As governments restrict gatherings of people, furry conventions are being postponed or canceled. Here's a quick run down of events in March and April and their status as of April 3 09:30 EDT (UTC-4) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic - updates to come.
Update (13:20 PT): Doug Winger has passed away at the Western Medical Center in Tustin, California.
One of the greats, one of the true giants of the furry fandom, has lost his battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or emphysema, brought about by smoking and other ailments.
While the attack was "the final straw", health issues had limited the efforts of FNN founder Markos for some time, as he explained April 1:
Due to health issues, and a recent hacking attack, I have decided to end this version of Furry News Network. The site and its content has been archived. I've been considering this for several months, and the hack attempt that took the site off line March 30, 2015 was the final straw. I've really enjoyed working with members of the Furry community to bring the content to you. For those of you who don't know my history, I've had health issues for the past 14 years. I lost a kidney in 2001, had heart issues start in 2007 and was hospitalized with an auto-immune disorder in 2009. In 2014, I fell and broke my hip and have never fully recovered. I am now fighting stage 3 kidney disease and anemia. I need to deal with my health. I will sorely miss many of you and look forward to the day I can bring Furry News Network back. Thank you!
Each auction contains the work of at least 20 artists, and has a minimum bid of $250.
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.
One 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.
An 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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.