Canine Distemper Decimates Wildlife

Canine distemper originated in North American domestic dogs in the late 1800s. Ever since, this deadly family of viruses has spread like wildfire through wild foxes, wolves, coyotes— and even unrelated animals like lions, bears, skunks, and raccoons. Many animals, like the Ethiopian wolf and Amur leopard, are now facing imminent extinction due to distemperContinue reading “Canine Distemper Decimates Wildlife”

Any Mammal Can Get Rabies

For Fox Sake’s focus is on our local rabies vector species: skunks, foxes, and raccoons. But these animals aren’t “rabies vectors” simply because they can catch rabies, but rather, because they can live with it for several days or weeks and transmit it to other animals, including humans, during that time. It’s possible for absolutelyContinue reading “Any Mammal Can Get Rabies”

Eastern Spotted Skunks Declining

Many people wouldn’t even recognize this little fellow as a skunk. Over time, the population of the Eastern spotted skunk has declined so much that many people are unaware of their existence, and they have been eradicated through much of their native range. The spotted skunk’s population first took a dive when it was over-trappedContinue reading “Eastern Spotted Skunks Declining”

What’s a Phoby Cat?

You might occasionally still hear older people refer to an animal called a “phoby cat.” This is due to an outbreak of rabies— formerly called hydrophobia— among Western spotted skunks in the 1800s. Unfortunately, the spotted skunk’s reputation as a rabies carrier led to a massive trend in over-hunting and over-trapping, the effects of whichContinue reading “What’s a Phoby Cat?”

Rabid Animal? Don’t Shoot!

I specialize in rescuing rabies vector species. Among the most frustrating calls, messages, and comments I receive are from people bragging about how they saw a “rabid” animal, and reacted by shooting it in the head. When an animal does have genuinely rabies-like symptoms, it must be euthanized, not just for human safety, but forContinue reading “Rabid Animal? Don’t Shoot!”

Rabies Doesn’t Look Like Rabies

I specialize in rescuing wild animals that are categorized as “rabies vector species”— foxes, skunks, and raccoons. It’s been my experience that many people will either enormously over-react or under-react to the risk of rabies. For every person I’ve encountered who has shot a healthy animal for no reason at all, I’ve also encountered manyContinue reading “Rabies Doesn’t Look Like Rabies”

“Can I Keep This Skunk?” NO!

Skunks are smart, cute, and sensitive. It’s no surprise that some people are tempted to keep them as pets. This is a bad idea anywhere, but here in Tennessee, it’s actually illegal as well. Skunks are one of the most common carriers for rabies and may not show symptoms at first, so rescuing a babyContinue reading ““Can I Keep This Skunk?” NO!”

Vaccinate Your Pets to Save Wildlife

I usually share photos of only a fraction of the animals I’m called to assist— the few that actually get brought into rehabilitation. The other animals I help are never “rescued” per se, but instead, mercifully euthanized because it’s the only way to assist them. This five-month-old male is one of the animals I’ve helpedContinue reading “Vaccinate Your Pets to Save Wildlife”

“Do You Just Save Raccoons?”

You might have noticed that most recent photos of animals at For Fox Sake are raccoons. But trash pandas are, by no means, the only kind of animal I assist! My facility is licensed to rehabilitate Tennessee’s “rabies vector species”: raccoons, grey foxes, red foxes, striped skunks, and Eastern spotted skunks. All of these animalsContinue reading ““Do You Just Save Raccoons?””