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.
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.