Obituary: Jon Nowinski, 37, Beloved Son, Brother, Animal Advocate

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Jan 282019

Jonathan “Jon” J. Nowinski passed January 23, 2019, from complications with a long time battle of health issues. Jon was born February 19, 1981, in Greenwich, CT to his mother Shirley Nowinski and his father Paul Nowinski, and has resided in Westport, CT since 1986.

During his time here, he worked in many fields of Research and Study. Earliest was his passion and creation of SGRA (Smoking Gun Research Agency) which he developed to bring education and attention to the paranormal as well as conspiracy theories.

In his early twenties, he created Vote for Freedom, which he used to bring young people and politicians together and educate them on why the right to vote is so important. His thirties were all spent devoting his life and passion to animals and animal care. Through that, he created EARS (Emergency Animal Response Service) where he offered a variety of services both in animal care as well as education of animal needs.

His most recent employment has been with VCA Shoreline Animal Hospital in Shelton, CT and Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine in North Haven, CT. Jon also worked with many Police, Fire and EMT services to provide assistance wherever he was needed.

Along with his mother Shirley and his father Paul, Jon leaves behind his sister Lisa Price, nephews Joshua and Justin Smith, his faithful dog, Coyote, and a countless number of friends along with many four-legged friends.

Friends and family are invited to call Thursday, January 31, 2019, from 3 to 7 pm at the CODY-WHITE FUNERAL HOME, 107 Broad St, Milford, CT.

All Creatures Great And Small, And Their Earthbound Angel, Jon Nowinski

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Jan 252019

I met Jon Nowinski more than 10 years ago and was immediately impressed with the young man with big ideas and enough ambition to see them come to fruition.

Jon had a smorgasbord of interests, but when he set his mind out to do something he put his whole heart and soul into it. Where there was a will, there was a way.

More than anything, Jon had a love and passion for animals. After a massive snowstorm in Bethany, a barn collapsed trapping horses inside, first responders didn’t know what to do. Jon saw a need for training in such emergency situations and the Emergency Animal Rescue Service (EARS) was born.

Jon learned everything he could about large animal rescue then made it his mission to teach others what to do.

In the event of a fire or flood that adversely affected any animal, EARS volunteers were there to help. As he was building his organization, Jon realized that people often needed assistance safely lifting and transporting sick or injured larger dogs. So he began to dream of having an animal ambulance that would provide the animal with constant monitoring and care during the transport to an emergency animal hospital.

He tirelessly found ways to raise money for the vehicle and before you knew it, EARS had an animal ambulance. Domestic animals weren’t the only creatures EARS helped. The Beardsley Zoo had a Maned Wolf with a hernia that they couldn’t treat in their own facility, so they called upon Jon and EARS for help. The Wolf was brought to a hospital in the animal ambulance. One spring he responded to several calls of fledgling hawks that had crash-landed while learning to fly and needed assistance.

Jon was the most caring, genuine person I’d ever met. He always looked at the big picture and had a plan on how best to deal with every aspect of it. As long as Jon Nowinski was around EARS would provide its services free of charge, because he knew that not everyone was rich and in times of need the last thing anyone needed to worry about was a bill.

He loved working with the various law enforcement, fire department, EMS, and animal healthcare specialists around the region — and they loved working with him. He told me that he got a kick out of the reaction the EARS ambulance got when he was on the road, especially from traditional ambulance crews.

When my dog, Mi Sun was at the emergency hospital in Shelton, where Jon was a vet tech, he would visit her and sit with her in the overnight hours, take her outside and send me “selfies” of the two of them to put my mind at ease.

Jon never had an unkind word for anyone. Even when people who had called for assistance were then rude or impatient and shot off their mouths. Jon told me, “thank you” would have used less words, and been more appreciated.

So what’s the purpose of this story? Jon Nowinski, the kindest most caring animal advocate in CT, passed away this week at the age of 37. He succumbed to cancer on Wednesday surrounded by his family.

Orange Live has a lot of stories about Jon and EARS on the site, just do a search to find them. He was an amazing young man. His enthusiasm was infectious and he is, and always will be sorely missed. Dozens of people have left comments on various Facebook pages expressing their love for Jon. He had that effect on people. If you met him, you couldn’t help but love him. What a legacy he leaves behind. If only the world had more people like Jon Nowinski, we’d be in a much better way.

For those who were familiar with Jon through his appearances on News12 Pet Talk with Lauren Collier, you can rest easy knowing that his mother is taking care of his dog Coyote — or is Coyote taking care of her?

We will post details of his funeral arrangements when they become available.






Two Dogs Find Homes At Raymour & Flanigan Event

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Oct 022016

dsc09751Every Fall, the Raymour & Flanigan furniture store on the Boston Post Road hosts a Pet Adoption/Awareness event.

James, the store manager said he likes seeing animals from local shelters going to forever homes after meeting families at the event.

Representatives from several businesses and organizations, including Pet Supplies Plus, set up tables inside the store and handed out samples, magnets and brochures. While outside, the truck from Northshore Animal League displayed several dogs and cats from local shelters that are available for adoption. (Two dogs were adopted today)

The EARS Rescue 2 Animal Ambulance was available for tours and also was accepting badly needed donations to cover its operating costs.

Shirley Nowinski, an EARS member and mother of founder Jon Nowinski said the ambulance has been extremely busy, but because it is a 100% volunteer organization that offers its ambulance services free of charge, donations are needed to keep it going strong.

Emergencies can happen at any time and you never know if or when your pet will need this service. Click HERE for information if you would like to make a donation.

See The Only Animal Ambulance In CT At Raymour & Flanigan Today

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Oct 022016

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-12-26-54-pmRaymour & Flanigan, 538 Boston Post Road, will host its annual Pet Day today, Oct. 2, from 12 – 3 p.m.

This is an adoption and awareness event with pets featured from local rescues, as well as goodies for dogs and cats, the North Shore Animal League bus with adoptable pets from New Haven, and a chance to see the Animal Ambulance.

Be sure to swing by and visit the EARS team for your chance to climb aboard Rescue 2 and get an inside look at the only Animal Ambulance in Connecticut. The ambulance will also have some great free giveaways on pet safety and first aid. You can bring the kids by to let them try on some of the rescue gear (yes, adults, you can try it on too).

EARS Fundraiser A Great Success

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Aug 142016

ears ambulanceThe 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.