EARS Through the Years

The Start of EARS (Nov 2012)

Linda and Ron met over their mutual interest to rescue a little black bunny, later named Jukie, from a Nissan car lot. Linda brought Jukie home and still has him to this day. From there the concept of EARS was born – they decided they needed to create a community of bunny owners, provide education, and rescue abandoned bunnies in Erie, PA.

The First EARS Shelter (2012)

EARS started small – in a tiny warehouse on Peach Street, with no electricity or running water. In the summers, we cooled the bunnies off with frozen water bottles, and in the winter we brought in a propane heater to keep the buns warm. EARS slowly built up a team with a common goal – to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome bunnies.

EARS Outreach Events (2013)

Since the very start, EARS has been having outreach events and attending events in the community. It started with bringing bunnies to Petco each month and attending Discover Presque Isle. Since then we’ve had our own events like our Spring Fundraiser, Bunny Palooza, and our Christmas event. We also love to visit schools and nursing homes to foster education and spread cheer with our rabbits!

EARS’ First Adoptions (2013)

Stewie, a big white bunny, was the first bun to stay the night at EARS as well as the first to get adopted! He was adopted by the Stadler family and eventually moved to Texas with them. He lived a great life, and finally crossed the rainbow bridge in 2020. Another memorable adoption from our first year was Ryder, a little black Netherland Dwarf bunny, adopted by Mike.

EARS’ First Big Rescue – Corry, PA (March 2013)

In March 2013, there were reports of a large number of domestic rabbits running loose in Corry. A man was hoarding them in backyard hutches. The bunnies were eating their way out of the hutches, running loose, and getting hurt. EARS partnered with French Creek Rescue to bring as many bunnies to safety as possible. We managed to rescue 17, but after several pregnant females gave birth, we ended up with a total of 60. EARS didn’t have room for that many bunnies, so French Creek Rescue took most of them in. We worked in tandem to get the buns adopted out.

EARS Acquired the Pink Bungalow (Oct 2014)

In October 2014, EARS bought the bright pink bungalow on 38th Street. It took a lot of work to convert the dress and tailor shop to a rabbit rescue, but it was well worth it. We could now enjoy running water, electricity, and a bathroom!

More Space for Bunnies (2015)

EARS quickly outgrew the pink building and needed more space for bunnies! In 2015, EARS used the extra land to the left of the pink building to build a second, bigger building to house even more buns. A breezeway was made to connect the two buildings for easy access.

The Dutch Rescue (Dec 2015)

In December 2015, a man who kept a large number of Dutch rabbits in his garage in Mercer was diagnosed with cancer and was unable to care for them. His family contacted local animal rescues to help out, and they came together to rescue the bunnies. Rabbit Wranglers headed the rescue, and EARS assisted. There were 64 rescued bunnies total, and EARS took in 10 of them.

McKean Rescue (Spring 2016)

In 2016, EARS got a call that there was a bunny running loose in McKean. It turned out to be more than just one bunny – there were several that needed to be rescued. Two females were pregnant, and after they both gave birth, the total bunnies from the McKean rescue was 22.

Adding Space for Hay & Exercise (May 2016)

In May of 2016, EARS took on two big projects to benefit the bunnies – a shed to store hay, and a gazebo for the bunnies to run around and get their exercise! These are two necessities that we can’t imagine being without today!

The North East (Harlequin) Rescue (July 2021)

In July of 2021, EARS got a call about a Harlequin rabbit breeder in North East whose breeding got out of control, so he let his rabbits loose to fend for themselves. EARS was able to rescue 23 of them. Several females were pregnant, and they gave birth to 51 babies – resulting in a total intake of 74 bunnies at EARS!

RHD Spreads to PA (2022)

In 2022, PA got its first confirmed case of RHD (Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease), a very contagious and deadly disease that spreads through rabbits outdoors. EARS vaccinated all of our rabbits, and put very strict policies in place regarding bringing rabbits into the shelter from outside.