Edie Sayeg, Chair / BOD, Co-Chapter Manager ~ Edie discovered the HRS during a desperate search for an experienced rabbit vet to care for her very sick bun, Sweetie. Sweetie, who had been purchased from a pet shop, was Edie’s 1st bun and though Edie adored her, she wasn’t knowledgable or experienced in rabbit care and was in much need of guidance. Thankfully, the vet search led her to the HRS and Debbie Trantin, founder of the North Georgia chapter. Debbie not only helped Edie find a vet to save Sweetie’s life but she introduced Edie to Snickers, an adoptable bun in her care. It was than that Edie earned her place in HRS history by adopting the very first bun from the newly formed organization. Debbie then worked to bond Sweetie with Snickers and in the process, bonded Edie to the HRS! Edie had found her passion. She eagerly learned about proper rabbit care and began volunteering, continuing the work of rescuing rabbits and educating others. When Debbie was ready to retire and do sanctuary work, Edie was there to step in along with Ronda and Nancy, all taking roles as Co-Chapter Managers. While housing upwards of 20 rabbits in her basement, Edie realized that for the organization to be solvent and sustaining there had to be a better way! The idea germinated into an initial retreat meeting of fellow HRS volunteers in March 2009. A few months later the campaign to build the Rabbit Center began, the result of which is the wonderful facility you see today! While there are many challenges left to ensure the continued success of the Center and the Chapter, Edie feels extremely indebted to the organization and all the incredible volunteers who have come forward to work with so much compassion and determination to see that the business of saving rabbits in Georgia will continue. Edie looks forward to the day when rabbits are properly cared for and are seen as the worthy companion animals they are, putting and end to the irresponsible breeding, purchasing and attitudes they suffer from today.
Ronda Churchwell, Chapter Manager ~ Ronda has always been an animal lover and got her first rabbit in 1997. Ricochet was a cinnamon lop and a beloved family pet for 8 years. After her passing, Ronda had decided not to get another bun but couldn’t resist doing an internet search for rabbit rescues, where she found the North GA House Rabbit Society, then located in Conyers and managed by Debbie Tranton. She went just to visit and came home with Eli in Oct. 2005. After volunteering at Wrap for a Cause that Dec. she learned there was a need for volunteers and started to make the long trip every 2-3 weeks on cleaning day. Once there, she soaked up new information on better rabbit care, started getting more involved, fostered an additional rabbit and found Eli his forever partner, Sidney. One thing led to another and when Debbie made the decision to pass the torch in 2007, Ronda and Nancy stepped in to share the responsibilities of continuing the rescue as Chapter managers. Edie joined them as a Chapter manager soon after and the 3 have been working long and hard together ever since.
Nancy McConville, Chapter Manager ~ Nancy has always loved animals and had a variety of pets and assorted critters her entire life while growing up. Like many avid bunny people, Nancy got started the way lot of bunny folks do, with baby bunnies from a pet store. In 1999 her husband Gary surprised her with two baby bunnies for her birthday named Shadow and Dusty Miller. The pet store assured both Gary and Nancy that the bunnies were “two special girls.” A different story came about a couple months later when Shadow made a trip to the vet when she stopped eating. Low and behold, a few HOURS later, Shadow gave birth to six healthy baby girls. Both Nancy and Gary loved all these bunnies and decided at that time that rescue volunteer work was in their future. Nancy went online and immediately found the North Georgia House Rabbit Society, led by Debbie Trantin and Arlene Pabros. With all the baby bunnies in tow, Nancy and Gary attended their first HRS meeting a short time later and became involved with activities. Selling “Beer for Bunnies “at Atlanta Falcons football games became an annual fall weekend event along with many other fund raising activities. Nancy and Gary both assisted Debbie in rescues, adoptions and care of abandoned bunnies over the years as the chapter grew. Many many bunnies have come to live at the McConville bunny bed & breakfast over the years, some as fosters, some as their forever homes. In 2007 when Debbie decided to step down, Nancy and Ronda became co-chapter managers and soon after were joined by Edie and have been a dedicated trio ever since helping the lives of bunnies. The original bunnies who started it all? All but one girl who was adopted out along with Shadow and Dusty lived their lives with Nancy and Gary.
Rose Doyle, GHRS Shelter Manager ~ Rose’s love of rabbits began the day she met Peter Rabbit, a lonely bunny housed in an outdoor hutch. Rose knew nothing about rabbits at the time but she began to notice Peter each morning as she walked by his cage on her way to work. Peter would run around and stand on his back legs begging for attention. Rose noticed that his water bottle was often empty and his food through the wire cage bottom, leaving Peter Rabbit hungry. One day she opened up the cage door and began to pet this cute little bunny. That was the day she fell in love! Rose immediately began to research information and discovered the GHRS website. Now, Peter Rabbit is hers. He even has a girlfriend, Sienna, whom Rose adopted from the GHRS. They’re currently two of the happiest, most well fed bunnies in North Georgia!
Johna Mennone, Communications Director ~ Johna found the GHRS after an abandoned rabbit found it’s way into her yard. She quickly fell in love with the bunny, now named Binky, the shelter and the people volunteering there. Wanting to give back to the organization out of gratitude for their support and advice, she started volunteering her time and creative talents to the Rabbit Center. Johna was named the chair of the Media and Communications Committee in 2011 and now works to promote the organization through creative outreach. When she isn’t in front of her computer or dialing phone numbers, Johna is busy showering affection onto her 2 bunnies, her 2 cats and her crazy Weimaraner, Duke. If you send an email to the webmaster of the site here, say hi to Johna. She’ll be the one addressing your website questions, concerns and suggestions.
Megan Rockwell, Events Chair & Former Resident Manager ~ In 2008, Megan did what many first time bunny owners do and got her first bunny, Rex as an impulse buy from a pet store. After doing a lot of research on bunny care (and spending a lot of money at the vet!) she learned that bunnies do best in a bonded pair, which led her to the GHRS. She brought Rex in for a bunny date and it was love at first site for the both of them. Rex fell in love with a sweet adoptable bun named Clara and Megan fell in love with the House Rabbit Society. She has been a member and volunteer ever since. In the Spring of 2011, Megan left her position as Resident Manager in order to focus her energies and dedicate her time towards her career path. Thankfully, Megan was able to find the time needed to take on the role of Events Chair and, as of 2012, is back with the GHRS helping organize our fundraising and holiday events!
Stephanie Elser and Zack Dirnberger, Resident Managers ~ Stephanie and Zack joined our team in December as our new Resident Managers. Stephanie, a rising senior, and Zack , a graduating senior, at Kennesaw State University both intend to pursue a Master’s degree. We are thrilled that living and working at the Rabbit Center is a perfect match for this incredibly hard working and bunny (and all animals!) loving couple. Please stop by soon to meet Stephanie and Zack – they are anxious to meet all our members and guests alike and you will always be welcomed with a huge smile!