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Furry fandom

Furry fandom
fiction convention in 1980,[5] when a drawing of a character from Steve Gallacci’s Albedo Anthropomorphics initiated a discussion of anthropomorphic characters in science fiction novels, which in turn initiated a discussion group that met at science fiction and comics conventions. Patten defined "Furry fandom" as "the organized appreciation and dissemination of art and prose regarding ’Furries’, or fictional mammalian anthropomorphic characters." The specific term "Furry fandom" was being used in fanzines as early as 1983, and had become the standard name for the genre by the mid-1990s.[6] However, fans consider the origins of furry fandom to be much earlier, with fictional works such as Kimba, The White Lion released in 1965, Richard Adams’ novel Watership Down, published in 1972 (and its 1978 film adaptation), as well as Disney’s Robin Hood as oft-cited examples.[5] To distinguish these personae from seriously depicted animal characters, such as Lassie or Old Yeller, cartoon animals are referred to as funny animals,[7] a term that came into use in the 1910s. During the 1980s, furry fans began to publish fanzines, developing a diverse social group that eventually began to schedule social gatherings. By 1987, there was sufficient interest to stage the first furry convention.[8] Throughout the next decade, the Internet became accessible to the general population and became the most popular means for furry fans to socialize. The newsgroup was created in November 1990, and virtual environments such as MUCKs also became popular places on the Internet for fans to meet and communicate.[9]

An anthropomorphic vixen, a typical furry character. Furry fandom (also known as furrydom, furridom, fur fandom or furdom) refers to the fandom for fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics.[1] Examples of anthropomorphic attributes include exhibiting human intelligence and facial expressions, the ability to speak, walk on two legs, and wear clothes. Furry fandom is also used to refer to the community of artists, writers, role players and general fans of the furry art forms who gather on the net and at conventions.[2][3] Characters that morph between human and animal form are also considered by some to be part of the genre. Even certain superheroes with animal derived powers are considered of furry interest by some fans. The general idea being a combination of human and animal attributes, for which there is no documented science regarding what degrees of mixture are required. Even characters like Josie and the Pussycats are considered of interest to furry fandom, though they only wear costumes with animal ears and tails.[4]

Allegorical novels (including works of both science fiction and fantasy) and cartoons featuring anthropomorphic animals are often cited as the earliest inspiration for the fandom.[5] A survey conducted in 2007 suggested that, when compared to a non-furry control group, a higher proportion of those selfidentifying as furries liked cartoons "a great

According to fandom historian Fred Patten, the concept of furry originated at a science


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deal" as children and recalled watching them significantly more often, as well being more likely to enjoy works of science fiction than those outside of the community.[10]

Furry fandom
furry artwork under the term "anthro".[19] A few works of furry art have also been released in mainstream culture, and furry artwork has appeared on commercial apparel. There are several webcomics featuring animal characters created by or for furry fans; as such, they may be referred to as "furry comics". One such comic, T.H.E. Fox, was first published on CompuServe in 1986, predating the World Wide Web by several years,[20] while another, "Kevin and Kell" by Bill Holbrook, has been awarded both a Web Cartoonist’s Choice Award and an Ursa Major Award.[21][22]

Furry fans are eager for more material than is available from mainstream publishers, and this demand is met by other fans who produce a wide range of materials in both amateur and professional capacities. Most furries believe that visual art, conventions, literature, and online communities are strongly important to the fandom.[11]

Art and literature

Sculpture by Wicked Sairah at Further Confusion Furry artists, writers, and publishers produce a prolific amount of drawings, paintings, stories, comic books, fanzines, puppets, and small press books, as well as sculpture, textile art, fiction, music, and photography. While most of this fan-created art is distributed through nonprofessional media, such as personal websites,[12][13][14] some is published in anthologies, by Amateur Press Associations, or in APAzines.[15] Furry artwork is also available through websites devoted entirely to furry art produced by multiple artists,[16][17][18] while other sites contain Some furry fans create and wear costumes, commonly known as fursuits, of their characters.

