By Jeremy Ross

(CBS) — A northwest suburban police department is warning people about animals that look hairless or nearly hairless, close to the size of a large dog.

They aren’t dogs. They’re ill coyotes, and you’re asked to stay away — for your pet’s health, as well as your own.

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CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reports.

One neighbor says she’s seen one of the coyotes at least twice in the last 48 hours.

“I was nervous when he was coming towards the house. I wouldn’t want to be outside with him,” Stephanie Stojkovic says.

“I’m like, ‘Good god,’ it looks like a small deer in one way, but it’s actually that mangy coyote that I saw on the news,” she says.

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Hanover Park police put out the warning to neighbors and surrounding communities to avoid the animals some might mistake as malnourished or neglected stray dogs.

Dr. Adam Conroy of South Elgin’s Animal Care Clinic says the contagious illness the animals are carrying is caused by mites biting and burrowing into the coyote.

It leads to hair loss, loss of sight and even death

“The coyote can transmit that to your pet, in which case your pet can transmit that to you,” Conroy says.

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