Reports of ‘zombie dogs’ are really sick coyotes with mange

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As with all drama, the more graphic the name, the more people pay attention and allow their imaginations to run away with details not likely to ever be proven “fact test worthy.” On Monday, the Hanover Police Department in Chicago, posted a warning and an explanation on their Facebook page referencing the local reports of “zombie dogs.”

“Recently we have received several messages and posts from citizens concerned about what appear to be malnourished or neglected stray dogs. These are NOT lost pets, but are in fact coyotes,” the post stated. “There is unfortunately an increase in sarcoptic mange in the urban coyote populations which has caused these normally nocturnal animals to become more active during the day.

And the explanation why the coyotes appear so scary looking continued:

“Infected animals will often appear ‘mangy’- which looks just like it sounds. They suffer hair loss and develop secondary infections, eventually looking like some kind of “zombie” dog. The infection affects their vision causing them to look for food during the daylight hours. These infected animals are normally aggressive, but should be avoided at all times.”

Residents are warned to avoid the animals and to keep their pets away from the coyotes too – as  sarcoptic mange is very contagious. Neighbors are asked not to leave any food outside and to make sure all garbage cans are securely closed.

Coyotes are a common sight in Illinois; there have been no recorded cases of coyotes biting humans in the northeastern part of the state. According to Project Coyote, many of the animals can recover from the disease. Please leave them alone; sadly feeding them and encouraging them out into residential areas will only get them killed.

(Photo of zombie dog via Facebook)

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

Unadoptable dogs get a life-saving second chance thanks to this woman – watch the heartwarming video here.

Teen tried to smuggle a tiger cub over the U.S. border – read more here.

7 replies
  1. Nancy Raymond says:

    I don’t care if these are coyotes – they need help and to ignore their plight is cruel. Chicago wildlife rescue groups need to step up and make a concerted effort to find, treat and release these animals.

  2. Adrienne says:

    Hope the state animal welfare groups can help these coyotes to recover from this mange. Catch & release is what needs to be done by state authorities before the winter comes.


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