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Naugatuck Police Kill Sick Fox Near Rubber Avenue

The wild animal showed up Wednesday morning, roamed around the area, and continued to return despite police attempts to force it back into the woods, police said.

Naugatuck police officers shot and killed a sick fox that came out of the woods and ran around the area between Rubber Avenue and Andrew Avenue on Wednesday morning.

The animal was first sighted around 5 a.m. after police got a 911 call reporting a fox roaming around the main road, said Lt. Robert Harrison, spokesman for the .

Responding officers not immediately able to locate the animal at that time, police said. At 7 a.m., however, a second report came out after the fox was found inside the garage bay of the , Harrison said.

Police made attempts to chase the animal back into the woods, however, it kept returning and roaming around Rubber and Andrew avenues. The officers reported that the fox appeared unkempt and not well, Harrison said.

“This was a very sick animal,” the spokesman said. “We made an effort to get it back into the woods, but it kept turning around and coming back. That’s not normal behavior for an animal.”

Harrison said police were in contact at the time with the state Department of Environmental and Energy Protection, and the state agency recommended that police kill the animal. He said Naugatuck police were particularly concerned about the fox affecting traffic, as well as students that would be walking to .

Harrison said the fox was shot in the area of the . No people were hurt in the process, he said. Larry Santoro, head of the ambulance company, said the fox didn’t harm any equipment or cause damage to the ambulance company building at all during the incident.

Dwayne Gardner, spokesman for the DEEP, said shooting an animal is an accepted procedure if it poses a threat to human safety.

“Ordinarily we would prefer that the animal be scared back into the woods, but if it continues to interact with people, and people feel threatened, then it’s an acceptable practice to dispose of the animal,” Garder said.

Wild animals that venture into human territory, and refuse to leave, aren’t uncommon in Naugatuck, said Officer Carl Schaaf, the acting animal control supervisor. Schaaf said he was forced to kill a wild fox some months back and that he has disposed of opossums or raccoons before too.

He said the animals can sometimes get sick after getting into a resident’s garbage. While searching for old food they may also consume hazardous chemicals like bleach or other toxic materials, Schaaf said.

Overall, police said these wild animal reports aren’t unheard of in the borough.

“I don’t want to say it happens every day but it’s not an uncommon thing either,” Harrison said.

