Just because you rarely see an animal like a fox does not make that animal dangerous or malevolent, and just because the animal has teeth and eats other animals does not make it dangerous to people. Most wild animals couldn't care less about humans. If they've invaded our space, it is because we first invaded theirs. Wild animals are just as much a part of this world as we are, and they will generally leave us alone as long as we leave them alone.
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Healthy foxes pose no real threat to humans. While a fox may be a nuisance animal concerning small livestock like chickens, or may injure the house cat, a fox is too small and shy to be outwardly aggressive toward people. Ideally, a fox will slip under the fence at night, kill a few chickens, and steal way again before the morning light. Foxes don't like a lot of noise or activity. They are not an animal that will fight; they are an animal that will run.
As always, there are exceptions to this rule. A cornered, stressed fox may become combative if it feels there is no other recourse. Even then, most trapped foxes will cower and growl but will not offensively attack. Similarly, a fox that feels its young are threatened may attack a human. A wise rule to live by is to never come between any wild animal and its young. Even mild-mannered birds will chase down an enemy nearing their eggs. Avoid picking up cute, little animal offspring or loitering around birthing dens. Harassing an animal in its den is a poor idea regardless of whether or not the young are present. A den is that animal's safe haven, and disturbing something's cozy home is a surefire way to get on the animal's bad side.
Sick animals always pose a threat to humans. A sick fox will not be as fearful of people as it normally would. Many diseases can cause disorientation and confusion, subsequently increasing fear or aggression. When a sick animal attacks, it's not the lacerations or bruises that are of concern. Zoonotic diseases, such as rabies, are spread through animals bites. Foxes are low on the list of rabies carriers, but they do carry other diseases such as leptospirosis, ringworm, roundworms, hookworms, and ectoparasites such as ticks and fleas. Even though we think about the cuts as a secondary concern, animal bites are always at a risk for infection. Untreated bite wounds can cause sloughing of the skin or even loss of an entire limb through joint sepsis. If you are attacked by a fox, seek immediate medical help. Timely intervention is the key to successful treatment. If you are not the one that has been injured, but your dog or cat has tangled with the sick fox, your local health department must be contacted and the pet must receive proper rabies treatment or complete a quarantine session. If a household pet is killed by a fox, a sample of the pet's brain tissue should be sent for testing to see if rabies was contracted. Brain tissue is the only tissue that can best tested for rabies. Unfortunately, there is no way to test a live pet for the virus. If neurologic symptoms are seen during quarantine, rabies will be assumed, and the pet will be humanely euthanized.
So, generally speaking, foxes are not dangerous to people. On a scale of one to ten, with then being the most dangerous animal, foxes are a two or a three. Healthy foxes will not seek human interaction of any kind. If you have fox that seems overly friendly or social, distance yourself immediately and call the police or wildlife game official.
AAAnimalControl.com is written by me, David. I am a professional nuisance wildlife control operator, athough I rarely deal with foxes. It is my goal to provide education about safe, responsible & effective solutions to human-wildlife conflicts. I provide a lot of "how-to" info, but in many cases, wildlife removal is complex, dangerous, and subject to local laws. Sometimes I recommend hiring a professional. I have spent over 10 years now training and investigating companies all over the United States, serving over 650 USA cities and towns. I believe my hand-picked list is far better than what you'll find on a standard web search by yourself. For my recommendation of a local critter trapper in your area, click here for my nationwide list of 100's of professional wildlife control experts.