Meet my fantastic family of foxes: Pensioner who shares her home with bushy-tailed 'Minette', 'Chico' and 'Billy'


A hug and a kiss: Jane Sheppard pictured at her home with one of her foxes. 'They are very affectionate - Chico loves to cover my face with kisses. They are actually a lot like cats rather than dogs'

You'd have thought those living in the country would prefer to hunt foxes rather than invite them into their home and let them watch TV.
But that's just what Jane Shepherd, 64, has done and whether it's going about her household chores such as laundry and washing up or spending time in the garden there is always a fox or three nearby.
For the pensioner from Whittlebury in Northamptonshire has opened the doors of her three-bedroom bungalow to three bushy-tailed friends now calls family.
'At the moment I live with Minette, Chico and Billy,' explains Jane.

Shall we watch Countryfile? Jane relaxes on her sofa to watch TV with one of the foxes beside her

'They are very affectionate - Chico loves to cover my face with kisses. They are actually a lot like cats rather than dogs.
'Foxes are very independent, wilful and curious creatures. They are very quiet and great at sneaking up on you when you're not looking.

Happy family: Jane lives with the two females, Billy and Minette and one male fox, Chico (pictured in the den she created for them)

'Hide and seek is a favourite game of theirs - they think it's hilarious. Foxes can be naughty animals to live with but they are so delightful at the same time. You just can't get angry at them.'
Jane lives with the two females, Billy and Minette, and one male fox, Chico.
Minette and Chico, six-years-old, were both young pups abandoned by their mother when they were found by local people.

In the garden: Jane gives one of the foxes a treat as they explore her back yard
Billy was rescued as an adult after a car accident when Jane took her in, so her age remains a mystery.

"Foxes usually revert quickly to their natural behaviour after they've been in contact with humans," said Jane.
"But despite best efforts, because of their friendly personalities, some foxes just want to stay close to people.
"This means it’s not appropriate for them to be returned to the wild. They would approach people and possibly make a nuisance of themselves.

Helping out with the chores: One of the foxes keeps Jane company as she does her washing

Billy was rescued and taken in as an adult after being injured by a car

'Chico is happier indoors than outdoors and it's better for everyone if they live here at home with me.'
Since moving in with her, Jane has even created a three-story living quarters for her beloved fox family.
She can’t help spoiling her foxes with household treats either. 'I feed Billy cooked chicken, dog food but most of all she loves flapjacks," said Jane.
'And the little rascals love stealing from me as well. They live in a special den I've had built for them in my garage.
'No matter how comfortable they are there it's still not enough. Each night they insist on a kiss and a cuddle before bedtime.'

source: dailymail