A man has spoken of his heartbreak after he was forced to put down his pet fox.
He raised concerns for pets and birds of prey which could eat poisoned rats after he saw the vermin dying in Handcross.
Ken Ansell, 68, put down his fox, Charlie, five, at his home in Hoadlands Cottages, London Road, on Saturday, January 16.
He said: “It’s terrible. I had to do it, I couldn’t let him suffer any more.
“I reared him from a baby.
“He wasn’t just a fox, he was a pet for five years, he was like a dog.
“It was heart-breaking to have to put him down.
“He was a lovely chap and used play with me.”
Ken kept Charlie after he was found abandoned at birth.
He spent some £6,000 on food and building a den and enclosure for the family pet in his garden.
Ken, who worked in pest control for the National Trust, said there was a ‘rat problem’.
He believed poison had been used after he found ‘half-dead’ rats in his garden.
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