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illness

Artists support Belgian fur with fundraiser auctions

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A set of four auctions featuring work by 60 artists has been launched to support Belgian fursuiter Cookie, who organizers say has been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.

Each auction contains the work of at least 20 artists, and has a minimum bid of $250.

Rabid skunk alert in Royal Oak, Michigan; 2 destroyed

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Unfortunate news from Metro Detroit this week: On Thursday, a pair of rabid skunks were destroyed in the suburb of Royal Oak, causing the police to issue a warning to local residents. [WXYZ-TV - Channel 7 Detroit and WDIV-TV - ClickonDetroit.com]

The Royal Oak Police say the skunks were found on the 1700 Block of Maxwell Avenue and the 200 block of Dewey Street, near Oakview Cemetery. Numerous calls were received from concerned homeowners in the highly-built-up residential area. The police said those coming into contact with an animal who they suspect may have rabies should leave the area and call them.

Read more: Information on rabies from the Oakland County Health Department and Wikipedia.

Call for donations for SportyPup's heart surgery

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Sporty and his son KodaOne of our own greatly really needs our help.

SportyPup, a fur from Macon, Georgia, needs surgery due to a bad valve in his heart. This condition is called Valvular Heart Disease, and if not treated will cause heart failure. The surgery will cost $40,000, but he needs $16,500 up front, just to be able to have it.

The longer Sporty has to wait for the surgery, the greater the risk is of heart failure. The hope is to have enough to be able to have the surgery later this month in Asheville, North Carolina, but only if the doctor sees that the amount needed will come in quickly after.

Sporty will be 31 in March. Besides being a furry and occasional fursuiter, he is also a father of a 3 1/2-year-old boy named Koda.

'Wrapped Up' portfolio to promote safe sex

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Sharon, by LonginiusAn adult portfolio promoting condom use and safer sex is in development, and seeks artists willing to donate their effort.

The Wrapped Up! project is reminiscent of the Yiffy Guide to Safer Sex, a flyer distributed at conventions since 1996. Current contributors include A Blue Deer, Electrocat, Longinius, Naira, Naraku, Rorschfox, Shirik and Statik.

The portfolio is organized by RealZero, who intends for it to be printed by Rabbit Valley and sell for around 20€ (~US$25). Prints are also on sale at Inkbunny. All profit is to be donated to AIDS/HIV-fighting organization UNAIDS.

Eastern U.S. bats on verge of extinction

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Bats in eastern parts of the United States and Canada are dying out from a new disease.

White-nose syndrome, named for the white fungi on muzzles and wings, makes bats restless, depleting their reserves of body fat during hibernation. The fungi – first found in February 2006 in a New York cave – are considered the likely cause of the disease.

According to a Wired article, biologist Winifred Frick said: "Yes, we had the empirical observations that cave floors were littered with dead bats. [...] But nobody had quantified the impact to the populations. We didn’t know what those die-offs meant to population viability as a species."

Frick and her colleagues analyzed the last 30 years of population data for the most common and most-studied species of bat in North America, the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus). If recent trends continue, the researchers predict a "99 percent chance of regional extinction of little brown myotis within the next 16 years."

Fission Chicken's J.P. Morgan recovers from heart surgery

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The Fission Chicken creator and former Critters contributor has returned from an unexpected hiatus which turns out to have been due to a quadruple bypass. [oldhans117/furryne.ws]

Furry author Michael Bard gravely ill

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Michael Bard (aka "Morgan"), noted furry author on the TSA-Talk mailing list and the fiction-website Shifti (user page), fursuiter, and staffer at Toronto's Furnal Equinox, has suffered devastating brain damage as the result of an aneurysm, stroke, or other yet-to-determined brain circulatory disorder last Friday, March 12.

He was at work at the time, and wasn't found for approximately four hours. As of today, March 15, he was disconnected from life support but continues to breathe on his own. The prognosis, however, remains poor.

I was last with Michael as recently as last Monday — he was suffering from the flu, but was very happy with how well Furnal Equinox's first con had gone and pleased to be with friends.

Shifti is keeping a news page updated with the latest, best info available as a public service. Comments are also welcome.

