and grown cats. 10 senior kitties age 10 and up finally left the Refuge for a forever home! We are thankful for the generous in-kind donations of cleaning supplies, bedding, food and litter.

2020 is not yet over, but the end is not far off, and we hope we will move towards a more familiar pattern with the gates of the Refuge open to visitors again! We and the kitties miss all the attention of sharing the love of the Goathouse and the cats.

We need to continue to ask and raise money to provide for the care, food and medicines for the 250 cats calling the Goathouse home. As you celebrate new Thanksgiving traditions, we hope you will remember the Goathouse and donate now or better yet, become a monthly sustainer.

Very truly yours

The Goathouse Refuge Team

To make a donation, Click on Donate button:

Or to become a Monthly Sustainer, click on Subscribe button:

Giving Tuesday is Dec. 1, 2020!

(photo courtesy of NY Times)

On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, people around the world come together to celebrate and support causes that are close to their hearts and meaningful in their lives. It’s typically the most generous day of the year. This year the Goathouse Refuge is hoping to raise $15,000 by the end of #GivingTuesday to provide food, medical care, supplies, utilities, and staffing to take care for our 200 needy kitties. This has been a great donation day for us the past two years and we are really counting on it to help us out again this year. As you consider your donation for Giving Tuesday, here is a word from our founder, Siglinda:

Why Goathouse Refuge?

When I first bought the property, it came with a gorgeous old goat named Foggy. Every winter it looked like he had put on a sweater because the front part of his body became beige and the back was white. Foggy remained here and he stayed here with me. I do identify with an old goat, so I thought it was appropriated to call this place “The Goathouse”.

Fast-forward through two decades of building and repairing and tending to all the animals that were brought or dumped here, many from kill shelters and private citizens, and the Goathouse has become their saving grace. With the great work of the “no Kill” movement, sustained by the individual rescuers and rescue organizations, the percentage of animals killed in shelters is lowering every year but is still extremely too high.

Our commitment to the dignity and welfare of the animals is firm! The Goathouse Refuge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, no-kill animal sanctuary dedicated to providing cage-free care for cats regardless of age, medical issues or disposition until a permanent loving adoptive home can be found. There are many ways to help us, including becoming a monthly sustainer (even $10 a month helps) and even putting the Goathouse Refuge in your will!

This Giving Tuesday, donations will help pay our bills, buy food and medicine, pay the wonderful people who clean, feed and care for the 200 kitties at the Refuge, and enable us to keep doing our work. In the end, but first in my heart, is the gratitude I feel toward all the committed, solid, always present people who continually help Goathouse to become the organization who gave and is giving life to so many thousands of adorable little hearts!

I do, deeply, love you all!



Goathouse 2021 Calendars On Advanced-Order

The 2021 Goathouse Refuge Calendars are almost here!

This year, we ooh and aah with the adorable theme of “Kitten Tales”. Only $15 (plus S&H). Order one today! They make great gifts for every cat lover and help support the Goathouse kitties. We expect to have them in around Thanksgiving 2020.

To order, visit our Shop page.

What a year this is turning out to be for the Goathouse Refuge!

Dear Friends,

What a year this is turning out to be for the Goathouse Refuge! While we have indeed been grappling with various challenges, the GHR has been very successfully achieving its mission and there are some genuinely exciting and promising projects in the making!

While all of us have had extraordinary challenges in our lives, we at the Goathouse are thankful for many things. We have seen tremendous generosity from our donor families, increased hard work of our volunteers, a record number of our cats adopted into forever homes; and promising developments in the works to ensure the Goathouse is a haven for cats and humans alike for many years to come.

Even though the GHR has been closed to visitors due to the Covid -19 pandemic since early Spring, we have adopted almost 300 kittens and cats so far this year! Much of this success is due to the help of our partners at the Cat Tales Cat Café in Chapel Hill. But much of it is also due to the tireless efforts of our key adoption volunteers!