Fans with craft skills create their own plush toys, sometimes referred to as plushies, and also build elaborate costumes called fursuits,[23] which are worn for fun or to participate in parades, convention masquerades, dances, or fund-raising charity events (as entertainers).[24] Fursuits range from designs featuring simple construction and resembling


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sports mascots[10] to those with more sophisticated features that include moving jaw mechanisms, animatronic parts, prosthetic makeup, and other features. Fursuits range in price from $500, for mascot-like designs, to an upwards of $8,000 for models incorporating animatronics.[25] While about 80% of furries do not own a full fursuit,[26][11][10] often citing their expensive cost as the decisive factor,[10] a majority of them hold positive feelings towards fursuiters and conventions they participate in.[26][11] Some fans may also wear "partial" suits consisting simply of ears and a tail.[10] Furry fans also pursue puppetry, recording videos and performing live shows such as Rapid T. Rabbit and Friends and the Funday PawPet Show, and create furry accessories, such as ears or tails.[27]

Furry fandom

Furry fans prepare for a race at Midwest FurFest 2006. held annually in Pittsburgh in July,[25] is estimated to contribute approximately $3 million to the town’s economy each year.[39] Another convention, Further Confusion, held in San Jose each January, closely follows Anthrocon in scale and attendance. In 2006, 19 furry conventions took place around the world exceeding 9,900 attendees[40] and raising over US$50,000 in charity.[41] The first known furry convention, ConFurence,[5] is no longer held; Califur has replaced it, as both conventions were based in Southern California. The University of California, Davis survey suggested that about 40% of furries attended at least one furry convention.[26]

Role playing
Anthropomorphic animal characters created by furry fans, known as fursonas,[28] are used for roleplaying in MUDs,[29] on internet forums, or on electronic mailing lists.[30] A variety of species are employed as the basis of these personas, although many furries, (for example over 60% of those surveyed in 2007), choose to identify themselves with carnivorans.[10][31] The longest-running online furry roleplaying environment is FurryMUCK, although it has been eclipsed in the area of text-mode roleplaying by Tapestries MUCK. Another popular online furry social game is called Furcadia, created by Dragon’s Eye Productions. There are also several furry-themed areas and communities in the virtual world Second Life.[32] An online gaming community called Skotos currently offers a furry roleplaying game called Iron Claw Online and Right Brain Games is currently making a furry massively multiplayer online roleplaying game titled Antilia.[33] Iron Realms Entertainment is also currently developing an MMORPG, Earth Eternal, which will feature anthropomorphic animals as playable [34] The games EverQuest II, Vanguard races. and World of Warcraft have anthropomorphic animals as well.[35][36][37]

Websites and online communities

Sufficient interest and membership has enabled the creation of many furry conventions in North America and Europe. The world’s largest[38] furry convention is Anthrocon,

The Internet contains a multitude of furry websites and online communities. These, with the IRC networks FurNet and Anthrochat, form a key part of furry fandom.[42][43] Newsgroups, while popular from the mid-1990s to 2005, have largely been replaced by topic-specific forums, mailing lists and LiveJournal communities.[44][45] Community sites like Fur Affinity, FurNation, Furtopia and YiffStar combine art, stories and music with chat, forums and personal journals.[16][46][47][48] Others host art galleries (the VCL, ArtSpots and the former Yerf), forums, databases (The Fursuit Database; WikiFur), imageboards (Fchan;, story archives (Mia’s Index; the Transformation Story Archive), oekaki (Bluefurry), online auctions (FurBid; FurBuy), personals (, social networks (MyFursona, Furry 4 Life and FurSpace) and news sites (FurteanTimes; furry[17][18][49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61] Furry fandom has a majority of Englishspeakers, but several other languages have


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active furry line.[64][65][66][67][68] communities on-

