KEY LARGO, Fla. – A sanctuary in South Florida is saving foxes from the fur trade, which kills about 4 million foxes every year.
About 250 fur farms operate in the United States and there are very few federal laws to regulate the treatment of these poor animals born, raised for one year, and then murdered for their coats.
Nicole Navarro, of Pawsitive Beginnings, a nonprofit organization based in Monroe County, has made it her mission to rescue foxes at a sanctuary near the ocean in Key Largo.
“They’re happy, they love each other, they love their space -- they just don’t love humans, and who could blame them honestly?” she said.
Navarro, who grew up on a horse farm in Pennsylvania, said their imperfections helped save their lives.
Libby, Coral, Reef and others don’t have a tail. Louis’s ears are deformed. Penny was born barren. Jasper cannot breed. Reef is just loud.
The sanctuary is the best way to help, Navarro said, since the foxes cannot be released into the wild because they were bred in captivity, so it is illegal to release them.
“I had to swallow that hard truth a long time ago that you can’t save them all, so I just focus on the ones that I have and giving them absolutely everything I can,” Navarro said.
To help raise awareness about the need to help the foxes, Navarro said Reef has been writing a weekly report for the Upper Keys and people love it.
“He covers all topics,” Navarro said, adding that advocating for the foxes has been ”the most amazing thing” she has ever done.
“Being able to care for these survivors has truly been the biggest privilege of my life,” she said.