SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (FOX 10) - A Scottsdale teen is on a mission to save wildlife animals. And he's added a new member to his family - a wallaby.
Dylan Capshaw has always been a natural around animals. Since a very young age, he's rescued rabbits and dogs and now he's taken in his most exotic animal thus far.
There's no secret here. 13-year-old Capshaw loves animals. At just 3-years-old, Capshaw started to rescue critters.
"He felt bad for the hissing cockroach," said his mom Amy. "So he asked to have it as a pet and then I asked a week later if we could let 'Hissy' go back to his family and he said that Hissy comes from Africa, it's a Madagascar cockroach, and he will not make it back to Africa.
Amy Capshaw instantly knew there was something special about her son.
"When he developed his love for animals, at first when I said, 'He's incubating chicken eggs to hatch chickens, this is happening,' [my husband] said let's let him, let's feed his hobby. So we did," Amy said.
Over the years, Dylan went on to rescue tortoises, rabbits, and dogs. But the most exotic animal he's rescued so far is a wallaby, who he named Damien. And to get Damien took a lot of research.
"You just have to know people," Dylan said. "[You have to] ask questions too because they are not all available on the internet. It took a lot of supplies and bottles and cleaning stuff."
He admits taking care of a wildlife animal is challenging but for him, it's all worth it.
"With all the dust, they suffer from Valley Fever a lot here so they are very hard to keep as pets," Dylan said. "And there's a reason why they are not common, but it does pay off because they are wonderful creatures."
Dylan now has his own foundation called the Dylan Capshaw Foundation. He started it after helping displaced animals by Hurricane Harvey. His mission: To continue to save animals around the world.
"I'm hoping that I can grow up to really make a difference and change how it really is with animals and dog farms where they are being sold as meant [and] cruel methods in general," Dylan said.
While officials from Arizona Game and Fish spoke to Dylan about the wallaby and were very impressed, they do caution people from taking in exotic wildlife as they can post a danger to human health and safety.