(Photo by Dottie Dowling)
In the two years that Dottie Dowling has been feeding and photographing the foxes that wander around her Ruxton home, her neighbors have come up with many reasons why she should stop.
"The first thing people say is that foxes who come out in the daytime have rabies, which is a misconception," says Dowling, who has done extensive research about foxes on the Internet. "It's just that they've become urbanized and they're not so afraid of people anymore."
People have also told her that if you feed the foxes, they'll lose their natural hunting abilities. "I've seen these guys go after squirrels," she says. "They haven't forgotten anything."
It was about two years ago when Dowling noticed foxes coming closer to her door. Struck by their beauty and anxious to take some pictures, she started putting out leftovers. These days, the foxes' menu generally includes cooked chicken from Graul's, as well as hot dogs and dog biscuits.
Dowling's neighbors aren't the only ones unhappy about her fox-feeding habits. "My dog hates it," she says. "He's just jealous."