By Bella Portaro | Photos by Cameron Tichenor
She may be a probation officer by day, but Elizabeth Starck is superhero for with the Southern Indiana Animal Rescue 24-7. This Southern Indiana resident’s drive for criminal justice began during college at Indiana University. Her desire to help people and animals came from the example her parents set for her beginning when she was a child. “They’ve always been so giving,” said Starck. “Everyone that knows them says how generous they are with their time, and anything else they could give, they would.”
Starck became a probation officer in Clark County nearly a decade ago and then began animal rescue in 2011. “It all started with one puppy,” she said. Since then, Starck has rescued six cats and more than 200 dogs. Recently, she was one of a group of 20 volunteers who devoted hours to rescuing 20 dogs who were left to fend for themselves when the owner moved to Florida. “One little thing can change someone’s life. It comes down to action,” she said. “Take action, help others.”
Sometimes, the animals Starck rescues come from her clients. “They hit hard times, and I’m just happy to be there and help them and their pet.” Other times, the animals come from the Internet or social media. “If the animals aren’t found on the side of the highway, they’re typically surrendered online or dropped off at the J.B. Ogle Animal Shelter. We partner with (the shelter) as often as we can.”
Those who follow Starck on Facebook are often privy to sweet, silly moments about her latest furry visitors. They also get a front-row seat to some of the most heartbreaking moments and stories of cruelty that would overwhelm even the strongest of people, but Starck remains dedicated to the cause. “We rescue animals, but the animals rescue us right back.”
What example do you want to set for others?
I try to live by Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” I believe in that quote and try to live it every day.
Who has set an example for you?
My parents have set the example I try to live up to. They go beyond and above for others. They believe you should share your time, talent and things with those that need it most.
Where do you go when you need a bit of down time?
I have amazing friends. They’re open-minded and supportive. I hang out with friends and family. I (also) like being home with my dogs; it’s my downtime.
What keeps you motivated?
There is always a dog to rescue. The motivation keeps me going. I go to sleep knowing that I’ve done all that I can each day.
Southern Indiana Animal Rescue
sirescue.org • firstname.lastname@example.org • 812.989.1236
Mission: To find all dogs a loving home and to stop animal cruelty.
Wish List: Collars, leashes, crates, bleach, laundry soap, treats, puppy food and toys.