I was looking for my cat when I spotted a furry creature lying, stretched out in the sun in the side yard. As I approached it, it looked up at me and, when our eyes met, my heart melted at the pain it eyes revealed. It was a young fox that had been run over. I could see where a tire had crushed its rear, just above its tail. Its hind legs stretched out behind it, where it lay, in pain.

Being an 87-year-old veteran, crippled in both hands and my left leg, I could instantly feel intense sympathy. We looked into each other’s eyes, as I struggled to think of what I could do for this poor creature, that someone had run over, only to drive away and leave it in this terrible condition, right here in my neighborhood. This poor little yearling fox could have been someone’s pet.

Recognizing that there was little I could do, I called the South Portland Police Department, in hopes that they would send the animal control officer.

When I went outside again, after the call, I found the poor fox painfully dragging itself out of the driveway and down the neighbor’s front piece, next to the road. Another neighbor came out, informing me that he had also called the police and we watched, in mutual sympathy, as the fox dragged itself off into the brush beside the athletic field.

At last, a police car showed up. I had to go back inside to answer a call, so I do not know what transpired. But, a few hours later, I found the poor fox, once again, lying stretched out in the sun, in the side yard. I, again, called the South Portland Police, in hopes of their sending the animal control officer. The officer came forth, holding a rifle. He stood there, exchanging stares with the poor fox and explained that he dared not shoot in so close a neighborhood. The fox then crawled under the back porch and that was that.

I then called the Humane Society for advice. They felt I should call the animal control officer. After calling everyone I could think of, with any experience caring for animals, I finally called the Maine Warden’s Service. A warden soon showed up and noted the location of the fox, under the back of the house, but could not reach it with his rope pole and could not use the large caliber pistol he had with him. Noting that “we have a Havahart trap,” he suggested using that.

A few hours later, I found the poor thing inside the trap but, by then, the warden was out in Standish, according to the State Police Office in Gray. I fed and watered the poor fox for a few hours, still feeling its pain, but, at last, the warden showed up.

I hope the party that ran over this poor creature gets to read about the misery he caused us creatures of caring sensitivity.