Waynesboro Police Department: Foxes rarely pose a threat to humans, pets

fox
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Fox sightings are common in the City of Waynesboro and shouldn’t be a cause for concern, according to the Waynesboro Police Department. It isn’t unusual to see a fox or other wildlife in the city due to the blend of woodland and urban landscapes.

Foxes are often drawn to neighborhoods, according to the release, because of the proximity to sources of food. Food sources for wildlife include unsecured trash cans, dumpsters, fruit trees, bird or poultry feed and cooking grills.

Citizens who put pet food out for domestic animals should limit the time the food is left out, according to the release.

Foxes also make dens under porches, decks, crawl spaces and outbuildings, and most are not startled by people as they have learned to adapt to their environment.

It is illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia to trap and relocate a wild animal.

Hair loss in foxes is a common occurrence, especially during the warmer months of the year. Hair lost is often the result of Sarcoptic mange caused by a mite that buries in the skin of wildlife.

The Waynesboro Police Department takes a number of calls this time of year but foxes are typically not predatory toward humans and rarely pose a threat to pets.

However, here are some things that should be reported to Waynesboro Animal Control

  • Partial paralysis or unable to walk
  • Circling or staggering as if it is intoxicated
  • Self-mutilation
  • Acting aggressively
  • Acting unnaturally tame

If you see any wild animal that displays any of these behavioral signs or physical symptoms, you are asked to call the police department at (540) 942-6675. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 as soon as possible. An officer will attempt to locate the animal and access the situation.

To learn more about human and wildlife interactions, please visit dwr.virginia.gov


Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.