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Frequently asked questions

I’ve found a dead fox, what can I do?

Unfortunately, due to the amount of time we spend dealing with fox rescues, we are unable to dedicate the time to picking up dead foxes. If the fox is on a public highway/public land then it is either Highways England, or the council's job to remove it. If it's on private property it's the responsibility of the land owner to dispose of it. Most vets will take the body and communally cremate if you can get it to them, but we recommend you ring ahead first.

Should I feed foxes/what shall I feed?

If you choose to feed your local foxes we recommend that you only support feed them, giving small amounts of good nutritious food, rather than giving large amounts of food. We also recommend that you scatter the food around (instead of putting it all in one pile), vary the times you feed, and miss a day or two each week. Overfeeding can result in changing natural behaviour and reducing territory size, which will have detrimental effects on the foxes. We also ask that you don't leave food close to your house, try not to let them see you putting food out, and please don't encourage the fox to trust you, or feed it by hand. Encouraging this behaviour can put your beloved fox at risk and bring it into grave danger from people who do not like foxes, and there are many such people out their looking for vulnerable foxes. For further info. please see the 'Feeding' section on the Information page.

Are foxes a danger to cats?

Foxes do not generally pose a danger to cats, in fact in the vast majority of cases they either co-exist without any issue, or the cats have the upper hand! The only real time a fox would be a danger to a cat is during cub season when the fox is defending the den/protecting very young cubs. Cats take birds (even quite large ones), rabbits etc., and in cub season they can take young fox cubs. If a confrontation takes place, in most cases the fox will come off worse as cat bites and scratches are very prone to infection and can result in the death of the fox. We have so many examples of cats and foxes playing together and also of cats displaying that they are very much in control! However, there is always the exception to the rule and these very uncommon instances are what people tend to focus on when trying to prove the local fox is responsible for all the cat deaths/disappearances in the area. If a fox is seen carrying a cat away it's far more likely that the cat has been a victim of a road traffic accident and the fox is just taking advantage of an easy meal.

I’ve seen a fox limping, can you help?

Most limps are caused by soft tissue injures such as strains and sprains. These are due to the active lives foxes live, and all the jumping over fences etc., which they do. If you have a fox with a limp the first thing to do is to try to get a video of the fox moving so we can assess the injury. In most cases it's best to 'wait and see' for a couple of days rather than rushing in and trying to trap the fox as trapping is always a last resort as it's so stressful for the fox. If the leg is swinging/flopping about, or at an odd angle then this is more of an emergency as it could be broken. For minor injuries, whilst they are healing, we can send arnica drops to put in food which is a natural painkiller.

I have a fox with mange, can you help?

Foxes suffer from Canine Sarcoptic Mange and this is a common condition caused by a mite which burrows under the skin and is passed by close contact between foxes. It results in intense itching/scratching and the fox will start to lose fur (usually starting at the base of the tail). The condition eventually results in the development of a layer of crust and broken skin and often goes hand-in-hand with conjunctivitis. A photo is always useful for us to assess the severity of the mange and decide on a course of action. In mild cases we can send some homeopathic drops out, which together with good nutrition, is often enough to boost their immune system to enable them to fight off the mange, or we may opt to try to trap the fox, give a spot-on treatment and immediately release the fox, or in severe cases we would attempt to trap the fox and admit it into the rescue for treatment. For further info. on mange in foxes, please see the 'Sarcoptic Mange' section on the Information page.

I’ve just seen an injured fox that is now out of sight, can you help?

One-off sightings are very difficult to deal with as unless the fox is collapsed, or minimally mobile (in which case you need to be able to stay with the fox to see where it goes) it will be impossible for us to find the fox. Similarly, if the fox is on public land, that is also very difficult as we are unable to put a trap out on public land, or in an unsecured location. If you can find someone whose garden the fox is going into, who can feed it regularly, then we would either be able to send some treatment to put in food, or put a trap out if necessary. Unfortunately neither of these options are feasible with random sightings.

I’m concerned that a fox that visits is not fazed by people.

It's important for us to be able to see some video footage of the fox so we can assess the behaviour. A tame/friendly fox could either be due to neurological issues, for example toxoplasmosis (which causes them to lose their fear of humans), or it could be that the fox has been encouraged to trust people by someone talking to it, throwing food to it, hand feeding it, which has resulted in the fox becoming too trusting and associating people with food. In this case it's learned behaviour and there isn't much we can do apart from advising people to stop feeding in this way and actively discourage the fox from approaching. If there are real neurological problems then the fox will struggle to survive in the wild and in these circumstances the fox will need trapping. Video footage is very helpful to enable us to differentiate between the two.

Do you allow visitors to your site?

Unfortunately we don't allow visitors to the rescue as it would be far too stressful for the foxes. We avoid contact with the foxes as much as possible and restrict times in the unit to just cleaning and feeding and we aim to keep this as short as possible. Being wild animals they naturally fear humans and so having an open door policy just wouldn't be fair on them.