What is it?
One theory is that it's a red fox with some type of short-coat mutation or diet deficiency, or even mange (though it really does not look mangey).
Another theory is that it is a Gray Fox with all of the above or perhaps even a coyote with all of the above.
It looks a bit like a jackal to me, but I suspect it is some freakish red fox. In any case, this is a "mystery beast" actually photographed in North Carolina
More information can be found at at http://www.coasttocoastam.com/shows/2004/06/05.html#foxy