The City has recently experienced an increase in calls reporting foxes with Sarcoptic Mange. Sarcoptic Mange is an infestation of mites on the animal's skin, which causes hair loss and severe irritation to the skin of the fox and crusting at the site of hair loss. Mange can also cause death in the animal. Foxes in more advanced stages may be seen during daylight hours wandering in neighborhoods. Community Service Officers are authorized to use humane traps if any animal is deemed a danger to itself or to the public health and safety.
Mange is contagious to humans as well as other animals. The human form of mange is called Scabies. Scabies can be transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact or exposure to affected objects. If you are exposed to an animal with mange, immediately wash the area thoroughly and contact your health provider.
Humane traps can be placed on public or private property with the property owner's permission. However, any person who traps a wildlife animal should immediately call the Police Department non-emergency number, (303) 237-2220. They have exclusive authority to determine the disposition of the trapped animal as cited in the Municipal Code of Laws, under Chapter 16, Article IV, Division 1, Section 16-64.
Recent efforts to humanely trap foxes with mange have not been successful as the animals are difficult to capture until the later stages of the the disease.
Safety Tips Citizens Should Remember
Do not feed the foxes (or any wildlife)
Do not try to befriend the foxes
Stay away from foxes - especially if they appear sick
Monitor your pet's activities when they are outside
If you spot a sick fox or find a carcass, do not touch it and contact your local animal control office.
If you are exposed to an animal with mange, immediately wash the area thoroughly and contact your health care provider.
Citizens can call (303) 237-2220 to report any sick or dead animals.
For information on trapping and other animal related inquiries, contact the Community Services Team at (303) 235-2926.