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Posted on Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 1:45 p.m.

El Chupacabra photos in Ypsilanti Township? Expert says mangy dog

By Staff

Readers were split in their opinions on a strange-looking animal seen in Ypsilanti Township in 2008.

Of 1,810 votes, 28 percent said it was a mangy dog, 28 percent said it was a mangy coyote and 28 percent said it was a mangy fox.

Fewer said they thought the image was a El Chupacabra or perhaps a new species of unexplained beast.

Thumbnail image for Chupacabra-or-sick-dog.jpg

This photo was taken in Ypsilanti Township in 2008.

An expert's ruling: Mangy dog.

The debate over the photos - and chupacabras in general - was sparked earlier this month when a reader sent an e-mail about a strange animal he saw that he thought could be a chupacabra. El Chupacabra are storied dog-beast hybrids that suck the blood of goats. investigated, and the story prompted many responses from readers, including two who sent photos of an animal they saw in Ypsilanti Township in 2008.

Jeff Allen, an Ypsilanti Township resident and the director of residential services for the township, pulled over on Bridge Road in the summer of 2008 to snap pictures of a strange-looking animal coming out of the parks along Ford Lake to snack on some roadkill. He thought it might be a mangy coyote.

Mange is a parasitic disease that attacks furry animals' hair follicles. sent the photos to Philip Myers at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. He sent them to an expert in mange, Dr. Barry O'Connor.

His response? "Pretty classic sarcoptic mange. It's been running rampant in the red fox populations here the past couple of years."

As for what type of animal it is, Myers concludes: "I don't think the animal is a fox or coyote; the head shape is wrong. I think it is a poor, sad, sick dog."


Gideon Filmore

Mon, Dec 24, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

This story shines bad light on the Chupacabra. It's real, and I've seen with my own two eyeballs. Both of them! That's the truth. I wouldn't have spent my whole trying to capture one of them damn things down here in TX. I was even in a documentary back in 88 if you don't believe me. You can see it here. Long live the Chupa!!!


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 8:40 a.m.

I always shorten the leash and either pull over to the side or put the dog into a 'stay' and wait til people pass. My parents always did this and now my husband and I do it.


Fri, Apr 16, 2010 : 7:04 a.m.

I would like to see a story on proper etiquette when walking your dog. Should a pedestrian for whom the sidewalks were built get off to the side? Or should the person who is walking the dog or dogs get off to the side and shorten the leash? I ask because my wife was bitten last night while out for her walk. Which prompted a trip to urgent care and the pharmacist.


Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 11:18 p.m.

This is stupid.


Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 3:19 p.m.

The beast seen roaming huron river drive is still on the loose, as are the fiscal liberties of our storied politiians. As someone who passes idle time browsing this blog, I expect updates on both from this pulitzer crowd.


Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 3:04 p.m.

This is not news!

Adam Jaskiewicz

Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 1:31 p.m.

Ashley, that picture was taken two years ago. Unfortunately, the dog is likely to be dead by now.


Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 1:24 p.m.

Still wiht this story....really?


Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 1:21 p.m.

I would hope someone is going to help the dog. It's so sad when people let this happen to animals. If you can't handle the responsibilty then you shouldn't get on in the first place.

Adam Jaskiewicz

Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 1:08 p.m.

Yeah, we get enough paranormal sightings stories from the History Channel.


Thu, Apr 15, 2010 : 12:56 p.m.

Maybe a2 City Council should ban Chupawhoopa stories in Ann Arbor media; at the very least they should tax these stories by the word (we're already taxed by them).