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Mar 17, 1:20 PM EDT

After fox goes on the run, missing pet is back home safe


HENRICO, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia woman's pet fox is back home, safe and sound, after going missing earlier this week.

Brittany Smalley tells NBC12 (http://bit.ly/2n6udkj ) that her fox Swiper escaped Monday night when a storm blew her front door open.

As Smalley searched for Swiper, she alerted news reporters about her plight. Henrico Animal Control issued an ominous warning, saying the fox might be put down if there's an "incident."

After someone reported spotting the fox Thursday near a laundromat, Smalley said she used Swiper's favorite fruit, cantaloupe, to lure him into his carrier and took him home. She says he's mostly been resting since then.

Media outlets report Virginia allows residents to keep foxes as pets as long as they're not the red-colored ones. Red wild foxes are native to the state.

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