We received a text from another rescuer in North Carolina asking if we could help a fox and a coyote. It turned out that we had a female Silver Tipped Red Fox and the one needing rescue was a young male. We agreed to take him, hoping he would get along with Moxie or possibly one of our other two foxes, despite being different species.
Transport for Milo was easily arranged since there was a grad student from University of Florida at the NC facility collecting data. She agreed to drive him down to Gainesville, where Nancy and one of our other volunteers drove to pick him up.
We later learned more of his story and it seems he was sold to someone in South Carolina as a pet. People think they can get these small canids and either house train them or litter box train them. Usually, neither will take as the foxes just want to be foxes. Milo was sent to NC to this rescuer, but she wasn’t prepared to handle a small animal like him. Her fencing had bigger holes and she was keeping him in a large dog kennel for the time he was with her.
Most states regulate ownership and importation of foxes and other exotic animals. It is important to research the type of pet you want to acquire, the laws, the animal’s needs and be prepared to provide those things or don’t get it. The blaze & spots are signs of line or in-breeding. This practice is commonly done to try and domesticate wild animals. There was a famous research project from Russia in which they bred Red Foxes and chose for temperaments, trying to see within how many generations they could achieve domestication traits. It was found that in as few as four generations some characteristics can start to present like attention seeking and floppy ears. That study began in the 1950’s and is still going on today.