The owner of the tire and scrap metal place told officers that the suspect had come by several weeks earlier and told them if anyone asked about the foxes, they should say they were dead.

HOLT — A Holt man was cited last month after officers found the remains of two dead foxes in a feed bag at his house. The foxes had apparently been living in cages, alongside a malnourished dog, some kittens and several young chickens.

The 50-year-old man did not have the proper permits to keep wildlife, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's incident summary report.

The dead foxes were two of four that had been found in May at a tire and scrap metal business in Holt. The employee who found them thought they were dogs and gave two away to be raised as pets.

The suspect, who runs a wildlife removal service, took the other two after advising the business owner that he would go to jail if he didn't turn the foxes over to him, the report said.

The individuals who took the young foxes home turned them over to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, which notified FWC.

When investigators went to the man's house, his wife told them she didn't know anything about the foxes. They reached out to him by phone, which is when he said the foxes were dead and buried. When he came home, he gave the officers an empty feed bag that contained the badly decomposed remains of what is believed to be the foxes.

He told investigators he kept the foxes about a week, but had trouble finding food they liked. They did eat some wet cat food, he said. He added that he was going to bring them to the refuge on the day he found them dead.

The owner of the tire and scrap metal place told officers that the suspect had come by several weeks earlier and told them if anyone asked about the foxes, they should say they were dead, the report said.

Officers determined that the man knew that he was required to have a permit to keep wildlife.