Naturally, the first words out of the man's mouth were, "The fox isn't gonna attack us, is it?"
Keeping my tone sweet, I replied, "No, he's very friendly."
"Yeah. That's what you keep saying." And they hurried past like he was going to snap at any moment.
I think that this is something that a lot of prospective fox owners really need to understand. No matter how well-trained your animal is, how friendly it is, or how much better behaved than most people's dogs/children it is, some folks will always see it as a wild animal. They will see it as a threat, and there is nothing you can do to reassure them.
I think a lot of people get this picture in their heads that they're going to get it as a baby and raise it and carefully train it and socialize it and it will be a perfectly behaved animal, so they will never have a single problem with any of their neighbors. This is not how the real world works. You could have honest-to-god Lassie reincarnated as a fox, and someone will still call the cops on you.
I have been very fortunate, in that the neighbors that all live immediately nextdoor to me have been very accepting of Gizmo, and seem to like him well enough. Many, many people with exotic pets are not that fortunate. Unless you are already very good friends with your neighbors before you bring an exotic home, plan on having issues with them. And if you are good friends with them, understand that you getting a pet "wild animal" may end that friendship.
People who are doing research on potential exotics often get so caught up in learning about feeding/housing/care/behavior that they neglect to consider the impact it may have on their relationships with their family members or neighbors. And, as Sybil's Den member MBouncer once said,
"... sometimes it starts with calling the police and ends up with somebody throwing a piece of meat over your backyard fence laced with de-con..."Things can escalate. If you're already in a bad relationship with your surrounding neighbors, getting an exotic pet is probably not the best idea, even if you're fully capable of providing for it.
Picture Taken On: May 25, 2008