Police Warn Residents To Stay Away From 'Zombie Dogs'

By Kayleigh Roberts

As if there weren't already enough to deal with in this world, now we have to worry about zombie dogs. Okay, not literally, but in the Chicago suburbs, residents have seen an uptick in animals that they're mistaking for stray dogs, NBC Chicago reports.

The "zombie" dogs are actually coyotes suffering from sarcoptic mange, according to a post by the Hanover Police Department on Facebook.

Infected Coyotes Are Being Mistaken for Zombie Dogs in Chicago
credit: Facebook

"Recently we have received several messages and posts from citizens concerned about what appear to be malnourished or neglected stray dogs," the department wrote. "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 nocturnal animals to become more active during the day."

Officials also warned residents not to leave food outdoors and to secure all garbage to avoid attracting the animals. As for how to spot them, the department shared some tips as well as pictures of healthy coyotes vs mange-infected ones.

"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 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," they wrote.

While it's important to keep a look out, NBC Chicago reports that no coyote bites or attacks on humans have been reported in the area, thankfully.