Promising organizational developments are in the works. One of our large donors with board experience with feline shelters has offered to pay for the services of a nationally known sanctuary consultant with a strong track record of success. Our introductory meeting last week was wide ranging. We expect that the actual advisory services will focus on fundraising, resources and organizational policies and efficiencies.

A serious pandemic-exacerbated humane concern is spurring some exciting developments in our community and outreach efforts. We are working to enhance efforts on our planned and estate giving programs. The wide-spread “sheltering in place “and increased social isolation that the pandemic has brought, has made many people painfully aware that they would love to have a feline companion, often an older housetrained cat.

But just those who might benefit the most (the elderly, handicapped or housebound), often feel they cannot responsibly adopt, lest they might become unable to care for their animal. We are developing a program that would enable the Goathouse to stand behind these individuals (in certain specified circumstances) so they could adopt responsibly, and enjoy the warmth and love (and considerable health benefits!) that a close companion can bring! We will soon begin an outreach effort, targeting those communities that might benefit the most from this type of program.

Geo- Adopted after 11 yrs & 1 month at Goathouse

Clarka -11 yr old senior, adopted after 4 yrs at Goathouse

Finally, hard to believe, but this year the U.S. Congress (of all benefactors!!) has also given you and the Goathouse a potentially very large gift! This year and this year only, donations made to qualified charitable organizations (such as the Goathouse Refuge) before December 31st are fully deductible up to 100% of adjustable gross income (AGI) for those who itemize on their tax return; AND, the excess donation can be carried forward up to 5 years. For those that do not itemize, $300 is deductible. The qualifying deduction can be cash, in kind or appreciated stock. Please review this with your tax preparer or financial advisor. Alas, as part of the C.A.R.E.S Act, this tax minimization opportunity is available for this year, 2020, only.

Even with the context of these positive developments and the tremendous effort of our employees, this year has been one of success and struggle. You and the rest of our friends and donors have helped us through this difficult time and we are truly grateful for your support and generosity. We hope you will continue to support us as you think of those in need as this tumultuous year comes to a close and as we continue on toward what we hope will be an easier and brighter 2021!


Jeff, Helena, Susan, Julie, Randy, Meredith, Judy, Cindy, and Siglinda


To make a donation, Click on Donate button   

Or to become a Monthly Sustainer, click on Subscribe button 


Sustainers’ Matching Gift Challenge Update

A Haven for Cats! A Haven for People!

Recently, a long-time supporter and volunteer for the Goathouse Refuge was in distress over the health of one of their beloved felines. This individual has and does contribute hundreds of hours in their time for service to the Goathouse. While this story maybe sad, we felt it was important to demonstrate how the Goathouse not only cares for the cats, but for the people who care for them!

The events that transpired during these few days reminded me that the Goathouse Refuge is much more than just a sanctuary and haven for cats. It is a haven and resource for the human companions of these cats as well.

These long-time supporters are advanced ages and disabled through the effects of health and time. Mobility is an issue for them. One of their beloved pets was in physical distress and cried all through the night. They were not able to reach their normal friends, family, and caregivers. So, they sent an email please to the Goathouse and several other volunteers asking for assistance in their feline medical emergency. This was in the early morning hours.

The Goathouse is more than just a place where you go to adopt a companion or take a found animal to it. These events made me realize that the Goathouse is a community and haven of animal lovers and supporters of their human companions alike. It is a support structure of like-minded people who know the love of a cat and willing to share those feelings with an animal and other cat people all the same. The Goathouse provided bonds and friendships that go beyond a visit or adoption but extend many years into the future.

At 7 am, a volunteer drove to their home and helped them load their beloved pet into a carrier for transport to an emergency vet for them to treat and diagnose what was causing this sweet orange furball so much distress. Waiting while the vet ran tests, x-rays, etc. Unable to have surgery that day, they came to transport him back to his home and family. Once there, the volunteer tried to find a comfortable place for the cat and reviewed the medications with the owners. Everyone was hopeful he would make sufficient progress for surgery the following week.

