Stop Foxes From Being Tortured and Killed for Sport

Target: Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell

Goal: Prohibit the brutal torture and killing of foxes for sport in Virginia.

Fox-penning, one of the most barbaric practices still legal in the U.S., is when a wild fox, after being brutally trapped and confined to a small pen, is chased down and then ripped apart by a pack of hunting dogs.  Incredibly, this practice is still legal in some U.S. states. However, a bill is under consideration in Virginia that would ban this barbaric practice.

The horrors of fox-penning begin in the forest.  A wild fox or coyote is caught in a steel trap, a hunting tool that not only traps the animal, but wounds it as well.  Next, the fox—with a wounded leg—is transported without food, water, or medical care to a fox pen.  The journey can last for days and take the fox into a remote corner of Virginia, or into another state.  After being bought by a fox pen operator, the animal is kept in a tightly enclosed space until the sport begins.  Participants place bets on the hunting dogs they enter, wagering on whether the fox will be killed, how long it will take, and how easily the dogs will finish it off.  The fox spends its final moments being run down by the pack until they catch their prey and rip the fox apart.  Obviously a fox can only last for one round, so animals are constantly being captured and brought to the pens to keep the sport going.

Other states, including Florida, have already banned the practice. A bill was passed by the Virginia Senate on February 5th, and it will soon be reviewed by the House of Delegates.  The bill fails to outlaw the practice (the ban is only applicable to pens opened after 2013), but it is a step in the right direction.

Signing the following petition will let Virginia governor Robert McDonnell hear your voice.  Help urge the governor to sign the bill and take a step to end blood sports and animal cruelty in the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Dear Governor Robert McDonnell,

The practice of “fox-penning” still being practiced in your state is a blemish on our nation. We cannot call ourselves a country committed to social justice if blood sports are legally being practiced in our borders.

Capturing, maiming, and then enclosing the foxes is bad enough—but unleashing a pack of dogs to hunt it down and tear it apart is absolutely barbaric.  Such practices undermine all steps we have made for animal rights, and are unethical and unacceptable.

As a bill which severely limits the extent to which fox-penning can be practiced, approaches your desk, I would like to urge you to consider its benefits.  Not only will it spare the lives of countless animals, but it will improve the image of your state and our nation.  I would like to ask you to please sign this important bill and restrict this brutal practice.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: digitalprimate via Flickr

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  1. We don’t live in a civilized society until these atrocities end.

  2. foxes,wolves,and all other wild animals in america,and all over the world,must be free.
    they must not be hunted.
    it is a crime to hunt at foxes,wolves,bears.

  3. i come back,how can people say foxhunting is a sport.
    it is SO CRUEL.
    i saw it on utube,it was terrible.
    a little fox in a penn,howling,for pain,his paw,was in the penn,and whe tried to escaped,he couldnt.
    he he houweld,like a baby.
    than the hunter came,clapped dead,or after days of suffering,the criminal died him at last.
    that is fox/hunting.

  4. contact Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell personally

  5. Ms JoAnne Perdue says:

    these are the sort of people that shouldn’t be allowed guns, nothing good can come from people with that mindset…

  6. How can people see this as fun.. it is horrid and yet, somehow, i am not surprised this is in allowed in virignia. this is the state that forces women to have their bodies violated and raped and people like that often feel it is okay to kill, torture and kill everything else while calling themselves good christians and good people.

    STOP this practice. There is no excuse for this.

  7. d.j
    i wrote to the governor of virginia.
    a very polite letter,about the foxes,e d.
    i am so sick of it,how people(monsters)treat
    those lovely innocent animals,just for their
    fur,or fun.
    i hate people who hurt any animals,on what way.
    when will it end.

  8. Michelle Wood says:

    “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”—Francis of Assisi

  9. anita culling says:

    Stop killing and torturing. No excuses

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