Editor's note: Michael also pens the column "Through the Looking Glass" [older issues] for Anthro, maintains the Tales from the Blind Pig archive, and was co-editor of TSAT.

2 Gryphon poisioned while on London trip

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2, the Ranting Gryphon, recently poisoned while on a trip to London.

As most of you folks out there will probably know by now, one 2 Gryphon was near-fatally poisoned following a London furmeet at the weekend just passed.

A suspected pair of shots – spiked with significantly higher levels of alcohol – were downed by the well-known comedian, which he claims "is the last thing I remember about the evening". He was later found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.41; 0.40 is the amount required to reach "LD50" – or a greater than 50% chance of death.

2 was looked over by the police and ambulance services on the night and spent most of the next day recovering. In his blog he noted that it was his compulsive alcoholism that probably got him into trouble, however his extreme tolerance to the drink is probably what stopped him dying.

Some advice about Norovirus for convention visitors

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What is Norovirus and why the concern?

As some of you may already know, there have been various outbreaks of Norovirus, commonly known as stomach-flu, that seems to have spread pretty quickly. Hospitals from Boston, to New Zealand to England have been reporting outbreaks, and this years strain seems to be pretty active. Catching the Norovirus can lead to some acute stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhoea for a few days. With so many people travelling from around the world to visit conventions, it's moderately likely someone will bring the Norovirus with them. Norovirus infections can spread quickly in mostly closed environments such as cruise ships and convention hotels, so there are some preventative steps that can be taken.

One of our own needs urgent help

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Greyson Darkewolf needs your help. He's in critical condition and is in dire need of a heart transplant. The details are available at His livejournal.

There is a desperate need for donations of both money and blood (Roll up those sleeves people.) Prayers are gladly accepted. At present he barely has a week without a miracle.

Southern Californa furs: assistance requested for Fred Patten!

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Anime and anthropomorphic pioneering fan and writer Fred Patten suffered a stroke in March that left him paralyzed on his right side. He is no longer able to administer his gigantic collection of anime and manga, or his other personal items. His items must be moved on April 25th, and if you live in Southern California and are available to provide assistance, it would be tremendously appreciated.

Fred Patten in hospital - AGAIN!

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Friday night (March 11th), around midnight, Fred Patten had a stroke that left the right side of his body paralyzed. He managed to call 911 and was taken to Daniel Freeman Hospital in Marina Del Rey.

We visited Fred briefly Saturday but got shooed out when he got tired. His vision is blurred, and he keeps his eyes closed since his eyes keep going in and out of focus -- like a roller coaster ride you can't get off. His speech is also blurred, but pretty understandable. Right now there's no point in bringing him books. He does welcome visitors, and the ICU doesn't insist that only relatives may come -- but may be busy with doctors running tests on him or get tired.

As of today, there is little change, which is actually a good thing - any radical change at this point would almost certainly be bad news, so slow, steady improvements are the best things to hope for at the moment.

Dog Owners Take Note - Grapes Toxic

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I found the following article by the ASPCA this weekend stating that there is increasing evidence that grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs. Of 140 cases of ingestion noted during a one year span from April '03 to April '04, 50 dogs developed complications ranging from vomiting to kidney failure. Seven dogs died.

As the specifics of the toxicity are not yet known, they cannot say whether the ill effects are only seen following a volume dose. There may be a cumulative component in reaching an individual dog's level of tolerance for whatever the toxin is.

The full article is here: http://www.aspca.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=16645&news_iv_ctrl=-1

Apparently there are even still a lot of vets who do not know about this potential toxicity, so spread the word to anyone you know who has a dog. I know I've given grapes and raisins to Rio at times in the past...

Dog Saves Owner's Life By Dialing 911

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A dog named Faith saved her owner's life by speed-dialing 911 with her nose when her owner suffered a seizure. Faith is actually trained to use the phone to call for help.

Click here for the full story, from CNN.

Trickster

"Furtopia Arts for Kids Community Project" a success!!

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The Furtopia Arts for Kids Community Project has had it's first successful event and what a success!!! http://artsforkids.furtopia.org

On 10/20/2004 several Furtopian artists and a fursuiter went to the "Dayton Children's Medical Center" (this is a huge Children's hospital) to do art and perform for sick kids.

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