Denice M. Bain - Director Of Operations
Denice’s first job was being a ranch hand when she was 13 years old. She was immediately drawn to spending time with the animals and learning about the proper way to care for them. During the Bastrop fires of 2011, Denice saw numerous pleas asking for assistance online and jumped in to help evacuating both farm and companion animals. She was so impressed with all the local organizations responding that after the fires, she joined Austin Pet’s Alive as a volunteer and Corporate Ambassador. Since that time, she has immersed herself in animal advocacy work, attending annual conferences and training at every opportunity and partnered with dozens of local shelters, rescues and non-profits. The Bastrop Fires ignited (pun intended) her passion around emergency response, specifically assisting animals in harms way and eventually led her and Mary to establish DARN.
Mary K. Priddy - Director Of Education & Outreach
When you combine such life experiences as your mother entering your room and announcing, “the word on the streets is you're hiding a bunny in your room”, a successful stint as a stand-up comic, and currently holding a municipal government role as a community outreach professional, it only makes sense Mary would come to lead DARN’s education and outreach efforts. Growing up in a military household meant constantly moving, so Mary’s best friends were usually the four legged or feathered variety. If there was a hungry or injured animal in the neighborhood, it would somehow finds it’s way to the Priddy household. These characteristics followed Mary into adulthood, and after working beside numerous animal advocacy groups since 2011, led her and Denice to formally organize and establish DARN.
And yes, she was hiding a bunny in her room. She named him Bronco and he became the first of many animals rescued.
Ellen Hurst - Director Of Dream Fulfillment
In the early 1980’s Ellen was walking by the Business Admin building on the Texas Tech campus when she heard a tiny mew. Working with others who were taking care the momma, Ellen helped convince the maintenance department to leave the family alone until the kittens were old enough to socialize and place with families. Thus began her interest in helping rescue abandoned, neglected, or feral felines. Over the years since then, Ellen and her husband, RoundMan, (since deceased) supported many animal welfare nonprofits such as the local and national Human Society, Alley Cat Allies, Emancipet, and Austin Pets Alive. Ellen is proud to serve on the DARN board and is fully committed to the mission of supporting a network of organizations that work to save animals.