Robert Posca May 02, 2012 at 06:44 PM
would you have paid the vet bill by yourself or let tax payers fit the bill? Think about it?
Kissfan73 May 02, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Foxes are mainly nocturnal animals. If you see one come out during the day especially in a populated area it means it is either sick (rabid) or extremely hungry. If the DEEP and the police agreed this was the best cause of action to remove the potential of an attack and also the best action for the fox itself then the police did the right thing by putting it down. Why don't you leave your number with the police Erika, and the next time a fox or a skunk is running around town during the day when it should be sleeping you can go and catch it and be the savior of the animals.
Josh May 02, 2012 at 08:25 PM
The police most definitely did the right thing. I hate people that always need to complain about the police.
Tammy May 02, 2012 at 08:25 PM
I think they did the right thing and I am an animal lover!!
Mike Jackman May 02, 2012 at 08:27 PM
How dare they kill an innocent animal. The fox felt safe with them, that what animals do. When someone save them or they feel safe, they stay with that person. That's law of nature and common sense, which is something the Naugatuck police force lack of. Foxes are nocturnal animals but when they are seen in the daylight, they are sick and in need of help or they're hungry. What if the poor creature was sick? Bring him to the vet. What if the poor creature was hungry? Give him food. '“Ordinarily we would prefer that the animal be scared back into the woods, but if it continues to interact with people, and people feel threatened, then it’s an acceptable practice to dispose of the animal,” Garder said.' -Scaring him back to the woods? I question what the polic have in mind. And foxes are like dogs, they are friendly creatures to interact with. They also protect their owners. So, the next time someone kill an innocent creature, look at this face before you shoot it. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/Fuzzy_Freddy.jpg
TMV99 May 02, 2012 at 08:31 PM
what kind of idiot would pay for a vet bill for a FOX? it's a wild animal and it was probably rabid i would be afraid it would harm my small dog or my children! the police did the right thing in killing it
TMV99 May 02, 2012 at 08:32 PM
i agree with you Robert!!!
Jaime Corris Hammond May 02, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Yeah, according to the DEP, "it is not unusual to observe foxes during daytime." http://www.ct.gov/dep/lib/dep/wildlife/pdf_files/outreach/fact_sheets/redfox.pdf I live near Rubber Ave and see foxes, during the day, from time to time. Today was not only overcast, but it was garbage day. I'm sure the fox was hungry. But, now it's dead. That's super.
Erika May 02, 2012 at 09:17 PM
I think we are gonna have to agree to disagree on this one, KIssfan73. Even though you said yourself the animal could have been "extremely hungry" whether he was sick or not the vet could have determined that and then euthanized it. and the vet bill would NOT have been that much, regardless I believe more could have been done. That's just MY opinion, and as you are, I am entitled to it.
Jim SanAngelo May 02, 2012 at 11:14 PM
The Naugatuck Police are a dedicacated group of men and women who put the citizens of Naugatuck first. They are there 24/7 day in and day out. Someone who thinks they are sick and useless doesnt have a clue as to the work they do. I for one am proud to have the police force we do to make sure when i hit the pillow at night that i feel safe. I know the officers wouldn't kill a defensless animaln unless it was for public safety. You should feel lucky that the police are here for you even when people say stupid things as you have done here
Peter D. Johnson May 02, 2012 at 11:44 PM
It's easy to blame the police for killing this animal. My coworkers and I tried very hard to scare it away today but it kept coming back. When the police arrived we all continued to try and scare it away. After we called the DEP we were told the wildlife division wasn't open but that their policy is not to relocate a fox because of potential rabies. If the police had relocated the animal and it was sick and one of you got sick would you be happy to have the animal free or would you be suing the police for your medical bills? I don't know a vet that would open early for this. Where I used to live there were people who volunteered as wildlife rehabilitators and gave us alternatives to killingthe animals. If there are any people like that here I would love to know it so make them public so that we can have a better choice for sick and injured animals. I was raised to be an animal lover and I do what I can for them whenever possible. We were all very upset about the ending today but sadly there were very few options after we exhausted the ones we had. There were a lot of cars that drove by us while we were in the street trying to save this animal but nobody stopped and offered to help or to take the animal or to donate money for a vet bill. At least we were trying. I wish there was a happier ending to the story but perhaps we should be looking at solutions for next time.
Terri Takacs May 03, 2012 at 01:06 AM
Peter D. Thanks to you and the PD for being there to make these difficult decisions - I appreciate what you all do.
Starfishgirl May 03, 2012 at 03:31 AM
The appropriate course of action was to contact a licenced wildlife rehabilitator who could have lured the fox into a cage with food. At that point he could have been safely taken to the vet, treated and released or euthanized. Shooting the fox was an unethical, inhumane, and. unintelligent decision.
Starfishgirl May 03, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Many vets will treat wildlife for free.
Juanita May 03, 2012 at 03:57 AM
It is obvious that the situation was handled correctly and the fox was extremely ill (as mentioned above). It sounds like as many sensible attempts to help the animal was taken and I am sure it was not easy to see the animal be put down. I agree our animal control services are extremely poor. I have called several times myself and either did not receive a call back or was given no help. We pay a lot of taxes for this service and don't get anythig in return.
Juanita May 03, 2012 at 04:00 AM
While killing the fox was difficult and not ideal, the animal was acting in a manner which goes against its nature. Fox are wild animals and are not domesticated.
Juanita May 03, 2012 at 04:04 AM
I used to live in that part of town and saw fox at times too. However, they were running away from humans. This fox was most likely very ill and the police took appropriate action.
Tony Sanchez May 03, 2012 at 01:27 PM
The police took the appropriate action for the interest of the people and I commend them for making the tough decisions. As indicated in the report there are children walking to school at that time and I'd hate to be the parent of a child bitten by a rabid animal. Of course we cannot say with certainty that it was rabid, but considering its typically nocturnal and there is plenty I garbage to be eaten at night, we can assume. I for one would rather air on the side of caution. We need to stop acting like every animal is domesticated and poses no threats to humans. I'm sure a lion or bear wouldn't try to chase you back into society if you ventured into their territory.
barb May 03, 2012 at 02:26 PM
i cant beleve this killing a poor animal that didnt do any harmmmmmm, cuz hes a fox big deal , no 1 has the rite to kill any animals, they desearve to live. how can u say he was sick. geeeee , that why we have vets, i hate this, its really hurts to see this, i love animals to much, there better than human, im really upset to see this,
Flyngtiger79 May 03, 2012 at 04:18 PM
I am an animal lover and I respect all animals wild and domestic, but I have to agree with the officers action in this case. Everytime a 911 call is made and an officer/officers are dispatched it cost money, taxpayer money. Now, in this case when they were first dispatched they found no fox, thats money right there gone. The second time they were dispatched, again more taxpayers money, but they found the fox and noticed that the animal was acting strange. Right there they could have just shot the animal to save taxpayers money, time, and possible harm to human life, but they took the extra step to try and preserve the life of the animal by trying to get it to return to it's natural habitat. When that didn't work they again went the next step and contacted DEP to get their opinion. That was when the desicion was made to put the animal down in the concern for the safety of the community. The officers acted in the best interest for the community and nature. Had the fox been rabid and they tried to capture it someone could have been bitten, then what?
Starfishgirl May 03, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Juanita, None of the things you mentioned above are true. And now that the poor fox is dead we may never know the truth. I presume no autopsy was done and the dead fox's cadaver was tossed into a trash bin.
Starfishgirl May 03, 2012 at 04:51 PM
The paranoia related to wildlife on this thread is astounding. Next time call a wildlife rehabilitation specialist before you shoot the fox, Naugatuck.
Starfishgirl May 03, 2012 at 04:55 PM
I'm sure the same attitude came into play before Trayvon Martin was killed by a person claiming to be concerned with community safety.
MeatLoaf May 03, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I will do anything for love..... but I won't do that.
barb May 04, 2012 at 11:49 AM
i agree no 1 can say this fox was sick, he probally was scare and got confuse, i run to if iwas somewhere and didnt no where i was, geee give me a break,, there ia a place for wildlife u can call , no need to kill this lil guy ,gee, hes god animal,

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