Arroyo Grande fox euthanized after killing chickens, residents angry

United States Department of Agriculture personnel euthanized a wild fox that lived in and roamed the Village of Arroyo Grande after a resident complained the animal had killed some chickens. After receiving news of the fox’s death, many residents have said they are shocked and saddened.

The gray fox, which was known by most locals, had been walking around the Village for several months. The fox was entering a resident’s yard, going into the chicken coop and attacking and killing chickens, said USDA and California Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel.

Fish and Wildlife officials say no permit is required to euthanize small animals like a fox, as is the case with deer or bears. Gray foxes are not endangered.

Bob Stafford, a senior environmental scientist for California Fish and Wildlife, said a gray fox can be killed anytime it is doing damage to property or is about to damage property.

USDA officials said, due to state laws, they were unable to relocate the fox. Fish and Wildlife personnel say when animals are relocated they find their way back to their previous location or they do not survive.