Chief Michael P Murphy
150 Park St.
North Reading, MA 01864
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
North Reading Police Issue Tips for Residents in Dealing with Foxes
NORTH READING — With a recent uptick in fox sightings in town, and the sad loss of a family pet to a fox attack, Police Chief Michael P. Murphy and the North Reading Police Department are issuing some tips and guidelines to help residents coexist with their natural neighbors.
1. If you see a fox in the daytime, it is not usually an indication of rabies. Healthy foxes can generally be out and about during the day. Seeing a fox in the daytime is not an automatic sign of danger, in the way seeing a raccoon in the daytime may be.
2. Foxes are naturally scared of people. They will avoid you and usually will run away as soon as they detect your presence. If you want a fox to run away, your presence may be enough, or you can try making noise like banging two pots together. Just be mindful not to try to approach or get too close.
3. With that said, it’s always a good idea to have your pets on-leash if you know there are foxes in your neighborhood. Small cats and dogs are vulnerable to predatory attacks by a number of animals, including foxes, but if you are walking with your pet on a leash, the chances go down drastically.
4. Don’t leave pet food outside, and cover your trash. Foxes are scavengers, and they look for opportunities. A hungry fox will take food right off your doorstep or right out of your trash barrel.
5. Do not approach or pet foxes or fox pups. Do not feed them.
6. Keep bird feeders off the ground so that they cannot be easily reached. If you start to see foxes regularly, it’s best to remove bird feeders
7. It is illegal to discharge a firearm in populated areas. Do not shoot foxes or fire warning shots in the air.
If you believe you have a fox problem in your yard, or if a fox is acting aggressively or suspiciously, call North Reading Animal Control at 978-664-3807.
Remember, we share the land with a number of critters and animals. By using best practices and being cautious, we can minimize any unpleasant interactions.