Mary Cummins Animal Advocates Los Angeles California Wildlife Rehabilitation Real Estate

Monday, June 19, 2017

Fox puppies offered for sale on Craigslist are now in a sanctuary thanks to Fish & Wildlife! - Mary Cummins, Animal Advocates

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We generally skim the animals for sale on Craigslist checking for illegal exotic and wildlife sales. If you want to own an exotic animal or wildlife, you need special permits from Fish & Wildlife. They can only be used for educational purposes. You need at least two years of experience handling the animals under someone else's permits first. You then have to go through a long and expensive process to get your exhibiting permits. Because this is all a huge hassle and the desire to own a unique animal is high, people buy them on the black Craigslist market without permits.

Back in May 2017 I saw fox pups offered for sale on craigslist. Above is the ad. I reported it to the appropriate warden then I flagged the ad and it was removed. Two days later and the seller reposted the ad. Two women forward the ad to me. I forwarded that to the warden. These two animal loving people wanted to stop the sale and get the fox puppies to a sanctuary. Among all of us, I won't say how, we managed to drag the selling process out long enough for the warden to take the puppy/puppies from the illegal vendor. The vendor is a young guy living here in Los Angeles. We were able to track him down through identifying markers he left in communications.

The warden went on vacation so I hadn't heard what happened to the fox pups. Earlier today a volunteer with The Nature of Wildworks posted pics of herself holding the puppy on Facebook. One fox pup now named Michael J Fox aka Mikey is now at Molly Hogan's The Nature of Wildworks. I'm so happy the fox pup ended up in good hands. As for the vendor I don't know what actions Fish & Wildlife took against him. There are still penalties for selling wildlife or exotics without proper permits. Below are some pics of the fox pups the vendor sent to us.

Article continues below.


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Below is a pic of the fox today. He's a little bigger.

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This pet fox craze was started by a March 2011 National Geographic magazine article titled. "Designing the Perfect Pet." It was about research done by Russian scientists to find out how we domesticated wolves. They experimented on foxes. They would test the foxes for tameness. They would only breed the tamest of the foxes. The wild foxes were sold to fox fur farms. This continued for a few generations. Ultimately the foxes were as tame as dogs. They could be a house pet. They also noticed changes in the fox. Their ears drooped a little. They had different coloring.

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More great follow up news! This is from The Nature of Wildworks email.  

“Meet Mikey ( short for Michael J ! ), our new 9-week-old red fox pup.

The Nature of Wildworks, fox


Excuse me. Did you say Red Fox? He doesn't look red, does he? And he's not going to turn red later. Red foxes come in different colors like red, brown, black, and silver but they all have one thing in common-- a white tip on the end of their tail. Well, maybe more than one thing. As puppies, or "kits" as they are also called, they are about as cute as it gets and as adults they're absolutely beautiful.

The Nature of Wildworks, fox


And apparently a fox is a fox is a fox. When red foxes first meet, even though they weren't raised together and have never seen each other before, they literally almost die of excitement overload, fluffy white-tipped tails wagging in a blur and making their fox happiness noise, which I can't even pretend to describe. This is exactly what happened when Mikey fox met Fire fox.

The Nature of Wildworks, fox

Fire is our sweet adult female red fox and she loves everyone. Every person, every animal. I always say she has no appropriate relationships because when walked on a leash she rolls over on her back wagging her tail and whining in front of the mountain lion cage. "Come play with me, Pirate." Not a good idea, Fire. Fire loves Australian Shepherds and was raised by our Aussie dog Hopi. When Hopi passed away Fire moved on to love again with Aussie dog, Star, as her new playmate.

How did we get Mikey? Where did he come from?  The foxes were in Sacramento but we met halfway in Bakersfield and there I got the whole crazy backstory. The following is from the Animal Advocates Blog, (Mary Cummings, who initially reported the ad. mmmaryinla@aol.com)

"We generally skim the animals for sale on Craigslist checking for illegal exotic and wildlife sales. If you want to own an exotic animal or wildlife, you need special permits from Fish & Wildlife. They can only be used for educational purposes. You need at least two years of experience handling the animals under someone else's permits first. You then have to go through a long and expensive process to get your exhibiting permits. Because this is all a huge hassle and the desire to own a unique animal is high, people buy them on the black Craigslist market without permits.

Back in May 2017 I saw fox pups offered for sale on craigslist. Above is the ad. I reported it to the appropriate warden then I flagged the ad and it was removed. Two days later and the seller re-posted the ad. Two women forward the ad to me. I forwarded that to the warden. These two animal loving people wanted to stop the sale and get the fox puppies to a sanctuary. Among all of us, I won't say how, we managed to drag the selling process out long enough for the warden to take the puppy/puppies from the illegal vendor. The vendor is a young guy living here in Los Angeles. We were able to track him down through identifying markers he left in communications.

The warden went on vacation so I hadn't heard what happened to the fox pups. Earlier today a volunteer with The Nature of Wildworks  posted pics of herself holding the puppy on Facebook. One fox pup now named Michael J Fox aka Mikey is now at Molly Hogan's The Nature of Wildworks. I'm so happy the fox pup ended up in good hands. As for the vendor I don't know what actions Fish & Wildlife took against him. There are still penalties for selling wildlife or exotics without proper permits."

Well, it was a normal day at the wildlife center for me. Just minding my own business answering one rescue call after another, usually regarding an orphaned or injured squirrel or opossum, when a call from Fish and Wildlife came in. "We have a litter of foxes. Can you take one?" Yes! One of them was particularly friendly and I said, "Then he's the one for us. He'll be a perfect education animal for our outreach programs."

Mikey slept in his carrier the entire way home and who could blame him. But nothing like a red fox mom substitute to make you sit up in bed. Upon first sighting the tail wagging and whining began and hasn't stopped since. The first day it was pretty cute because Fire has a swing which is her favorite spot in the enclosure. In her old age she now spends much of the day napping and relaxing on her personal hammock and Mikey , uncoordinated puppy that he is, couldn't quite figure out how to get up there with her. It was making him crazy. But on the second day he had devised a plan and could walk from the shelf along the midline metal bar of the enclosure and then "jump". Fire growls a little at this invasion of her private island but she's an understanding mom and Mikey has now won his place at the top.

I was right, by the way, when I guessed he would be good at outreach. His first program was last Saturday at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles where he wowed everyone posing (and napping on stage) as a modern day dire wolf. We're happy in every way to have him with us. Right now...and for a lifetime.

If you'd like to meet Mikey up close and personal you can enjoy a private tour of the wildlife center, sign up for our on-site class "Clicker training with a fox" or schedule your own personal outreach educational program.

To sponsor Mikey please visit: Sponsor Mikey!

To learn more visit www.natureofwildworks.org

(Photo credits to Terry Matkins and Lorie Zerweck)”

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game and the USDA. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.


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