'Zombie' dogs are actually infected coyotes, police warn

Police in Illinois are warning residents to be wary of any malnourished or neglected stray dogs that they might see.

“These are NOT lost pets, but are in fact coyotes,” the Hanover Park Police Department said Wednesday in a Facebook post.

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The urban coyotes are infected with sarcoptic mange, “which has caused these normally (nocturnal) animals to become more active during the day,” according to police.

“Infected animals will often appear ‘mangy’ – which looks just like it sounds,” police said. “They suffer hair loss and develop secondary infections, eventually looking like some sort of ‘zombie’ dog.”

Recently we have received several messages and posts from citizens concerned about what appear to be malnourished or...

Posted by Hanover Park Police Department on Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Authorities said the coyotes are not typically aggressive, although officers urged residents to steer clear of the animals and to discourage them from visiting residents by keeping garbage secured.

There have been no cases of coyotes biting humans in northeastern Illinois history, according to the Cook County Urban Coyote Research Project.

Hanover Park is a suburb of Chicago.

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