Humor: The foxes will have to wait

By Renard V. Fuchs

A lone fox on Nassau Street in Princeton.

In a petition signed by more than 400 residents and copied to the press, a group of Princeton animal lovers has asked Princeton Council to respond to the town’s growing fox population by allowing qualified residents to adopt baby foxes. Mayor Liz Lempert responded to the proposal at a Zoom press briefing on Tuesday. Lempert said she recognized the “good intentions behind the proposal” but believed a “thorough study” would be required before moving forward on it. Lempert said she had asked the town’s municipal attorney for an opinion on the legal issues and had asked the town administrator for an opinion on whether the council should consider hiring a consultant. She is also weighing forming a citizen task force to study the issue. The mayor said she had not had a chance to discuss the proposal with council members.

Councilwoman Mia Sacks ,responding to a phone inquiry, stated in an email, “Allowing some foxes to be integrated into our thriving community of domestic animals could be a creative solution to our growing fox population.” Sacks cautioned, however, “foxes are not easy to domesticate.” She said she was reluctant to spend money on a consultant but in this case felt one could be useful in “teasing out the pros and cons,” including “the difficult equity questions of setting up standards for which residents would and would not qualify to adopt the foxes.”

“Foxes need space, “ Sacks said. “So are we going to say that only those residents with large properties can qualify for an adoption program?”

Councilwoman Letitia Fraga, reached by phone, said she understood the sentiment behind the proposal but worried about the timing. “We do not even have a dog park,” she said. “Let us solve that problem first and then deal with the foxes.”

When asked about hiring a consultant, Fraga said she was not convinced that this expense “could be justified at this point in time.”

Councilman David Cohen, who is up for re-election, said he is opposed to the proposal.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic,” said Cohen. “As much as I respect the many animal and fox lovers in our community I simply do not see the rationale for spending any of our scarce time or resources on a fox issue.” Cohen went on to say: “I have not received a single complaint about foxes. Not one.”

Councilman Duane Williamson echoed Cohen’s view: “My calls are about masks and virus testing, not about foxes,” he said. “This is a solution in search of a problem.”

Michelle Pirone Lambros, now in her first term on Council, was more sanguine. “Our community is under stress,” she said in a phone interview.

“Animals are a solace, which is why I am working with my colleagues to help Princeton get its first dog park,” Lambros said. “Perhaps we can consider this in some future time, but I want to help our businesses get through this pandemic first.”

Councilwoman Eve Niedergang could not be reached by phone but emailed as ollows: “The stress on our fox population is just one of may fallouts from environmental policies that have not served us well. However, our priority in this pandemic must be the public health and the health of our local economy. I hope the proponents of the fox adoption petition can understand that we need to prioritize. The foxes will have to wait.”

The above humor piece was originally submitted for our annual April Fools’ Day edition, which we decided not to publish this year in light of COVID-19. But we all could use some humor and more sharing of community creativity. We are accepting submissions from the Princeton area community to strengthen and expand the community hub Planet Princeton has become. Thank you in advance for your submissions. Send your humor pieces, cartoons, essays, photographs, and short stories to editor @


  1. Yes, the foxes will have to wait. Glad our town has its priorities straight. Not worth spending resources on this issue, at this time or in the future.

  2. By “Renard V. Fuchs”! This is really clever and funny, in a French medieval sort of way. Love it. Keep it coming.

  3. Free the foxes! Why this patronizing attitude that humans need to get involved? The foxes are perfectly capable of solving their own problems.

  4. The town should pay attention to this because if they end up with just Fox News they are screwed

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