Southern Star Animal Rescue, Inc is situated outside of Jersey, Ga on a 24 acre farm owned by founders Mara and Marcus Dover.
The dream of helping animals in need has always been a priority and one of Mara’s life goals. She began riding horses at a young age, working giving trail rides in the North Ga Mountains during school, and began running barrels later in life. She gave up her dreams of riding to become a Police Officer for Dekalb County where she served for 12 years until medical reasons forced retirement from the department. However, it wasn’t uncommon for Mara’s coworkers to see a kitten walking across the dash of her unit and a puppy hitching a ride in the backseat. She was avidly involved in small animal rescue and fostered for several different organizations while still with the police department. It was only a matter of time before she progressed to larger animals.
Marcus grew up in rural Georgia and had always been around animals and worked on farms while still in school. He graduated high school and became a firefighter with Dekalb Fire Rescue, where he has served for over 24 years. Marcus has assisted Mara with the transport and care of all her fostered animals and has donated time helping other rescues with construction projects when needed. Little did he know the road he was about to travel!
One evening Mara saw a handsome bay gelding that was underweight on a kill pen’s webpage and decided she needed to do something. So, without Marcus knowing she put up the money to save our first horse who came to be known as Rimrock. To say Marcus was surprised would be an understatement! After all, we were living in a subdivision with no place to care for our soon to be arriving horse. While Rimrock was in quarantine, we were able to locate and secure a place for him on a local farm. A few weeks later Rimrock was in Georgia enjoying being spoiled and pampered.
As it goes, Mara though Rimrock might get lonely so along came Atlas, our second rescue. At this point we began our search for a place to call our own. We located a farm with everything we needed, and everything fell into place allowing us the opportunity to expand our dream. And expand it did as our next four rescues Zeus, Athena, Maia and Fancy, of which two were in foal when rescued. The herd expanded with the birth of Star and a few weeks later Rowdy made his presence known.
Up to this point everything had been accomplished with our own funds, but we decided after much thought to form Southern Star Animal Rescue, Inc. as a 501 c3. With this step we will be expanding our ability to help rescue, rehab, and rehome more animals in need.