The Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) volunteers have been very busy this month. Even before the EARS Ambulance was introduced to thousands of viewers on every television news station in Connecticut.
As you most likely now know, EARS is a 100% volunteer organization that runs the only Animal Ambulance in the state.
This month alone, Rescue 2 has responded to dozens of calls, transported sick and injured animals, including dogs and hawks to hospitals as far away as Tufts in Boston, Mass. all out of the kindness of their hearts.
The dedicated founder and leader of EARS is 34-year-old Jon Nowinski, who drives the Ambulance, day or night whenever and wherever it is needed.
On one particular day last week, Nowinski and his team went on six calls in one day. “We got one call, then, while we were en route, a second call came in, then another,” Nowinski said. “When we stopped for lunch, we got another call … one after another, that’s how it went — and that was before all the news coverage.”
EARS provides the service free of charge, because when your pet, or any animal needs help, the last thing you need is to worry about an extra $1,000 bill for transportation.
Jon’s mother, Shirley often accompanies him on calls. She said that they often receive requests for large dogs. “I never knew there were so many Mastiffs in Connecticut,” she said.
Jon said they also have picked up several hawks, including one in Orange and brought them to specialized rehab facilities.
“Most of them have been juveniles that were injured when they were learning to fly, but last week we had a full-grown adult. It was ‘woozy’ and didn’t resist when I picked it up in a towel,” Nowinski said. “First, we brought it to the emergency hospital for evaluation and they believed he had eaten something toxic. From there we brought him to a rehab center. He should be released some time next week.”
All of this good work costs the organization a lot of money and it depends on donations to run.
On Saturday, Aug. 13, the Orange Ale House Grille and Burger Bar hosted a fundraiser for EARS.
The EARS Volunteers collected several raffle prizes and animal themed gift baskets for a silent auction, and provided a dessert table for their guests.
Ale House owner, Jim Hassenmayer surprised Nowinski with food for the event. “We didn’t expect that,” Nowinski said. “The food was delicious, too. He’s a great host.”
DJ Roberto Velez of JAMS Disc Jockey Entertainment provided his services free of charge and did a wonderful job making announcements and keeping the music flowing from start to finish.
All of the money raised will go to the operating costs. (Fuel for an ambulance trip from Norwalk to Boston is not cheap and it takes a lot of time — 168.8 mi (2 hrs 56 mins)
The high point for many guests was touring Rescue 2 for the first time. To say they were impressed is an understatement.
Click HERE if you would like to donate to EARS so they can continue helping animals — you never know when YOU may need their help.