Why Do You Rescue Vermin?

A raccoon kit.
Wildlife rehabbers sometimes save animals that might be considered pests.

It’s an understandable question. To someone who’s had their attic destroyed by raccoons or their chickens tormented by foxes, the goals of For Fox Sake can seem unreasonable– or even downright irresponsible. So why rehabilitate animals that aren’t endangered?

For Fox Sake handles skunks, foxes, and raccoons, which, in our state, are categorized as rabies vector species. Of these, Eastern spotted skunks are critically endangered in Tennessee, and grey foxes are facing a sharp population decline. Those two species are definitely very important to rehabilitate for conservation purposes.

As for striped skunks, red foxes, and raccoons?

The purpose in rehabilitating these common species isn’t to help the species as a whole, but to help the individual in order to prevent suffering. Rehabilitating these potentially rabid species gives the general public a safe alternative to “DIY” rehabilitation, which is cruel to the animal and dangerous to the handler.

We also help improve the general health of the populations of these animals in our area, and to help track the spread of disease, by euthanizing dozens of sick animals each year and submitting their bodies for testing– a critical component of controlling the spread of infectious diseases that can wipe out entire animal populations.

All animals are vaccinated for rabies, parvo, distemper, and parainfluenza on intake here, which, in combination with the USDA’s oral rabies vaccine program in our area, helps to improve “herd immunity” to diseases that can endanger humans and livestock.

Not happy with the idea of raccoons and foxes being released in your neighborhood? No worries there. Animals at For Fox Sake are only released in suitable habitats with the permission of the landowner. No one is planning unleashing hoards of vermin on your property.

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