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What Does The Fox Say? No Cheese for Me


Red fox in London, England

If Hamlet were here, he’d say, “There’s something rotten in Denmark.” Except instead of Denmark, it’s London. And instead of “rotten,” it’s “poisoned.” Yes. Someone is poisoning dogs in London. Well, ok, more accurately, someone is trying to poison rampant wild foxes in London while inadvertently (I’m giving the benefit of the doubt, here) poisoning and killing unsuspecting—and hungry—family pets. This comes after a string of other Brits-putting-poison-in-things stories. Meat? Sandwiches? Apparently poison is the British death trap of choice these days.

Here’s the story: “some idiot” (writer and Londoner Melissa Kite’s words, not mine) has been laying down poison-laced cheese in London’s Tooting Common, a popular park for dog-owners to bring their pets. The poisoned cheese was a way to swiftly attract and deal with the rampant overpopulation of wild foxes that are making their homes in and taking over London neighborhoods. The problem, however, was that dogs were discovering the scrumptious cheese bites and gobbling them up before the foxes had a chance to. Veterinarians in the area discovered the problem after multiple dogs suffered from vomiting, diarrhea, twitching, seizures, and eventual death after spending time in the park.

Foxes are becoming a problem in London, a city home to 8.3 million people. In her article, Melissa Kite describes why these little buggers are so unsavory: “they ransack bins, they eat small pets, they spread mange to dogs. They foul public areas so extensively that it begins to make no difference whether dog owners pick up their poo. They are bold and fearless, sauntering about the streets in broad daylight quite casually.” We aren’t talking about cute, cuddly little balls of adorableness. We’re talking about pet-eaters.

According to Kite, while Londoners are becoming increasingly concerned about the booming population of these cunning carnivores, authorities unfortunately do not seem to be mirroring that concern. As a result, individuals are taking matters into their own rogue little hands. Enter: the Fox Poisoner. A poorly-planned, ableit well-intentioned, idea.

The RSPCA and a local veterinary clinic have urged pet owners to stay away from the park for now, and to take their pets to a vet at first sign of suspected poisoning.

Feature Photo Credit: LA Times

Michelina DelGizzi

Michelina DelGizzi, MS, MPH, is a writer and caseophile based in Boston and Lafayette, La.