Furry fandom
derogatory term "furvert" to describe such people. The majority of furries report a non-judgmental attitude towards certain aspects of sexuality and a high tolerance for variety in sexual orientation and activity. 19-25% of the fandom members report homosexuality, 37-48% bisexuality, and 3-8% other forms of alternative sexual relationships. About 2% state an interest in zoophilia, and less than 1% an interest in plushophilia.[74][26] Initial figures were collected by David J. Rust in 1997, but further research has been conducted to update these findings. About half of furry fans are estimated to be in a relationship, with 76% of those having a relationship with another furry.[74][26] Furry characters are sometimes associated with paraphilias, with online communities dedicated to art and stories featuring macrophilia, vorarephilia, infantilism (babyfurs) and maiesiophilia, among others.[75][76][77] Some fans argue that various paraphilias normally considered illegal in certain jurisdictions, such as paedophilia or extreme pornography, are legal when no humans are depicted. This is, however, the subject of debate. Softpaw Magazine, an erotic "cub" fan magazine, has been banned by furry conventions Eurofurence and Further Confusion due to fear of legal action.[78][79]

Furry lifestylers
The phrases furry lifestyle and furry lifestyler first appeared in July 1996 on the newsgroup during an ongoing dispute within that online community. This newsgroup was created to accommodate discussion beyond furry art and literature, and to resolve disputes concerning what should or should not be associated with the fandom; its members quickly adopted the term furry lifestylers, and still consider the fandom and the lifestyle to be separate social entities. They have defined and adopted an alternative meaning of word "furry" specific to this group: "a person with an important emotional/spiritual connection with an animal or animals, real, fictional or symbolic."[69] In their 2007 survey, Gerbasi et al examined what it meant to be a furry, and in doing so proposed a topology in which to categorise different "types" of furries. The largest group, at 38% of those surveyed, they described as being interested in furry fandom predominately as a "route to socializing with others who share common interests such as anthropomorphic art and costumes."[10] However they also identified furries who saw themselves as "other than human", and/or who desired to become more like the furry species which they identified with.[10] This distinction can be viewed in light of the findings of the larger Furry Survey, according to which a majority of furries consider themselves to be predominantly human, while about 6% do not consider themselves human at all.[11]

Public perception and media coverage
Early portrayal of the furry fandom in articles such as Loaded,[80] Vanity Fair,[81] and the syndicated sex column "Savage Love" focused mainly on the sexual component of certain furries. Fictional portrayals of furry fandom have appeared on television shows such as ER,[82] CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,[83] The Drew Carey Show,[84] Sex2K on MTV,[85] and Entourage.[86] Most furry fans claim that these media portrayals are misconceptions,[87][88][89] while the recent coverage focuses on debunking myths and stereotypes that have come to be associated with the furry fandom.[90] A reporter attending Anthrocon 2006 noted that "despite their wild image from Vanity Fair, MTV and CSI, furry conventions aren’t about kinky sex between weirdos gussied up in foxy costumes", that conference attendees were "not having sex more than the rest of us",[91] and that the

Sexual aspects
Differing approaches to sexuality have been a source of controversy and conflict in furry fandom. Examples of sexual aspects within furry fandom include erotic art and furrythemed cybersex.[70][71] The term "yiff" is most commonly used to indicate sexual activity or sexual material within the fandom—this applies to sexual activity and interaction within the subculture whether online (in the form of cybersex) or offline.[72][73] Many members of the furry community feel that the overly sexual component gives the rest of them a bad name, and may use the


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furry convention was about "people talking and drawing animals and comic-book characters in sketchbooks."[72] In October 2007, a Hartford Advocate reporter attended FurFright 2007 undercover because of media restrictions. She learned that the restrictions were intended to prevent misinformation, and reported that the scandalous behavior she had expected was not evident.[92] Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Jim Powell was sharing a hotel with Anthrocon 2007 attendees a day before the convention and reported a negative opinion of the furries.[93] Residents of Pittsburgh have welcomed furries during the event, with local business owners creating special T-shirts and drawing paw prints in chalk outside their shops to attract attendees.[94] Dr. Samuel Conway, CEO of Anthrocon, said that "For the most part, people give us curious stares, but they’re good-natured curious stares. We’re here to have fun, people have fun having us here, everybody wins".[95] According to Furry survey, about half of furries perceive public reaction to the fandom as negative; less than a fifth stated that the public responded to them more negatively than they did most furries.[11]

