Fox penning is a blood sport in which dozens of dogs compete in a fenced-in area to chase—and sometimes rip apart—foxes and coyotes. Trapped in the wild and sold to fox pens, often in other states, the fox or coyote must run for his life inside fences where there is no hope of getting away.
Grisly from start to finish, fox penning begins when the steel jaws of a leghold trap snap shut on a coyote or fox, inflicting terrible pain. A trapper removes the animal from the trap and packs her into a cage with other injured animals.
The caged animals may be hauled hundreds of miles. With no food or water, some animals die on the trip. Once bought by pen operators, the foxes and coyotes provide amusement for participants who travel from state to state to wager on their dogs.
With dogs tearing apart the captive animals, there is a constant demand for fresh wildlife for the fox pens.
News & Events
February 9, 2015
You can help pass laws that protect animals in your state. Humane Lobby Day is easy, fun and guaranteed to make you feel like a powerful animal activist. We'll help you find the Humane Lobby Day in your state.
June 20, 2014
They serve on the front lines of animal protection, lobbying legislators, assisting rescues, helping shelters and so much more. They’re the HSUS state directors: the first point of contact and often the last hope for animals in need.
April 8, 2014
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed legislation restricting cruel fox pens – staged competitions where wild-caught foxes are trapped and stocked inside fenced enclosures to be chased down by packs of dogs.
March 5, 2014
The Virginia House of Delegates has passed legislation restricting inhumane fox pens. It will now go to the Senate for approval of the House amendments. The Humane Society of the United States’ Virginia State Director Laura Donahue issued the following statement in response: