Residents have launched a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a permanent memorial to the fox euthanized in Arroyo Grande.
The fundraiser will also pay for educational signs in the creek area of The Village to inform the public about how it should interact with wildlife.
“We need to educate the community how to live around wildlife,” organizer Vivian Krug-Cotton wrote on the fundraiser page. “In memory of this little fox and so its precious life wasn't taken in vain, this fund has been set up to help pay for a permanent memorial to be placed in Centennial Park and for educational signs about our wildlife to be placed along the creek. We don’t want a senseless tragedy to ever happen again.”
As of Friday morning, the campaign had raised $970 of its $15,000 goal.
The fox, which stole hearts for its playful interactions with humans and pets, was trapped and killed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services department after a complaint that it had killed a resident’s chickens, according to USDA public affairs specialist Tanya Espinosa.
The community responded to the news with outrage, with many questioning why the fox was not taken by a wildlife rehabilitation or rescue. Some set up makeshift memorials in The Village, adorning the gazebo with ribbons and hiding painted rocks in areas the popular critter was known to play.
A candlelight vigil is also tentatively planned for 6:15 p.m. Dec. 11.
After the news broke that the fox had been killed, rumors and questions abounded about how and why the fox was euthanized, with many asking why the community was not consulted. In response, the Arroyo Grande City Council is expected to hold an informational session on the issue before its council meeting Tuesday.
You can donate to the memorial fund at https://www.gofundme.com/agvillagefoxmemorialfund.