As a child, Tara Williams loved dolphins and dreamed of becoming a marine biologist when she grew up, but by the time she finished her studies at Brownsburg High School and started college, she had decided to study nursing.
Williams had completed only one semester of nursing school when a senseless tragedy changed the course of her life. The Williams family’s two dogs were inside their fenced yard when a neighbor boy shot and killed one of the dogs with a pellet rifle. A natural-born helper, Williams’s feelings of powerlessness when it came to helping her injured pet that horrible day moved her so deeply that she abandoned her plans to become a nurse and changed her major to pre-veterinary studies.
She has devoted herself to learning about and caring for animals ever since.
Throughout her childhood, Williams’s family moved frequently because her father was in the military. Her mother worked in the hotel business. The first place Williams remembers living as a child was in Germany. After returning to the United States, her family lived in several towns in Indiana, settling in Brownsburg—the place that feels most like a hometown to her—during her high school years.
While Williams was growing up, her family always had multiple pets, and her grandfather had a racehorse farm in Florida that was also home to goats, chickens and a deer who ate dogfood off the back porch. But Williams had never worked with animals nor considered a career in veterinary medicine until the death of her dog.
With her course set on finishing an associate’s degree in veterinary technology, Williams landed her first job working with animals, serving as a kennel attendant and receptionist at a boarding and grooming kennel in Avon. After graduation and professional certification in 2010, Williams worked as a registered veterinary technician for three and a half years at clinics in Whitestown and Avon.
Williams loved being a veterinary technician, but as the years went by, she found herself dreaming of helping animals even more by becoming a veterinarian. Her next step was to return to school to complete a bachelor’s degree at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, majoring in biology and pre-veterinary studies. While in school, she continued working as a registered veterinary technician for a mobile veterinary practice. Following graduation in 2015, Williams served for a year as an intern at the university’s Laboratory Animal Resource Center.
In 2016, Williams was thrilled to be accepted at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in Saint Kitts and Nevis, a dual-island nation in the West Indies. Unwilling to be separated from her best friend Brody, a Bichon Frise-Shih Tzu mix she’d owned since puppyhood, Williams completed a lengthy process to be allowed to bring Brody to live with her on the rabies-free islands while she earned her degree. In addition to enjoying Brody’s companionship throughout her studies, Williams rescued a local cat, Leo.
After completing her clinical year at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, an affiliate of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Williams was graduated with high honors from Ross in August 2019. She returned home to Plainfield with Brody and Leo and was pleased to join Brownsburg Animal Clinic as an associate veterinarian in October 2019.