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

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)

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Georgia man out for morning jog bitten by rabid coyote

In Roswell, Georgia, a man out for his morning jog along Lake Charles Drive was attacked by a rabid coyote on Monday morning.

“I looked down and grabbed him by the neck and pushed down,” stated  the victim of the attack Bill Goff. “Trying to get him off the leg. And then when I got him pinned down I realized it wasn’t a dog. It was a coyote,” Goff told WsbTvNews.

Goff has been jogging for the last five years and never expected to be attacked by any animal – much less a coyote, noting the animal was “growling when he was biting” his leg. Fortunately a neighbor came along and called 911, as Goff kept the animal pinned to the ground for 20 minutes. Goff didn’t want to take any chances the animal could bite someone else.

Roswell police stated Animal Control euthanized the coyote, and tests revealed it had rabies. Unfortunately once the symptoms of rabies begin to show, the disease is fatal to the infected animal. Goff has been going through the series of shots to ward off rabies. Even though coyote attacks are extremely rare, it does raise a warning for pet owners everywhere to make sure your dogs and cats are properly vaccinated.

(Photo via screenshot via WsbTv)

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