There's a fox and fox kits denning in my backyard.  I'm scared it will kill my cat, dog, or child.  What do I do?

Red Foxes and Gray Foxes are animals of small prey, like mice, voles, even insects.  The largest animal they will hunt is a large rabbit.  Take note that a rabbit is not a predator like a cat or dog, it doesn't have the teeth, claws, or ability to hurt a fox like a cat or dog would.  Through self preservation and instinct, foxes know what is safe for them to hunt, so rest assured - it's not cats or dogs.

Here in America Red Foxes and Gray Foxes, are naturally elusive and timid.  A normal healthy fox who is not habituated to humans will not approach humans or go after your child.  They will actually do the opposite and try to keep a safe distance from humans.  This is one reason why we do not advocate feeding wild foxes as it can lead to habituation of the fox, which can then lead to it becoming a nuisance.  A fed fox is often a dead fox, as so the saying goes.

If you have a den in your backyard: enjoy it! Watch the young ones as they grow from a distance as to not spook them or the parents.  They will begin venturing out of  the den at 4 to 5 weeks old.  Keep in mind that the parents have either 2 to 3 total dens, and she begins moving them around once they hit about 8 weeks old, or earlier if she feels the natal den is threatened.  So, enjoy it while you can because they won't be around for very long.  

If you do not want them to den again in your yard, after dispersal time in August - September you can consider fox proofing the area so they do not den again in that area. 

If you are currently seeking information on humane fox or coyote deterrents and proofing please contact us: Email thecanidproject@gmail.com or call us at 1-866-REDFOX1


Ok, I can wait until they leave my yard but I'd rather them not den again there.  What do I do? 

We also offer consultations onethical and humane Red Fox, Gray Fox, and Coyote deterrents state-wide. Amy Shutt, director of The Canid Project,  is a state-certified Nuisance Animal Wildlife Officer with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (permit currently pending).  

If you are currently seeking information on humane fox or coyote deterrents and proofing please contact us: Email thecanidproject@gmail.com or call us at 1-866-REDFOX1

What you can do to discourage foxes or coyotes from loitering or denning in your yard:

  • Hazing!  Hazing includes being loud and large. Yell and wave your arms while approaching the animal. Try using loud horns, whistles, banging pots together., or spraying water from a hose.  For more info see: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/coyotes/tips/hazing_guidelines.html
  • Keep your trash cans closed.  Rinse all cans and food containers going into recycle bins.
  • Feed and water your pets inside and do not leave pet food or water outside.
  • Keep your compost in closed bins.
  •  Remove fallen fruit from the ground.
  • Repair broken floorboards on porches and close up openings that lead under the house or sheds.
  • Keep your pets inside and do not let them roam off leash.
  • If you have cats outside, consider keeping them indoors (for more on this, see:  https://www.thespruce.com/keep-cats-indoors-555124 ) , provide a screened in porch or catio for enrichment, or consider a cat fence with predator guard: http://www.purrfectfence.com 
  • Keep chickens/rabbits in good strong enclosures that are predator proof.

Trapping is not a long term answer. For more info on what happens when an animal is trapped and taken from an area please see our article: The Wildlife In Our Backyards


I found a baby fox wandering around without a parent in Louisiana.  What do I do?

 

Call us immediately! We can help you figure out what to do.  It is ALWAYS best for a young fox to be raised by its fox parents.  If we can help to locate the den and reunite it with its parents that is always our first approach.  

If a den cannot be located and reunion is not a possible then you may surrender it to us and we will rehabilitate and release it. Amy Shutt, director of The Canid Project, is a state-permitted Louisiana Wildlife Rehabilitator specializing in Red Foxes and Gray Foxes. She has been specially trained in fox rehabilitation.  Amy's goal is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release native foxes that are orphaned or injured back into their native habitat.  She provides state-wide pick up.  

Please contact us.  Even if you are out of state, Amy has a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators who take in foxes in every state and can help you find one in your area. 

Email thecanidproject@gmail.com or call us at 1-866-REDFOX1


I found an injured fox in Louisiana.  What do I do?

 

 

 

 

We provide a state-wide pick-up service and are willing to help in any way possible.  Please contact us. Even if you are out of state, Amy has a list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators who take foxes in every state and can help you find one in your area. 

Email thecanidproject@gmail.com or call us at 1-866-REDFOX1

Amy Shutt, director of The Canid Project, is a state-permitted Louisiana Wildlife Rehabilitator specializing in Red Foxes and Gray Foxes.  Amy's goal is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release native foxes that are orphaned or injured back into their native habitat.  She provides state-wide pick up.  


Can I keep a fox as a pet in Louisiana?

No.  It is illegal to have a fox, native or exotic,  as a pet in Louisiana.  If you are caught with a fox as a pet, it will be confiscated by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and because it will be habituated to humans, by law it will have to be euthanized. You can also be fined and have charges brought against you by illegally keeping a fox. 

 


But they are so cute.  I really want a fox as a pet.  What if I live in a state that allows foxes as pets?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foxes are cute, I agree.  But, foxes are not like dogs or cats and do not behave like dogs or cats, so you must have realistic expectations. Sure, when a fox is a baby it will possibly be cuddly and affectionate, but once it reaches the age of sexual maturity (about 10 months old) their personality will change and they "wild up".  This is when you will see the adult fox that you have committed to taking care of for the next 12 years (average for a captive fox).  Many won't enjoy being petted or touched much, if at all.  Most won't cuddle like a dog might.  

They are animals of high energy and are very high strung. Foxes in captivity get bored easily because in the wild they are on the move non-stop hunting and caching, which is something they can't do in captivity.   Because of this they can be very very destructive.  Because of this alone, they can't be left alone inside of a house and would definitely need a very  secure and large outside enclosure full of enrichment where they will spend a great deal of their time. 

And lastly, have you ever smelled an adult fox? Even if they weren't destructive, the smell alone is one reason I would never be able to keep a fox in my home.  The musky odor of fox, to me,  is a special combination of something similar to the smell of skunk and cat urine with a hint of death aroma thrown in for good measure. The odor does have a purpose though; it's how they communicate with one another. You can not get a fox descented either. 

So, do your research.  Don't go into any kind of animal ownership without knowing exactly what you are getting into.  The animals deserve that respect. 

And by the way, the only truly domesticated foxes are in Russia.  It took over 40 generations for them to be domesticated (breeding all the wild traits out of them).  And if you want one the price starts at $10,000.  


Don't see your question here?

Please feel free to email us with any questions at:  thecanidproject@gmail.com or call us at 1-866-REDFOX1