RN: Real Nurses - Carol Smiley

Carol Smiley, an RN in the Newborn Critical Care Center at UNC Hospitals, spends a lot of her time outside the hospital taking care of hundreds of cats at an animal sanctuary.

RN: Real Nurses - Carol Smiley
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"We want to provide our cats with permanent, safe, healthy and loving homes," says Carol Smiley.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Written By Stephen L. Garrett for UNC Health Care


When my co-producer Nathan hopped in the car, I was sure we were in for a quick drive into the Chatham county countryside. We were on our way to visit Carol Smiley, an RN in the Newborn Critical Care Center at UNC Hospitals. Carol volunteers at the Goathouse Refuge near Pittsboro.

The Goathouse Refuge is a no-kill animal sanctuary dedicated to providing care for cats regardless of age, medical issues or disposition until a permanent loving adoptive home can be found. Cats are spayed or neutered and given all the necessary shots and procedures to make them ready for their new home.

After the point where I was certain that we had missed a turn, Nathan assured me that we were on track and navigated us down a forested gravel road. Soon, we entered a gated area and parked near an outside enclosure that was filled with cats. I had never seen so many in one place!

The Goathouse Refuge was founded by Siglinda Scarpa, a talented potter who finances the venture, in  part, with income from her pottery sales. At the refuge, Carol introduced us to scores of cats that she knows by name. Over the two years that she's been a volunteer, she has put skills she learned during her nursing career to good use as she works to find new homes for so many abandoned cats.

Nathan and I left the refuge impressed by Carol's dedication. She not only makes the long drive to the refuge a regular routine, but also fills out refuge paperwork at home, and makes home visits to approve adoptive homes for the cats.

Enjoy this month's RN: Real Nurses. If you have your own pets, we encourage you to spay and neuter them and to educate your family members and friends about why it's important to spay and neuter their own pets. If you're interested in volunteering at the Goathouse Refuge, or you want to inquire about adopting your own cat, visit http://www.goathouserefuge.org

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