Lakeville's fox whisperer could be shut down by the city

Lakeville says Mikayla Raines has more foxes than she's supposed to.
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Mikayla Raines, the 22 year old who rescues foxes from fur farms and raises them at her sanctuary at Lakeville, could lose her permit to keep the animals in the city.

Lakeville City Council issued a temporary permit just over a year ago allowing Raines to house foxes at her mother's farm, but the council now says she's not following the rules they agreed to.

At a meeting on Monday, the council was told that during an inspection in March, Raines had five foxes in her enclosure – more than the three stipulated in the permit. The enclosure too had been expanded so it's bigger than the 140 square foot area agreed with the city last year.

FOX 9 reports Raines has started asking her supporters to email the city on her behalf, with hundreds so far having been sent.

“I’m definitely worried," she told the TV station. "My first reaction to getting that letter is I was just bawling. Now I'm more in fight mode, but it's very scary to know everything can be taken from you.”

GoMN visited Raines at her sanctuary last month when there were five foxes there, but she told us that there are a steady flow of the animals going through her sanctuary as she has saved, raised, and re-homed about a dozen in the past year. Zoos and individual sanctuaries have adopted them from her.

She said she has been caring for foxes since she was 15 and it is her life's passion. She nannies on the weekends to supplement her income as every cent she gets in sponsorship and adoption fees goes straight to the foxes.

WCCO reports since GoMN was there, she has taken in two more foxes. But Raines says 90 percent of the animals that come through her sanctuary are re-homed.

She also argues that her USDA license to keep foxes requires that she gives the animals space and doesn't set limits on the number she can have on the property.

The city's planning commission is expected to discuss her case later this month.

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