Unfortunately, as he awoke from some of the effects of the medication, he began to whine in pain again. The owners, not wanting to bother the same volunteer, were able to contact another Goathouse supporter who transported him back to the emergency vet for additional treatments.The vet worked to stabilize and comfort him. His prognosis appeared to be improving when he suffered a stroke.Unfortunately, he did not make it. Upon hearing the news of their loss, the Goathouse volunteers rallied again to help this couple transport his remains to their home for their final goodbyes and burial.

Why such a sad story? I felt it was important to tell that the Goathouse cares about its friends and family who love their beloved feline companions (and other pets). It is a community resource where people find comfort to network and share stories, resource, and knowledge of all the crazy antics of their funky felines. We cannot do this for everyone, but we do what we can to help our volunteers and caregivers who spend so much time caring for the cats.

This is the Goathouse! A haven for cats and people alike!

Please help us sustain our mission of providing sanctuary for cats, a temporary home before they find their loving families and support for the adopters, friends, and family of the Goathouse.

Your generous donation each month will help us to feed these animals, obtain and administer medications, provide veterinary care, and attend to their daily physical needs. Please consider becoming a Monthly Sustainer now and allow us to help connect cats and people in our community! Any amount from $5 to $500 per month will help us continue our mission.

Thank you for helping us help the cats at the Refuge!
Helena Openshaw and Jeff Vojta

To become a Monthly Sustainer, click here : 

Or to make a one time donation, click here :


Time to Vote in the Shelter Challenge!

Please cast your vote daily for Goathouse Refuge Inc to help us win.
Thank you!
Goathouse Refuge Inc.
Goathouse Refuge Inc.
I just voted for Goathouse Refuge Inc. in the Shelter Challenge! Join me!

A DESPERATE PLEA FROM THE GOATHOUSE REFUGE in this desperate fall time of year!

All of us have struggled with the impact of the pandemic, from financial to mental stress, individually and with our families.  Compounding this has been the many months of national unrest and controversies leading up to the elections this next month.  No wonder we as a nation and as family and friends are tired, worried and distracted! 

Our team of cat care givers are facing their own family health and financial issues, but they still come to the Goathouse to perform their duties, seven days a week!  Caring for the cats cannot be done from home!  It requires a full team of people to feed, change litter, adjust bedding, and administer medications.  

Unfortunately, the Goathouse has been operating without an emergency reserve.  You helped us out when the Covid-19 pandemic first reared its frightening head the past March.  Things were all right until August when our donations suddenly fell almost in half!  Normally this time of year people are beginning to think about holidays and end-of-year gifting and generosity is in the air.  We hope this will be the case this year—perhaps once we get past this riveting first week of November.  For now though, we need to desperately reach out to you our Goathouse friends and family.  Without your help our funding is not enough to get through to the next several weeks!  

Please look past the news and see the faces of the cats and kittens, young and old, cute and ‘odd looking’ , healthy and a little infirm:  we desperately need your help to pay for their care now.


We appreciate all the support you have provided to the Goathouse over the years, but we need to ask for additional support.  Any additional contributions; small or large; one time or recurring; are much needed and will do a lot to help us through this difficult time.

We know that you value the work the Goathouse Refuge does in saving lives that otherwise probably would not get a second chance. So please share with your friends, family and other animal lovers in hopes that they will find it in their hearts to help in any way they can for the cats!

Can you please consider donating now?  https://www.goathouserefuge.org/donate/

   All the best,
Jeff Vojta
               Helena Openshaw

CARES Act and Charitable Giving


The remaining months of 2020 provide an extraordinary opportunity to donate to the Goathouse Refuge and other charities of your choice and reap some of the same highly favorable benefits afforded corporations and the very wealthy.


—-This includes cash and in kind contributions to qualified charities, such as the Goathouse Refuge. It also includes 100% of the market
value of donations of your appreciated stock or 100% of the donation of your required minimum distribution from your tax qualified
retirement account (IRA or 401-k).

*You should be sure to consult your financial advisor or tax professional for advice as to your particular circumstances

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