NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 4, 2011

Animal advocate

All creatures have a friend in state Humane Society director

NEWBURY — It's only 8:30 a.m., but as Alexis Fox gazes out her window toward her neighbor's horses, she is already wondering where the day went. The energetic and articulate 30-year-old has phone calls to make and legislation to pass.

Since September when she became state director for the Humane Society of the United States, Fox has been spending most of her days lobbying for laws to protect animals' rights, investigating farming procedures throughout Massachusetts and answering questions on how to help injured animals.

"The spectrum of animals that I talk about in a day is amazingly varied," Fox said. "This is my dream job. It's wonderful."

She is also getting settled into her new life in Newbury, where she shares a home with her husband of five years, Jesse Fox, and the couple's two cats, Venus and Luna. She regularly bikes to town and to the beach and said that although she's only lived here since May, she already feels a sense of community.

"It's perfect. We love it here," she said.

After living in Gloucester, the pair picked Newbury to settle in because it is halfway between Beacon Hill, where she spends much of her working time, and Newmarket, N.H., where her husband creates custom bicycles at Independent Fabrications. When she was a child, her family traveled from their home in South Salem, N.Y., about an hour outside of Manhattan, to vacation on Plum Island.

Fox's degree in environmental politics from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, led her on a path to advocate for sustainable farming and protecting animals.

Her first foray into the world of animal law was at Stanford University in California, where then boyfriend Jesse Fox earned a graduate degree from the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. She attended a meeting of the Animal Legal Defense Fund there and was hooked.

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