MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minnesota woman who came under fire for having too many foxes is now looking to expand her animal sanctuary.

Foxes of all shapes and sizes come out of the woodwork on a farm near Faribault, with the promise of a morning treat from Mikayla Raines.

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“We are the biggest fox rescue in the United States,” Raines said.

She never thought her Save A Fox rescue would hold that distinction. A couple years ago, a permit allowed her to have three rescue foxes at her home in Lakeville. But Raines’s permit was revoked after she admitted to having more than half a dozen on her property at one time.

“They pretty much did not want a fox rescue there, and we wanted to like progress,” Raines said. “We wanted to increase the number of foxes we could rescue.”

Mikayla Raines (credit: Save A Fox)

But through losing her battle, she won support from people across the country — those who wanted to see foxes saved from fur farms began to donate to her cause. Raines received $60,000 in just three months, allowing her to open a new rescue and nonprofit in Rice County.

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Today, 20 foxes, mink and other animals call the farm home.

“They are born in fur farms, they’re born by breeders,” Raines said. “People adopt them as pets, and then people surrender them here.”

Now the sanctuary is nearly full. More people want to surrender foxes than Raines has room for, which is why she’s looking to expand — and not just here in Minnesota.

“We are going to open one in Florida so that we can also accept desert fox species,” Raines said.

She says many of the animals she receives come from the Southern United States. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover the costs of a second shelter.

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“Fur farms are starting to close down and foxes have nowhere to go,” Raines said. “These foxes need a place to go, so I want to make that happen, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to do that.”

John Lauritsen