Good Neighbor Awards

Indianapolis Good Neighbor Winner Saves Countless Lives with Animal Rescue

Shelter dog is is a beautiful dog in an animal shelter looking through the fence wondering if anyone is going to take him home today.
Written by Jen Burke

Nicknamed the “Racing Capital of the World,” racing has long been the heart and soul of Speedway, Indiana.

However, over the past six years, good neighbor Joanie Brown has added another characteristic to this small suburb of Indianapolis: animal rescue.

It all started six years ago when Joanie adopted Mikey, an elderly Cocker Spaniel who was limping down her street, obviously abandoned. Since that day, Joanie has made it her mission to rescue animals and provide care and help for them and their owners via Speedway Animal Rescue.

Mikey, who inspired Joanie to start Speedway Animal Rescue.

Mikey, who inspired Joanie to start Speedway Animal Rescue.

The mission of Speedway Animal Rescue is to care for animals, provide affordable pet care to the greater community, and ensure that any abandoned animal in the area finds a good home. Given the hundreds of animals that come her way, this is no easy task.

Joanie is the first person that neighbors call when there is an animal in need. No matter the time of day, Joanie will hop on her bike – she doesn’t own a car – to help neighbors look for lost pets or recover abandoned, scared animals.

Joanie (center) spreading the word about her rescues in hopes of finding them forever homes.

Joanie (center) spreading the word about her rescues in hopes of finding them forever homes.

The rescue not only saves pets like cats and dogs, it also helps wildlife – including two potbelly pigs, a mother opossum, foxes, raccoons, fish, and a family of geese. It also offers pet owners extremely affordable and discounted animal care, vaccinations, food, toys, and pet-sitting.

When Joanie says this is her life’s mission, she isn’t kidding. She works 24 hours a day to ensure she is helping others and has saved more than 300 animals. In fact, the animal rescue does not have an actual shelter to house any rescued animals, so Joanie finds foster families and forever homes for these animals on her own with the help of her supportive community. 

She has found several foster families and adoptive pet owners by posting on Nextdoor. In response to her posts, her neighbors have not only offered up their homes, but donated thousands of dollars worth of pet food and toys. Joanie says some of her favorite adoption stories are from neighbors she has found on Nextdoor.

Joanie and her young neighbor, who used all of his birthday money to donate food to the Speedway Animal Rescue.

Joanie and her young neighbor, who used all of his birthday money to donate food to the
Speedway Animal Rescue.

Joanie says she loves what she does and will continue to help her community by bringing animals together with loving families because everyone wins.

And her good deeds do not go unnoticed – one of Joanie’s neighbors summed it up perfectly, saying, “Joanie is selfless when it comes to animals. I have never known her to say no to anyone – she gives 100 percent to people and is so involved with saving animals in our community. She opens her home and her heart, and finds fosters for all of the cats and dogs of Speedway, Indiana.”

Congratulations to Joanie on winning Nextdoor’s Good Neighbor Award for all she does to make Speedway an even better place to call home for neighbors and animals alike.

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