FARIBAULT, Minn. (FOX 9) - Mysterious and playful, foxes captured the heart of Mikayla Raines at a young age. She's dedicated her life to saving the animals and giving them a forever home at her Faribault-based rescue, Saveafox, which she runs with her husband, Ethan Frankamp.
The animals she rescues could not live in the wild on their own and come to her from fur farms and pet surrenders.
"When rescue situations come our way, we try our best to do what we can," said Raines.
Over the years, Raines has built relationships with fur farmers, including one in Iowa.
"This particular fur farm I had been getting foxes from for the last five years or so, and he would give me foxes that were sick or injured...basically foxes that he couldn't turn a profit on," said Raines.
That farmer recently decided to retire and agreed to legally surrender all of their 500 foxes to Saveafox if they could pay to take them away. The nonprofit is now trying to raise $700,000 to save all the foxes and build a new location to house 300 of them in Tennessee. The plan is for the other 200 foxes to be adopted.
"Right now, we are only adopting to licensed facilities so people who are USDA licensed and permitted by their state," explained Frankamp.
They've already raised $400,000 but still have a long way to go.
"I don't think a lot of people understand what goes into running rescue because there is vet care, there's neutering, there's spaying, there's the food bill," said Raines.
It's a tall task to raise that much money in a short amount of time, but Raines says it is well worth it to get the foxes out of small cages and into a better life. Saveafox hopes to have their new rescue operation open by next summer.
To learn more about their mission and to donate, visit their website here.