Furry fandom
site/lbry/ Retrieved on 2007-09-24. [7] Sandler, Kevin S. (1998). Reading the Rabbit: Explorations in Warner Bros. Animation. Rutgers University Press. [8] Patten, Fred (2006). Furry! The World’s Best Anthropomorphic Fiction. ibooks. [9] Stamper, Chris (1996-03-29). "Furry Muckity-Muck". The Netly News. muckity-muck.html. Retrieved on 2007-04-13. [10] ^ Gerbasi, Kathleen; Paolone, Nicholas; Higner, Justin; Scaletta, Laura; Bernstein, Penny; Conway, Samuel; Privitera, Adam (2008). "Furries From A to Z (Anthropomorphism to Zoomorphism)". Society & Animals 3: 197–222.. doi:10.1163/ 156853008X323376. [11] ^ Alex "Klisoura" Osaki. "Furry Survey". ot_furrysurvey.php. Retrieved on 2008-08-08. [12] The Furry Art of TaniDaReal - a personal artist website [13] Toonapalooza! - a personal artist website [14] BLOTCH: Art of screwbald spotcat - a personal artist website [15] "An Overview of Selected Furry Fanzines". The Furry Animal Liberation Front (FALF). Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. web/20080212010321/ falf/articles/fanzines.html. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. [16] ^ Fur Affinity - a furry community website with unmoderated all-ratings art and story archives [17] ^ VCL - an unmoderated all-ratings furry art and story archive [18] ^ ArtSpots - a quality-moderated PG furry art archive and forum [19] deviantART - an art community website [20] The Commodore 64/128 RoundTable. "Interview with Joe Ekaitis". Information/T.H.E.-FOX.TXT. Retrieved on 2007-01-12. [21] "2001 Winners and Nominees". Web Cartoonist’s Choice Awards. 2001-02-19. Retrieved on 2007-12-04. [22] "Award Winners 2003". Ursa Major Awards.

[1] Staeger, Rob (July 26, 2001). "Invasion of the Furries". The Wayne Suburban. furries.htm. [2] Kurutz, Daveen Rae (June 17, 2006). "It’s a furry weekend". Pittsburgh TribuneReview. pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/ s_458482.html. Retrieved on 2006-06-30. [3] ""What is Furry"". Retrieved on 2008-06-19. [4] Invasion of the Furries - Description of furry fandom with Josie And The Pussy Cats reference. [5] ^ Patten, Fred (February 2, 1999). "Chronology Of Furry Fandom". YARF! The Journal of Applied Anthropomorphics. chronology.html. Retrieved on 2006-07-15. [6] Patten, Fred. "The Yarf! reviews". Anthrozine.


