Twin Lakes to consider ordinance change regarding foxes as pets

/"Vulpes velox" by  Kilarin Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

/”Vulpes velox” by Kilarin Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The Twin Lakes Village Board may clarify its ordinance on the keeping of wild animals as pets in reaction to a resident’s desire to keep a fox on his property.

Richard Chapman of Indian Point Road told the board at its committee of the whole meeting Monday that he has met all state requirements for keeping a fox, but he wanted to be upfront with the village as well to head off any potential problems.

“I love animals,” Chapman said. “I don’t want to get a pet and then lose it.”

The legality of keeping a fox as a pet in the village is a gray area in village code, explained village administrator Jennifer Frederick.

“It’s not legal or illegal at this point,”  Frederick said.

The ordiance defines a fox as a wild animal, but does not address keeping wild animals as a pets. The ordinance defines domestic animals as dogs, cats and pot-bellied pigs.

Chapman said he has already arranged to purchase the animal from a licensed breeder in Indiana. He also has constructed a enclosure in his yard to house the fox when it cannot be directly supervised. The kennel has chain link fence buried a foot deep and a fully enclosed top. The animal he is purchasing has been raised with frequent contact with humans to make it domesticated.

Trustee Tom Connolly suggested taking an approach to these type of requests similar to recently enacted ordinance language regarding educational animals such as chickens. Under that law, each case is reviewed by the Village Board before approval.

As Monday’s meeting was a committee of the whole, there was no action taken, though the board may act on a revised ordinance at a future meeting.

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