‘Zombie dogs’ roaming near Chicago are infected coyotes, police warn
Police are warning residents of a Chicago suburb to avoid helping “zombie dogs” because they are infected coyotes that could sicken other pets with the disease.
Hanover Park Police Department posted the warning on its Facebook page on Wednesday, saying the coyotes, usually nocturnal animals, are infected with sarcoptic mange that causes them to be active in the day.
“Infected animals will often appear ‘mangy’ — which looks just like it sounds. They suffer hair loss and develop secondary infections, eventually looking like some sort of ‘zombie’ dog,” the department said.
Hanover Park Police Department
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. There is unfortunately an increase in sarcoptic mange in the urban coyote populations which has caused these normally noctural animals to become more active during the day. Infected animals will often appear “mangy” – which looks just like it sounds. They suffer hairloss and develop secondary infections, eventually looking like some sort of “zombie” dog. The infections affect their vision, causing them to look for food during the daylight hours. These infected animals are not normally aggressive, but should be avoided at all times. Please DO NOT approach these animals or allow your pets to approach them. You can avoid attracting them to your yards and neighborhoods by not leaving food out and by securing your garbage. Attached are photos of normal coyotes and an infected coyote. You can find more information about the coyote population in Cook County on the website: https://urbancoyoteresearch.com.
Police said the infected coyotes aren’t “typically aggressive,” but warned residents in the area to avoid them and keep them away from their pets, who can catch the contagious disease.
“Please DO NOT approach these animals or allow your pets to approach them. You can avoid attracting them to your yards and neighborhoods by not leaving food out and by securing your garbage,” the department said.