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Foxhound training preserves: Historic, humane

Date published: 1/13/2013

I'M WRITING in defense of the foxhound training preserves. We operators are not the barbaric, bloodthirsty criminals that we have been made out to be.

We do everything we can think of to have the fox as our priority. There are natural dens and manmade dens especially for them. We also have a half-acre area holding facility where, after capturing the fox, it is vaccinated and wormed, and then put into this natural environment for seven days to become accustomed to the area.

This area is fenced so that no dogs can enter. Pipes run from this area to the large preserve, which must be 100 acres or more. These pipes allow the fox to come and go as it pleases, but are too small for dogs to enter from their part of the preserve.

During this time food and water are available 24/7. Feeders are made so that the fox can eat as long as it wants, because feeders are made in such a fashion that they don't allow any dog to enter. Feeders are checked and refilled daily, and fox food consists of good, high-protein dog food--the same as my dogs eat. After two to three weeks, the fox looks healthier and has a nice shiny coat.

Fox aren't released into the preserve at the same time as the dogs. A cage is used only for transportation from the captured area to the holding preserve.

They say a fox doesn't like to run, but it always has an escape into the holding area. I've seen the fox stop running many times, look back, and wait for the dog to catch up. It appears the fox thinks it is outsmarting the dog-- and it does a good job, too! Marathon runners don't have to run, but they do because they enjoy it, just as the fox enjoys outsmarting the dogs.

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