WARNING: CONTENT MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME VIEWERS.
Growing up, I remember hearing stories about people killing foxes that look like this one for fear that they had rabies, and were therefore considered a danger to humans in populated areas. I was told that seeing a fox acting funny in the middle of the day is an indication that it was sick and should be killed so as not to harm the humans around it. Let me tell you, THAT IS NOT THE CASE!
First of all, it is very difficult for a fox to contract rabies, and it doesn't happen often. Second, diseases that foxes contract do not transfer as easily (or at all) to humans or other animals. If you see a fox that looks like this, hanging around humans in the middle of the day, all scabbed up and lethargic, DO NOT BE ALARMED. These foxes are suffering from a strain of mange, which can be lethal this time of year. Foxes will begin to lose their fur as a result of scratching and biting, they cannot sleep, they lose their eye sight, and soon enough, infection sets in, and organ failure begins. These foxes are coming out during the day close to where humans live only because they know that we will provide food. As they get more and more sick, they cannot hunt, and therefore seek out human help. When they are sick like this, they do not become more dangerous, but more curious, hoping that humans will provide food long enough to sustain them until they pass away.
If you see a fox like this in your back yard, YOU CAN HELP! Yes, you can actually save your fox population and help these beautiful creatures out. Tom and I, and our awesome neighbors, did lots of research about how we can help our lovely friends, and are dedicated to doing so. Foxes can be treated by injecting certain foods with Ivermectin (preferably eggs with the shell intact to ensure the safety of other animals), and treatment can last up to seven weeks, administering doses every 5 days. Baiting foxes is rather easy if you know where they like to hang out. Ivermectin is used to treat many different animals for a variety of parasites, worms, and mites, and this medicine does not harm most wildlife or pets, especially if it is administered correctly.