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Furry fandom

UMA_2003.htm. Retrieved on [33] "Games". Right Brain Games. 2007-11-09. [23] Riggs, Adam (2004). Critter Costuming: games.php. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. Making Mascots and Fabricating [34] "FAQ". Earth Eternal. Fursuits. Ibexa Press. [24] Larson, Alina (January 23, 2003). Retrieved on 2007-08-08. "Animal Instincts: Fans of Furry Critters [35] "EverQuest II Home page". Sony. Convene to Help Mankind". Tri-Valley Herald. Retrieved on 2007-08-08. anthrofurry/trivalley.htm. [36] "Vanguard Home page". Sony. [25] ^ "Furries Descend On Pittsburgh". KDKA-TV. June 16, 2006. Archived from Retrieved on 2007-08-08. the original on 2008-02-01. [37] "World of Warcraft Home page". Blizzard. 20080201004622rn_1/ furries.Pittsburgh.convention.2.383477.html. index.xml/. Retrieved on 2008-06-19. Retrieved on 2006-06-30. [38] editor-in-chief, Craig Glenday [26] ^ University of California, Davis (2007-08-07). Guinness World Records Department of Psychology (2007-05-05). 2008. Guinness. pp. 123. ISBN "Furry Survey Results". 1904994199. [39] Brandolph, Adam (June 28, 2008). "Furry Retrieved on 2007-05-05. convention a $3 million cash cow for city [27] Irwin, Charles; Watterson, Summer businesses". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. (2002-04-24). "A ’furry’ tale for a foxy college student". The Olympian. pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/ s_575023.html. Retrieved on A_%27furry%27_tale_for_a_foxy_college_student.2008-07-04. Retrieved on 2008-09-03. [40] Cooksey, David. "Anthropomorphic [28] Gaudio, Greg (August 23, 2008). "Lions Fandom Convention Information Sheet". and foxes and cat-dragons walk on two legs in Beach". The Virginian-Pilot. afcis.html. Retrieved on 2006-06-30.[41] Anthrocon: $8407; Further Confusion: and-foxes-and-catdragons-walk-two-legs$15000; Midwest FurFest: $13049; beach. Retrieved on 2008-09-07. Morphicon: $556; Mephit FurMeet: [29] Mitchell, Don (March 23, 1995). "From $12121; FurFright: $1631 - see MUDs To Virtual Worlds". Social WikiFur’s timeline of charity donations Computing Group, Microsoft. for other years [42] "FurNet IRC network". scg/papers/3DVW.htm. Retrieved on Retrieved on 2008-09-08. 2009-03-15. [30] Howells, Shelley (October 01, 2002). [43] "Anthrochat IRC network". "Secret lives of strange and furry". The Retrieved on New Zealand Herald. 2009-03-15. [31] Werner, Christian. "Och, sind die [44] "About". Google Groups. süüüüß!" (in German). Zeit Online Zuender. Zeit Online. Retrieved on eurofurence-horrorfurence. Retrieved on [45] "List of furry LiveJournal communities". 2008-09-06. [32] Peralta, Eyder (May 28, 2006). "In List_of_furry_LiveJournal_communities. Second Life, the World is Yours". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. Houston Chronicle. [46] "FurNation furry community". Retrieved on archive.mpl?id=2006_4125271. 2009-03-15. Retrieved on 2007-08-13.


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[47] "Furtopia furry community". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [48] "YiffStar furry community". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [49] "Yerf Historical Archive". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [50] "The Fursuit Database". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [51] "WikiFur multilingual furry encyclopedia". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [52] "Fchan furry imageboard". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [53] " furry imageboard". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [54] "Bluefurry oekaki board". display.php. Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [55] "Mia’s Index of Anthro Stories". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [56] "FurBid auction site". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [57] "FurBuy auction site". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [58] " personals website". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [59] "MyFursona social networking site". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [60] "Furry 4 Life social networking site". Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [61] "FurSpace social networking site". Retrieved on 2009-03-16. [62] " news site". Retrieved on 2009-03-16. [63] " news site". Retrieved on 2009-03-16. [64] " furry community" (in German). Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [65] "FranceFurs furry community" (in French). Retrieved on 2009-03-15.

Furry fandom
[66] " furry community" (in Russian). Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [67] "Wolves’ Paradise furry community" (in Chinese). Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [68] "Antropomofos furry community" (in Spanish). Retrieved on 2009-03-15. [69] " - Frequently Asked Questions". 2001-05-08. lifestyle.txt. Retrieved on 2006-08-26. [70] Bardzell, Jeffery, and Shaowen Bardzell. Sex-Interface-Aesthetics: The Docile Avatars and Embodied Pixels of Second Life BDSM. Indiana University, 2005. [71] Stuttaford, Thomas; Godson, Suzi (2007-12-08). "I like dressing up as a bear during sex". The Times. life_and_style/women/body_and_soul/ article3016114.ece. Retrieved on 2007-12-11. (further details) [72] ^ Meinzer, Melissa (June 29, 2006). "Animal Passions: The furries come to town — and our correspondent tails along". Pittsburgh City Paper. gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A28606. Retrieved on 2007-05-25. [73] Padva, Gilad. Dreamboys, Meatmen and Werewolves: Visualizing Erotic Identities in All-Male Comic Strips. Sexualities 8:5 (2005). 587-599 [74] ^ David J. Rust (2000-2002, based on data 1997-1998). "The Sociology of Furry Fandom". furrysoc.html. Retrieved on 2006-08-26. [75] "Macrophile online community". Retrieved on 2009-03-26. [76] "Pregfur online community". Retrieved on 2009-03-26. [77] "Eka’s Portal". Retrieved on 2009-03-26. [78] The Chained Wolf (2008-12-18). "One Fur, One Vote: The Politics of the Fandom". 29_one_fur_one_vote_the_politics_of_the_fandom. [79] "News:AAE bans Softpaw from Further Confusion 2008 over legal fears". WikiFur. 2008-01-21.


