A Fox is Living in My Backyard! Don't Know What to Do. [Update]

I guess b/c of development in my neighborhood there are a lot of wild animals moving out of once forested land and moving into suburban property. Well, a beautiful red fox has taken up residence in my large backyard and I'm not sure how to feel about this. I called Animal Control and they said they can't do anything about it unless the fox begins to kill other animals (my neighbors' pets?) and cause destruction.

The fox has been living on my land for about a month. I don't know what my options are b/c I'm worried it could attack my Norwich Terrier, though Norwich Terriers were bred to bolt after fox. It's illegal in my state to kill fox and I don't know how to lure it away from my property. This bad boy is big and I don't know what to do about him. Are fox dangerous to humans? Should I just let him live there until he decides to leave on his own? Do fox go away in the winter?

Anyone have experience with this?
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Last edited by Fairewood; 08-17-2010 at 06:14 AM.
My only suggestion would have been to call animal control. You could lie and say he acting "strange"....hint he may be rapid. They will trap him and remove him then

Or call a private animal trapper...they can trap him and release him somewhere else farther out in the country.
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Yeah, my thought was to call them and say that he's getting too close to your house, or whatever, but nothing that might make animal control kill it, you know what I mean?

There are also private trappers out there, but they might cost some money.
Google wild animal control or animal removal -- when I had a groundhog and mole problem in my yard, I used someone I found on the internet. They did a good job -- live trapped Mr. Groundhog and took him far, far away -- killed the moles. Wasn't as expensive as you might think.

Also ask around your neighborhood --- you say the wild animals are moving in and someone might have already come up with a solution.

ETA: Keep your little dog inside unless you can watch him -- if you have fox in your neighborhood, there is an excellent chance you have coyotes. They are everywhere and very successful at getting along in towns and cities. They will kill larger dogs, as well.
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Last edited by fig jam; 08-03-2010 at 08:32 AM.
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not to sound uncaring to your peace of mind, but if the animal doesn't appear to be sick, injured, or aggressive when unprovoked, the only solution, to me, would be to keep your pets/children under watchful eye while they are outdoors, and to just live with it until it moves on. foxes can be seen at any time of day. so if you see the fox during the day, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's sick. most foxes near cities come out at night to avoid people, so i think many people assume they are noctural, when they really aren't.

a fox, to me, is as entitled to be left alone as a deer or raccoon, or any other wild animal whose natural habitat has been overrun by developers.

a similar incident happened in a town nearby. the residents discovered a coyote wandering through their communities. they wanted animal control to come out to trap it, but were told that unless the animal was sick or injured, they would no more trap and remove it than they would a nonthreatening possum or raccoon or deer that has taken up residency in a community.

i'm a softy for animals. we have deer, geese, buzzards, owls, turtles, snakes, lizards, raccoons, possum, chipmunks, billions of songbirds, and rabbits the size of big house cats. if you aren't an animal lover, you shouldn't move to our neighborhood. tee!

good luck, and don't let your pets out unless you are out with them. i'm sure he'll eventually move on.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
If there are no food sources, it'll go away on it's own eventually.

I seriously doubt a fox would attack a dog. They're normally shy and unaggressive unless they feel they're being threatened, like any other animal. But if you feel your terrier might try and have a go at it, call up a humane trapper. Please, please don't call animal control and "hint" it's acting strange- they might take that as rabid and dispose of it.

Don't be nervous. If you can, wait a little while and observe it, take pictures if you can. Foxes are beautiful animals. Bring up Google and do a bit of research on them. Of course, if you notice ANY off behavior (excessive boldness, uncharacteristic aggression) that would be the time to call animal control. Otherwise, let it be.

~Meredith
I'd trap and release, even if I had to pay someone to do it.

Foxes are predators, living close to humans is a tragedy waiting to happen. IMO relocating the animal before it gets into trouble is the best route for everyone.
I'm in the leave it alone camp, too. Chances are, it'll move along on it's own. If nothing else, you probably won't have to worry about any rodents or other garden pests while they're hunting in your area.

Sure, if it's really bothering you, you could hire somebody to come out to trap it and relocate it, but that seems like it would be an expensive & unnecessary solution.
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What does gekko say? She's the most experienced in these matters, I believe.

I'm envious. I would LOVE to have a fox in residence.
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We have some in our area. They are pretty shy and we rarely see them. Sometimes we hear them at night -- they have a distinctive bark. (We did get some pictures when we were putting out food and a trail camera at night to try to find our missing cat.)

Our neighbors have dogs and cats and none of them has been bothered by the foxes. I think foxes go after smaller prey on the whole.
If I had small children or pets, especially cats, chickens, rabbits, I'd have someone trap and release it. Other then that I'd just leave it alone. It's doubtful it will attack you unless it feels threatened by you.
Hmm, well I know things are different over here. But we have foxes in our neighbourhood- they come out at night and hit the rubbish bins. No one's ever mentioned catching them and releasing them elsewhere. Urban foxes are a normal sight now. We don't have any trouble with them- occasionally they have gone after a cat.

