State confiscates NC family’s pet fox; animal could be euthanized

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina family has had their pet fox taken away and the wild animal now faces the possibility of euthanization.

A wild fox confiscated from a Columbus County  home. (Image: WECT via NDN)

A wild fox confiscated from a Columbus County home. (Image: WECT via NDN)

WECT-TV reported that Columbus County Animal Control and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission took the animal from a home south of Whiteville last Friday.

The fox is being held at the Columbus County Animal Shelter and will be euthanized if a qualified group doesn’t adopt it by Tuesday, according to Rossie Hayes, the county animal control director.

Authorities said people who keep wild animals as pets run the risk of getting parasites or rabies. It is against North Carolina state law to keep wild animals as pets.

“I think a lot of it’s the cuteness factor,” said Tom Padgett, regional biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “Once they become mature, the cuteness disappears and you’re stuck with an adult animal.”

The family reportedly did not know the animal was a fox. Officials said the fox does not have rabies.


  • Bo Diddley

    Send them to the G-boro hood. Lots of wild animals running loose and mating and fighting over there…

  • Jennifer

    Actually, the fox that was responsible for this article is Still”Cute,,if You Will” …This is a “Semi-Domesticated” wild animal..For God’s Sake.. PLEASE Allow SOME NC Wildlife Rehabilitation group to take responsibility for this little creature’s future!! Please?? And Also, PLEASE Make certain that the little guy Maintains SOME sort of contact with the Dear family that raised him…He Looks Totally Terrified!!! A fox’s lifespan is NOT that long…Come on, North Carolina Wildlife Rehabilitators!!! This “Little Guy” looks Petrified!!!

  • Jennifer

    This Little Guy Does NOT Have Rabies,,And would be a One-In-A-Million addition to ANY Local NC Wildlife Establishment ,,That is Concerned With/Interested in TEACHING the general (Local NC Public)..Poor Little Guy.. Not Sick, Not a Menace, Not a Threat… PLEASE NC Wildlife (OR The NC Zoo!!!) Take This Innocent, Precious Little Guy In!!!! (Money Not an Object, Here!)

  • LindaSue

    See what can happen when you allow government stooges to set the rules. Put down a perfectly healthy animal.
    The idiot who made that law is the one who should be put down!

  • Jennifer

    IF the Scientists/Professionals/Biologists/Wildlife Experts in Our State WILL JUST SPEAK UP FOR ONCE!!!!!! This little fellow belongs in a Safe Place, He has been Domesticated.. STOP terrorizing the little guy, Please??? Be Brave NC Scientists!!!This is One EXCEPTIONAL Learning Chance for the Young AND old in Our State! Of Course he Can’t Be RELEASED!!! Please, Just ONCE..Use Some Common Sense!!!

  • ash

    Wish I still lived in NC I would be outside that place day and night trying to save him. As a fox owner (yes with permit) and fox lover I think this is wrong and the idiot that made the statement about it being a “cuteness factor” should be put down along with the family that claims they “didn’t know the animal was a fox” this is wrong I hope a rescue group or rehab facility or zoo steps up. Foxes are amazing pets and great teaching tools. Please someone save this baby.

  • Cheryl Wray

    Why take a perfectly healthy, happy animal and euthanize it? Not to mention the heartbreak the family who loves him is facing – It’s okay to trap and kill one, but not to have one as a pet? I think we need to change some rules on having wildlife – especially if it’s an orphan or injured animal – if someone cares enough to help an animal, they should be allowed to get a permit to keep it if that’s what they choose to do.

  • themom

    Why not allow this family to obtain a permit and return him to the only home he’s ever known? You can see the fear in this little guys eyes, he’s mortified!

  • Jami

    Ridiculous. .he’s not rabid. .not hurting any one. .so pull him from someone caring for him to try to find some place to house him or euthanize him. .that is a waste of resources .get your priorities straight!

  • Tony

    As someone who has watched animal control ignore animals that are being starved or mistreated and take perfectly healthy trained animals away, I can believe it. Any way to ruin a perfect animal family relationship. Leave the fox alone.

Comments are closed.