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'My Heart Dropped': Parkland Woman Teams Up With Neighbors To Rescue Rabbit Found With Dart In Its Face

PARKLAND (CBSMiami) – When Misty Baniewicz saw a rabbit in front of her Parkland home, she thought a yellow spot near its mouth was a flower that the rabbit was eating. Later she realized she was very wrong.

"I decided to take a closer look and realized that it wasn't a flower but a dart in its face," she said.

Baniewicz took a picture.  It shows that dart went all the way though.

"I'm like, 'Am I seeing what I'm seeing?' As I got closer I could see how it was a metal arrow shooting through one side of its face and going out the other side of its face. My heart dropped," she said.

Rabbit with Dart_1
Misty Baniewicz at first thought the yellow dart was a flower that "Marsh" was eating. (Courtesy of Misty Baniewicz)

Baniewicz got the word out right away that the rabbit, who she calls "Marsh," needed to be caught and treated fast because she learned that another rabbit was hit in the leg with a dart and did not survive.

Neighbors Mariana and James Symecko grabbed their net and raced to help.

"We dropped the net down on it like this, as carefully as we could," James demonstrated, "I was able to go around and get control of the rabbit," he said.

The rabbit is being treated at the South Florida Wildlife Center.

Medical Director Dr. Antonia Garnder said there are no signs of bone damage or infection.

Now that the rabbit is in a secluded, more natural habitat, Dr. Gardner is planning more treatment and wants to keep his stress level down. Stress can cause some serious problems.

"We want him to chill out, we want him to eat," Dr. Gardner said. "We want him to take antibiotics for the next few days so those wounds can heal so we can get him out of here," she said.

Rabbit without Dart
"Marsh" was taken to the South Florida Wildlife Center for treatment. (Courtesy of Misty Baniewicz)

The Symeckos said they hope to see Marsh soon.

"I just hope that he comes back here, he has this beautiful green place that he lives, that he's healthy and happy and we can come visit him a couple times," Mariana Symecko said.

If everything goes as planned, the South Florida Wildlife Center is hoping to release that rabbit next week in the neighborhood where he was found.

BSO is investigating the two cases.

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