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Helping our Charity - Part 2

(This story was originally published on The CARE Foundation's blog on December 8, 2013.)

Storm: Our half-drowned raccoon baby rescue.

It was a stormy evening when we received a call from a neighbor regarding a half dead baby raccoon. We had him immediately bring it over and the tiny girl was cold and barely breathing. Found abandoned and gasping for air while drowning, we feared the worst but turned her upside down and started massaging her chest. Within seconds a stream of water ran out of her mouth and nose and she began breathing a bit easier. Still freezing cold we wrapped her up and put her on a heating pad. Within an hour she was warm and began crying, a good sign.

Not knowing when her last meal was, it was a good guess that she might be hungry. Her eyes weren't even open yet so it was going to be a tiny baby bottle. The first feeding did not go well to say the least. She was extremely hungry but was still wheezing from almost drowning. Formula would go in, then quickly spew from both her mouth and nose. Feed time would be a tediously long process. Because of how undeveloped she seemed, and how much dirty water and formula that had entered her lungs, repeatedly, we started her on a course of antibiotics.

Our cat, Ember, commiserates with Storm about the horrors of taking a bath.

After about a week, she was eating a bit better, but still had wheezing in her lungs and not growing much, even though we had increased the number of times she was being fed a day. In addition to her internal problems, she had been covered in fleas, to which she was allergic. For about a week the poor little girl was getting a combination of flea baths and oatmeal baths to get rid of the fleas and combat the itchiness of her reaction. Since she was still wheezing and still had skin problems, a trip to the vet was warranted.

By now her eyes were open and she was constantly crying when not being held, despite her constant teething and suckling on her stuffed bear buddy. It seemed that nothing but cuddling with us gave her much comfort, despite trying not to let her bond with us. As cute as she was, we were hoping to release her back to the wild where raccoons truly belong. The vet gave her new antibiotics, flea meds, and another appointment for the following week. While the new antibiotic seemed to have improved the sound of her lungs, she developed another odd noise while she drank from her bottle. If that wasn't enough, her fleas seemed to be gone but she suddenly started losing fur on her legs and had a weird odor.

New buddies Storm and Rosie (a White-Faced Capuchin) play together.

Vet visit number two reviled a small problem with her trachea which resulted in the decision to get her off the bottle immediately and start her on solids. Not a fun process at all! As if that wasn't enough, a skin scraping revealed mites, so shots were required. While most raccoons would consider all the baths, oral meds, and shots as torture and reason to avoid humans, this tiny girl took the attitude that any attention is good attention. Putting her on the floor resulted in a raccoon flying straight to me and clinging to my leg crying. It was at this point that the vet deemed her non releasable and officially signed over to our sanctuary. When asked what name should be on her certificate, the only thing that popped into my head was Storm, our little natural disaster!

Storm has since been eating like a big girl and started growing a little faster. She has grown all her fur back and looking a little more like a real raccoon. Some things haven't changed though with her constant need of attention. While we can't always be at her beck and call, she now has two house cats and a monkey named Rosie to play and cuddle with! She is now the tiniest raccoon with the biggest heart!

Megaplex 2014's charity goal is to raise $8,000 for the CARE Foundation, an exotic animal rescue and wildlife education facility in the nearby city of Apopka, Florida. CARE has been with Megaplex since the beginning. This year, we want to really show them what we're capable of doing for animals in need!

If every attendee donated just $10, we could easily surpass that goal!

There are more than 200 big cats, bears, monkeys, birds, reptiles and assorted critters who call CARE home. The donations will help CARE complete expansions to their facility to help accommodate them.

There are a ton of different ways you can help raise money to meet our $8,000 goal:

  • The Opening Ceremonies Challenge.

    Encourage as many of your friends as possible to join us at the con's initiation at 10 AM on Friday, and bring money for donations. Why? Well...let's just say there is a special incentive for early donations. You'll see!
  • The Charity Poker Tournament.

    The poker tourney returns this year on Friday night, beginning at 7:00 PM. Buy-in is $10. Have fun for a great cause!
  • Photos With Live Animals.

    Bring your money to the CARE Presentation on Sunday at Noon. Have your camera ready and for a small donation, you can get photos with a live animal from the presentation. This is also a great photo op for fursuiters. (Please note you should bring your own camera.)
  • The C.A.R.E. Charity Auction.

    It's your chance to take home any of the unique and cool items donated to our auction, beginning at 1:00 PM on Sunday, immediately after the CARE presentation. Credit cards are also accepted! You can also drop off your own contributions on Friday or Saturday to be included in the auction.
  • Fursuiters: Donate A Dance.

    Are you a fursuiter looking for something fun to donate for the charity auction? We will auction off the opportunity for the winning bidder to dance with his or her favorite fluffy critter at the dances that evening. To participate, you must sign up at the registration desk, and you must be present and in costume at the charity auction and the Sunday dances.
  • Fursuiters: Join the Bucket Brigade.

    Fursuiters can help by becoming a part of our fuzzy fundraising force, known at some other conventions as a charity bucket brigade. This involves approaching attendees throughout the convention, holding out an official Megaplex charity donation jar, and looking so ridiculously cute that your targets will be unable to resist emptying their pockets into the donation jar! To participate, sign up at the Registration desk.
  • Fill Those Donation Jars.

    At Registration, the CARE presentation and certain other events, we'll have donation jars out. Every little bit of spare change adds up!

Thank you all for your generous support!

For more information about Megaplex's Charity Auction, see our Auction page.

For more information about Megaplex's Charity Poker tournament, see the tourney page.

To learn more about CARE and meet the animals, visit!