For animals that are considered pests by some humans, the world can be a pretty scary place. At any moment, these unwanted creatures could come face to face with someone who wants to get rid of them by any means necessary, and their lives are constantly under threat.
In Australia, one of these species is especially in danger. The cuddly-looking European Red Fox is a threat for native wildlife, so people are actually encouraged to shoot them on sight.
This nearly spelled disaster for a baby fox named Willa when she encountered a farmer who instantly went searching for his gun…

European Red Foxes were introduced to Australia in the 1800s, but they are now regarded as pests since they’re responsible for killing a handful of wildlife. The government has enlisted a “bait and shoot” program, in which the public is encouraged shoot the foxes if seen on their property.
When Willa, a baby European Red Fox, stumbled onto a farmer’s property, his fate seemed sealed. The man went to borrow a gun from his neighbor so he could shoot the tiny fox, but as luck would have it…
…his neighbor didn’t answer the door. Not sure what else to do, the farmer called Sydney Fox Rescue, a local rescue group that vaccinates, microchips, and neuter baby foxes. Luckily for foxes like Willa, they are never released back into the wild.
The group brought Willa to their pet sanctuary, where he befriended another fox named Athena, who was soon sadly killed by a python. Lonely, he struck up an unlikely friendship with another animal at the sanctuary…

Isabel was an unsuccessful racing Greyhound, and since she was no longer of any value to her owner, she was brought to a vet to be euthanized. While her owner was negotiating her death sentence, a woman stopped them and offered to bring Isabel to a rescue group, which turned out to be the Sydney Fox Rescue.
The friendship between Willa and Isabel, nicknamed Izzy, was forged almost immediately.
Izzy allowed Willa to climb all over her and even take her food. 
They frequently went to the beach together and frolicked in the sand.
Kelly Nelder, co-founder of the Sydney Fox Rescue, says one of Willa’s favorite things to do is to play with Izzy’s tail. 
“He sneaks behind her, stares at her tail for awhile, then pounces,” she said. “If he gets hold of her tail he tries to take it to his hidey spot with his toys. He doesn’t seem to realize that Isabel’s permanently attached!”
Izzy also playfully responds by putting Willa’s entire head in her mouth, but it’s all in good fun! Unfortunately, these friends might not be together forever.
Willa and Izzy are completely inseparable, and they’re total snuggle buddies.
Sadly, a new law has been enacted making it illegal to keep foxes as pets.
There’s good news, though: Willa was registered as a pet before this law was enacted, making him exempt from the ruling!

While he gets to remain in the sanctuary, he is banned from going to the beach with Izzy any longer. The new law has made it so that any foxes caught in the future will be euthanized.
“There are no evil animals,” Nelder says. “Yes, wild foxes can be deadly to wildlife, but if kept in enclosures and well cared for, they are no longer a threat but are beautiful funny animals with loads of personality. They shouldn’t be killed just for being born a fox, but unfortunately the current pest order means just that.”
We’re so happy that Willa was able to find a home where he can roam free and hang out with his best friend Izzy! Hopefully Australia finds a way to let these adorable animals live freely some day.
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