Swiper, the missing West End fox, is now back home

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — After nearly a week on the lam, Swiper, the missing West End fox, is back home. The pet fox was lured into his carrier by cantaloupe — his favorite fruit.

Swiper ran out of his West End home Monday night when a storm blew the front door, Swiper’s owner Brittany Smalley said.

After days of searching, someone reported spotting Swiper Thursday near a laundromat at Patterson Avenue and Lauderdale Road.

That’s near Smalley’s home.

“His carrier was already in my car. I snagged the cantaloupe (his favorite) and I went and looked,” Smalley said. “I found him in the median, and he ran to the opposite side of the street from me, so I threw some cantaloupe over. U-turned and then I was able to coax him by feeding him and throwing some in the back of his carrier. Then I pushed him in!”

Smalley said Swiper has mostly been resting since he’s returned.

She also expressed appreciation for everyone who shared her story on social media.

Domestic foxes are okay to keep as pets in Virginia as long as they have a coat different than the color red, as red wild fox are native to the Commonwealth.

Swiper was five weeks old when Smalley bought him from a breeder. The fox was born and raised in captivity.