People Couldn’t Stand Seeing This Fox In Pain — And Did The Right Thing

"This fox has friends. Human friends. Lots of them."

Sometimes, it takes a village. One young red fox had an entire neighborhood on his side, determined to help him escape an unfortunate situation.

The fox was born in a neighborhood in Cudahy, Wisconsin - the people living there were rather fond of the fox families often seen mulling about. But last week residents saw one of the young foxes, estimated to be 6 months old, limping around with a rat trap crushing one of his front paws.

"It was very horrifying to see," Barb Lierman, a Cudahy resident, told Fox 6 Now. "I was crying." That's when the calls started to come in. Various neighbors quickly got in touch with the Wisconsin Humane Society's Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, reporting the fox's alarming predicament.

"This fox has friends," the rehabilitation center wrote on Facebook. "Human friends. Lots of them ... They borrowed a live trap from us and set it in their yard, determined to catch him and bring him to us for help."

Finally, last Friday morning, the live trap arrived at the rehabilitation center, the young fox tucked neatly inside of it.

"We immediately anesthetized the fox and removed the terrible trap from his right front paw," the rehabilitation center wrote. "The paw looked and smelled awful. Some of the toes were obviously broken. The paw was badly swollen ... and there were maggots."

The paw was washed and the maggots were cleaned away. Much-needed medication was given to the fox, before a "shield" made from a plastic water bottle was placed on the fox's injured paw, then wrapped up in cloth to prevent the animal from chewing and hurting himself further.

"He still has a long way to go, but we're pleased with the way the wounded paw looks," the rehabilitation center wrote on Tuesday. "Furthermore, he is eating well, gaining weight, he takes his medicines (hidden in tasty treats) and he hasn't messed with his bandages or the wounded paw."

Not only are rat traps inhumane, but unintended targets, whether wildlife or domestic pets, often get the brunt of these traps.

Thanks to the community that came together around the fox's rescue, he's finally in safe hands and no longer has to suffer from the discomfort of having a trap gripping onto him.

The Cudahy community plans to continue its rally for the injured fox by holding an event this week at a local bakery, where all proceeds will be donated to the animal's care.

Want to help with this fox's ongoing care? See how you can make a contribution here.

Watch this video about a baby fox who was rescued from parking lot: