04/30/2012 10:36 EDT | Updated 06/30/2012 05:12 EDT

Neighbours sick of cat-eating foxes

Neighbours in Sydney Mines want a troublesome skulk of foxes removed, but wildlife officials say the animals won't stay away if people keep feeding them.

There are fox pups living under a shed near Don Green's home on Pitt Street. The ground is littered with pheasant feathers, a muskrat skull and bits of dog food.

Green said a neighbour watched a fox kill her cat.

"This was an indoor cat that just happened to be out on the step. And she looked out the door and there was the fox crossing the road with the cat's neck in its mouth," he said.

Melinda George said there are five or six adults and eight or nine pups.

"The lady that lives besides us sits on her step and feeds them right out of her hand, which isn't good," George said.

Andy Pyke, a wildlife technician with Nova Scotia's Department of Natural Resources, has heard stories like this before.

It's becoming a big problem in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, he told CBC News.

"Someone sees a fox and they go, 'Isn't that cute, let's feed it.' And then by the end of the summer there will be six or eight young ones running around that never really learn to be foxes.

"They associate people with food and they're very bold. They will just walk up to anybody and expect to be fed."

Pyke said moving the foxes won't work. As long as there's a source of food, the animals will return or new ones will move in.

Green has had enough.

"They're harassing my dog also. They know exactly where his chain ends and his rope and they're just sitting there taunting him," he said.

Green said the foxes are stalking cats in the neighbourhood. For now, he's keeping his pets indoors.