I AM FOX DOG!

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It may sound like the plot of a Disney movie – but Todd the fox really does think he’s a dog.
The animal was tamed after being rescued as a four-month-old cub and was raised as a domestic pet by owner Emma D’Sylva.
Since then the lovable fox has picked up a number of canine characteristics such as tail wagging, playing with toys and even walking on a lead.

The 11-month-old animal accompanies Ms D’Sylva’s pet labradors Sky and Oakley on walks, drawing double-takes from other dog-walkers when they see Todd trotting through the local park. 

He also sleeps in a kennel in his enclosure in the garden, plays energetically with the other dogs and even wags his tail when it’s feeding time.

Emma, 25, from Stanfield, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., said: ‘Todd has been captive-bred so he has never been in the wild.
‘I’ve had him since he was about four months old because his previous owners couldn’t look after him any more.
Emma adopted Todd the fox when he was four-months old

Canine customs: Todd enjoys going on walks, playing with dog toys and even wags his tail when he’s happy
Sleeps in a kennel: The 11-month-old domesticated animal spends his nights in a plastic kennel with blankets
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Sleeps in a kennel: The 11-month-old domesticated animal spends his nights in a plastic kennel with blankets
‘I get people coming over to me asking if he is a fox and if they can stroke him.
‘He was a bit crazy when he first came to me last year but now he has a really strong bond with me and he will walk on a lead.
‘He is very playful with me. He will run up to me wagging his tail when I go to feed him and he will roll over to have his belly tickled.
‘He will come into the house but he has got a purpose built enclosure and he much prefers being outside.
‘We got him a little plastic kennel in his enclosure with blankets which is similar to a dog bed.
‘He is similar to a dog but he is a bit more hyperactive. He gets on with my two dogs, and wants to play with them all the time.
Playful: The fox, pictured in the park with Ms D’Sylva, cannot be let off the lead because he is deaf
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Playful: The fox, pictured in the park with Ms D’Sylva, cannot be let off the lead because he is deaf
School visits: Ms D’Sylva has 40 pets and takes some of them, including Todd, into schools and care homes so that children and the elderly can interact with them
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School visits: Ms D’Sylva has 40 pets and takes some of them, including Todd, into schools and care homes so that children and the elderly can interact with them
‘He tries to do what the dogs do but I can’t let him off the lead because he’s deaf so I can’t shout him to come back.
‘At first he was bonkers but he is getting more used to being in the company of other people now.
‘If people or dogs come up to him in the park he will lie down at first and freeze but after a few seconds he will sniff around the dogs or sit patiently.’
Todd also lives with Emma’s menagerie of other creatures at her three-bedroomed house including a skunk, a raccoon, lizards and snakes.
She takes some of her 40 pets into schools and care homes to enable children and the elderly to interact with a range of captive-bred animals.
Emma, who lives with her partner Steve Johnson, 34, added: ‘Todd went out on his first school visit the other week and the children really enjoyed stroking him while he was in my arms.

Walking companions: Todd is pictured in the woods with Ms D’Sylva’s two labradors Sky and Oakley
‘He’s really getting used to things now and I’m looking forward to letting more and more people meet him.’
An RSPCA spokesperson said there were no legal restrictions on people keeping animals and pets in England and Wales as long as they were treated well.
He added: ‘Foxes have not been domesticated and a fox in captivity would have the same needs as in the wild.
‘Anyone who keeps these animals is under a legal obligation to meet their needs under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.’

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