So I'd guess I'd just leave it alone
Oh, jesus christ...it's JUST a fox. Leave it alone. It won't bother you and if you watch your dog and children (like you're supposed to), it won't bother them either. I have fox in my yard all the time. I have deer and moles and groundhogs and probably coyote too. They are wildlife and the earth is better off for them. Just leave them alone.
My only suggestion would have been to call animal control. You could lie and say he acting "strange"....hint he may be rapid. They will trap him and remove him then

Or call a private animal trapper...they can trap him and release him somewhere else farther out in the country.
Originally Posted by Nappy_curly_crown


Trap and remove a potentially rabid animal? No...they'll kill it.

Ugh...why would you lie and get an animal killed?
Oh, jesus christ...it's JUST a fox. Leave it alone. It won't bother you and if you watch your dog and children (like you're supposed to), it won't bother them either. I have fox in my yard all the time. I have deer and moles and groundhogs and probably coyote too. They are wildlife and the earth is better off for them. Just leave them alone.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
I think we live in the same vicinity. We have all the wildlife, too, including a few fox. There's even a flock of turkeys with nine babies who haven't been harmed. They frequently sunbathe on my neighbor's back deck. They've been around for years and haven't hurt anyone/thing to my knowledge. Neighbors have a cat who runs loose--and he's still around.

I'm in the leave it alone camp.
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We have foxes, deer, bobcats, wild turkeys, groundhogs, skunks and etc on our land. But then again, where I'm from is extremely rural.

I have NEVER seen or heard of any fox around here taking on any animals, or approaching humans. The only problem anyone would have around here w/foxes, is if they have chickens. If we see any foxes around here, it's a fleeting glance because they are so skittish. Occasionally one will get hit by a car. We know they're around, but they're so wary it's rare if we actually see one.

If it makes you feel better, I would keep an eye on your dog.....but I highly doubt it will bother you. I would just leave it alone.
Perhaps I should leave it alone and let nature do it's thing. More than anything else, I guess I'm just startled by it b/c we're not accustomed to seeing fox and deer in our neighborhood. Whenever the fox sees me he doesn't do anything and just roams around away from me. I always keep my dog in the fenced-in section of the backyard (which is quite large), but I'm always afraid the fox will run towards my dog when I'm walking her around on a leash.

I'm just afraid that one of my neighbors will take matters into their own hands, even though the fox seems to be staying mostly on my property (He loves me? ). I actually feel sorry for the fox b/c I think he lost his habitat when a large forested area on the edge of our neighborhood was developed with shops and a hotel.

Anyway, I guess I'll leave him alone and keep my dog as protected as possible. He hasn't seemed interested in her so far. Then again, being a Norwich Terrier (little stinker) she might go after him one day!

Thanks for your feedback!
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Last edited by Fairewood; 08-03-2010 at 01:21 PM.
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It would be really unlikely for the fox to approach you and your dog while you have the dog on the leash. They are very wary of humans.
My only suggestion would have been to call animal control. You could lie and say he acting "strange"....hint he may be rapid. They will trap him and remove him then

Or call a private animal trapper...they can trap him and release him somewhere else farther out in the country.
Originally Posted by Nappy_curly_crown


Trap and remove a potentially rabid animal? No...they'll kill it.

Ugh...why would you lie and get an animal killed?
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Its a wild animal. If I felt threatened or felt that a family member and/or pet was threatened just by it being around....you dayum right I'd say I thought it was rapid so it would be removed....even if that ment it might be killed.

If that makes me public enemy #1 cause I'm not a furry animal lover then sue me
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My only suggestion would have been to call animal control. You could lie and say he acting "strange"....hint he may be rapid. They will trap him and remove him then

Or call a private animal trapper...they can trap him and release him somewhere else farther out in the country.
Originally Posted by Nappy_curly_crown


Trap and remove a potentially rabid animal? No...they'll kill it.

Ugh...why would you lie and get an animal killed?
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
Its a wild animal. If I felt threatened or felt that a family member and/or pet was threatened just by it being around....you dayum right I'd say I thought it was rapid so it would be removed....even if that ment it might be killed.

If that makes me public enemy #1 cause I'm not a furry animal lover then sue me
Originally Posted by Nappy_curly_crown


I would't think you were public enemy #1, but I would think you were very silly...and I would guess that you're getting your wildlife info from nursery rhymes. Fox are not dangerous to humans, or most full-grown cats and dogs. They are actually beneficial to humans in both rural and urban settings, because their main prey is mice and rats. They keep down the vermin population. Unless you are an unattended kitten or puppy, or a chicken, or a rodent, fox won't hurt you.

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