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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Source: Pet Rescue Report

Cheryl Hanna

Cheryl Hanna

Cheryl Hanna has been a freelance writer for the last eight years. During that time, I developed into the top writer for on the subject of animal rescue and advocacy. I am passionate about animal welfare and have been instrumental in the rescue of thousands of dogs, horses, cats and assorted other sentient creatures needing their voices heard. On July 1, 2016, closed. By July 4, the Pet Rescue Report was created; we average between 30,000 and 40,000 hits on any single day. We are avid users of social media and use our Facebook, Twitter and other social media links to advance our readership. I was also involved in customer service, and was an active participant on Service - a blog started by my son who has now graduated from Duke. I have an advanced degree in Journalism. After college, I taught American Literature in a New Jersey high school. I then went on to teach Journalism at one of our local colleges. For the past 15 years I have lived in South Florida; here I also volunteer time teaching those men and women recovering from drug and alcohol how to journal to express their thoughts - thus hopefully making a difference in their lives. Pet Rescue Report on Facebook (over 40,000 followers) -