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Furry fandom

News:AAE_bans_Softpaw_from_Further_Confusion_2008_over_legal_fears. "Hell Hath [92] Abel, Jennifer (2007-11-01). Retrieved on 2009-05-06. No Furries". Hartford Advocate. [80] Loaded magazine, March, 1998 [81] Gurley, George (March, 2001). article.cfm?aid=3873. Retrieved on "Pleasures of the fur". Vanity Fair. 2007-11-01. [93] "The Brewers Meet the Furries". vanityfair/. Deadspin. July 6, 2007. [82] "Fear of Commitment". ER. NBC. No. 20, season 7. prefer-furries%2C-mr%27-belvedere-or[83] "Fur and Loathing". CSI: Crime Scene his-stalker/the-brewers-meet-theInvestigation. CBS. 2003-10-30. No. 5, furries-275569.php. Retrieved on season 4. 2007-06-07. [84] "Mama Told Me I Should Come". The [94] LaSalle, Mike (July 17, 2007). "Anthrocon Drew Carey Show. ABC. 2002-10-21. No. 2007 draws thousands to Pittsburgh for 6, season 8. See The Drew Carey Show furry weekend". Men’s News Daily. on WikiFur for more information. [85] MTV. "Sex2K Fursuit Video". anthrocon-2007-draws-thousands-to pittsburgh-for-furry-weekend/. Retrieved FursuitVideo/FurriesInTheNews/ on 2007-08-04. MTV2002/. Retrieved on 2006-08-26. [95] "Furry Convention Creates Wild Scene In [86] "The Day Fuckers". Entourage. HBO. Pittsburgh". WPXI News. June 26, 2008. 2007-07-28. No. 7, season 4. [87] Baldwin, Denis (August, 2006). "Walk detail.html. Retrieved on 2008-07-04. With the Animals: Local furries explain it’s not about perversion, furpiles and plush". Ann Arbor Paper. • Hilton, Craig. "Furry Fandom — An Insider’s View from the Outside", parts 1 issue23/furries_23.html. Retrieved on & 2. South Fur Lands #2 & #3, 1995, 2007-02-02. 1996. [88] Belser, Ann (June 18, 2006). "All about • Mange: the need for criticism in furrydom ’furry fandom’ at confab". Pittsburgh by Watts Martin, 1994, 1998 ( Post-Gazette. http://www.postmirror) Retrieved on 2006-06-30. [89] "We’re at it like rabbits". The Sun. 3 April 2007. • Furry fandom at the Open Directory article/0,,11000-2007140884,00.html. Project Retrieved on 2007-04-11. • WikiFur, the furry encyclopedia - furry [90] Togneri, Chris (July 6, 2007). "Furries fandom’s community wiki purr over Pittsburgh reception". • VCL - one of the oldest furry art and story Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. hosts • Fur Affinity - a furry community website in pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/ the style of deviantART s_515974.html. Retrieved on

Further reading

External links

2007-07-14. [91] Meinzer, Melissa (February 2, 2006). "Fur Ball In The Works". Pittsburgh City Paper. gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A27825. Retrieved on 2007-05-25.

Retrieved from "" Categories: Furry fandom, Fandom, Fictional anthropomorphic characters


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Furry fandom

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