A pet rottweiler has had a brush with the wild, becoming so close to a rescued fox it even grooms its face.
Spartan, the 12-year-old dog, became unlikely best friends with vixen Ruby, after it was taken in and hand-reared by Ray Allibone, four years ago.
The 59-year-old cares for injured animals at Swampys Wildlife Rescue, which he runs from his home in Diamond Court, Sheerness.
Video: Ruby the vixen plays with rottweiler pal, Spartan
He said: “They get on really well. She pesters him a bit because she likes her face washed. They’re extremely friendly.”
Ruby came to him very young and suffered bad health for a time. He had hoped to release her with a group of other cubs, but when she was well enough Mr Allibone said he was unfortunately let down.
The longer she stayed, the more “humanised” she became so he decided to make her his responsibility rather than let her potentially die in the wild.
Ruby has her own enclosure and goes out for walks with Spartan on a lead.
Mr Allibone stressed that foxes should not be kept as pets because they tend do as they please.
He said: “You have to know what you are doing. You can’t train them as you would a dog. You could look at them more like a cat. They do whatever they like.
“She comes inside of an evening for a couple of hours or so and she goes back out again.”
Ruby is also chums with his other rescue bulldog Bailey.
Anyone who would like to donate bric-a-brac to raise money for Swampys Wildlife Rescue should call 01795 585405.
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