Teenage fan of cute bunnies and guinea pigs takes on massive rescue mission

When Dylan Wafer learned there were 256 small animals living with a hoarder in the Fort Meyers area, she started to reach out to organizations for help. Her goal was to rescue them all in one day.

Eventually, Dylan decided to drive more than 600 miles for about 18 hours to help the animals escape from a world of neglect inside a small dirty barn.

“It was very cramped,” Dylan said. “There were four or five stalls and rooms within the barn that were filled with animals.”

The 17-year-old North Broward Preparatory School senior’s effort was far from the rescue of her first rabbit when she was 12 years old, but she didn’t have to do it alone. She said she found the support of like-minded activists after making phone calls and sending messages.

“We drove north up to Bradenton,” Dylan said. “That was our first stop, and we left a group of them with a rescue there in Bradenton.”

Dylan Wafer, 17, a student in Broward, recently helped to rescue dozens of animals from a crowded barn. Now, she needs help finding them a home. (Copyright 2020 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.)

Her mission is far from over, but now she has a team: The Penny & Wild: Smalls of South Florida, a network of volunteers and veterinarians who are dedicated to helping the rabbits and guinea pigs find homes.

“Dogs and cats, there are a lot of them on the streets, but they usually have a lot of shelters who can help them,” Dylan said. “Rabbits don’t get the same opportunities, not very often.”

Dylan has 14 rabbits, including 11 bottle babies, and 12 guinea pigs available for adoption.

The list of animals with costly veterinarian needs includes Casper, Kiana, and Eliana. She is most worried about Casper. He is getting treated for a skin disease caused by parasitic mites, he is missing his left ear, and has a problem with an eye. Kiana is emaciated and her liver enzymes are elevated, and Eliana was suffering from a serious upper respiratory and double ear infection.

Dylan has documented the journey to save them on Facebook. She is asking people who can’t adopt the animals to contribute through the organization’s wish list on Amazon and to a GoFundMe page.

Dylan is asking those who are interested in adoption to call 954-821-8008 or e-mail info@pennyandwild.org.

About the Authors:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.