Foxes are creating a frenzy for a couple of homeowners on Marietta Drive in Hopkinsville.
Joe and Connie Merritt said they have a family of six to eight foxes causing damage to their property and the wild mammals don’t seem to be afraid of people.
“They dug up all of the mulch in our flower beds last year and have dug homes under our shed this year,” said Joe Merritt about the damage. “We have tried to get rid of them, but they just keep coming back.”
The couple reports that they have seen paw prints on their vehicles and even had a fox show up on their porch during a get-together at their house.
“They aren’t afraid of humans,” Connie Merritt said. “They will walk right up to us.”
According to wildlife rehabilitator Natalie Allison, foxes are not dangerous, unless they feel threatened or have rabies.
There are many ways to tell if an animal has rabies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Signs include foaming at the mouth, a delirious or aggressive demeanor, seizures or a dropped or hanging jaw.
If you believe an animal has rabies, do not approach them, call animal control and clear the area.
The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture reports no known cases of foxes with rabies in Christian, Trigg or Todd counties since 1989.
Allison, who owns Amazing Acres Wildlife Rehabilitation, said foxes are moving into the area due to loss of habitat.
“There are so many new housing developments, the animals just have nowhere else to go,” she said.
Foxes help control other pests, such as snakes and rats, she noted, but if you must get rid of them, relocation is the best option.
Animal control can help with traps for the animals and relocate them for you. The Marietta Drive homeowner said local animal control officers put out traps in their area to help capture and relocate the foxes.
Hopkinsville Police Department Animal Control officers highly discourage feeding the foxes and any wild animals.
Officer Rico Rodriguez of the department said, “Feeding them encourages them to stay and makes the problem much bigger. Wild animals carry diseases and can be a danger if not treated with caution.”
Attempting to keep a wild animal for a pet is against the law, according to 301 Kentucky Administration Regulation 2:081. Violators can be fined or face jail time in some cases.
If you are concerned about foxes or any other wildlife in the area, call animal control at Hopkinsville Police Department at 270-890-1500. Do not attempt to catch or kill the animal yourself.
Sarah Elliott is a reporter for The Cadiz Record, a publication of Paxton Media Group. Reach her at email@example.com or her editor, Zirconia Alleyne, at 270-887-3243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.