“More questions than answers”: the fall of Don’t Hug Cacti

Since late 2020, a prominent fursuit maker became something very sensitive to talk about. Mentioning it could draw strong ire from furries: Don’t Hug Cacti (DHC).

Its co-owner, Lucky Coyote, was the main subject of the DHC controversy. Furries alleged her of misconduct related to abuse and animal maltreatment.

But more than a year on, there were no rock-solid conclusions – based on official and legal confirmations. The furry fandom’s mostly negative consensus to DHC is only based on the allegations.

The controversy ended in confusion among furries. Even suspicion is building up towards the claimant themselves. Why and how did it lead here?

  • What started the controversy?

  • Legal threats

  • A cancel mob: Lucky

  • Criticism mounts onto furry fandom

  • ‘Out of context’: Shi Okami

  • Some claims clarified

  • Controversy ends in confusion and suspicion

  • It’s been one year now; any answers yet?

What started the controversy?

The controversy sparked on Sept 25, 2021.

A Twitter user called Qutens published a document more than 90 pages long containing several anonymous testimonies. They all alleged that Lucky had committed various misdeeds.

9 days later on Oct 4, DHC in response issued an apology stating that:

  • One, they do not condone “any immoral or illegal activity”;
  • Second, Lucky is not the owner of DHC, though some pointed out, under Arizona state laws she is still an owner – in the US state of Arizona, couples share equal ownership of everything they buy, own and acquire during their marriage; and
  • Third, Lucky left social media and is “undergoing treatment for social media addiction and other personal issues.”

The apology was deleted by Lucky’s husband Skuff subsequently. He said he “left it up for a month” and it was “time to move on.”

This issue peaked on Feb 5, 2021. That time, Qutens also claimed DHC sent her a cease and desist letter over her tweet.

They raised money for a legal defence against the fursuit maker. To where that money has gone, is unknown as of now.

On the same day, Don’t Hug Cacti published a statement stating it is under attack by the allegations, and they would be pursuing legal action.

The fursuit maker afterwards received a backlash with users expressing their discontent on social media, saying the fursuit maker is “censoring victims.”

A cancel mob: Lucky

In the sight of the allegations, Lucky recently released a YouTube video addressing the allegations.

According to her, the claims are based on no evidence. She proceeds to reject the allegations, especially those from a “competing fursuit builder” known as “Anonymous Wolf” on Qutens’ document.

Afterwards, in a tweet, Lucky panned the allegations, calling it a cancel mob – saying they are done by people with selfish intent.

Upon release, the video and tweet were broadly criticized on social media. Users call it a dishonest act by Lucky to avoid responsibility and do damage control.

Many also pointed out she did not address the misconduct claims directly but solely focused on the community’s heated reaction.

Criticism mounts onto furry fandom

That grew a wave of criticism on the community’s reaction.

Many users called it an “ignorance of victims” and “defence of Lucky’s misbehaviour”. But the claims are not clarified, and there are no official charges as of now.

Thus, some furries criticized the fandom for gripping onto unverified allegations and even treating Don’t Hug Cacti fursuit owners with hostility.

https://twitter.com/shortfurrybean/status/1362736512081801216

https://twitter.com/zettasbytes/status/1362947549506732033

‘Out of context’: Shi Okami

As the storm over the situation went on, a third party soon came into the picture. A furry YouTuber called Shi Okami began to cover the controversy.

In two of her videos, she brought the document’s legitimacy into question. She wanted more ‘substantial evidence’ – calling the testimonies and items in Qutens’ document ‘out of context’.

Subsequently, Shi and another YouTuber named Brony Inspector announced a live podcast with Lucky and Skuff Coyote. They intended to go through the document and clarify the statements directly.

According to Shi, this came after Skuff reached out to her.

In the podcast, both Lucky and Skuff consistently denied the allegations written in the document. They suggest the statements are a part of a smear campaign. They also stated they would not be pursuing the cease and desist letter sent to Qutens.

Reception to Shi Okami’s coverage of the controversy was mixed.

Some furs praised her for getting both sides of the story and ‘not following the mob’. But critics say she sided with Lucky and pointed out that her tone, specifically in her first coverage video was ‘condescending towards potential victims.’ Some even said she did the podcast for clout.

Throughout, a number of furs repeatedly remarked that Lucky and Skuff were being dishonest.

Some claims clarified

It is worth noting that since the release of the live podcast, some furs concluded that Lucky is guilty, to which Shi Okami said she is glad a consensus is made.

And now with something to cross-reference with, other people can ‘come to a conclusion they’re comfortable with.

Building on that, since the podcast’s release, some points of contention became clearer.

Among them are Lucky’s handling of her rescued animals, and her allowing someone under the local drinking age to drink alcohol. That which Lucky has received additional criticism for:

  • “Anonymous Horse” claimed Lucky, in view of one of her rabbits developing a life-threatening bloat, ‘physically (crushed) it to death with her hands.’ Lucky denied; saying she euthanized it using cervical dislocation, admittedly as a ‘novice’ breeder.

Now, in her home state of Arizona, cervical dislocation as a euthanisation method can only be conducted by trained individuals, according to guidelines under the AMVA (American Veterinary Medical Association).

There is currently no proof she was trained before. On that basis, she was criticized for not possessing the necessary skills and expertise to do so in the first place.

  • “Anonymous Fox” claimed Lucky allowed her to drink while in her (Lucky’s) house. According to the DLLC (Arizona Department of Liquor), those under 21 years of age are allowed to enter bars under the supervision of their ‘spouse, guardian, parent of legal drinking age,’ that said, led to more criticisms on this part as well.

Lucky consistently denied allegations of sexual assaults, zoophilic behaviour, racism, animal abuse and inappropriate activities with minors. The claims are until today unconfirmed yet.

Controversy ends in confusion and suspicion

In the mixed ocean of support and opposition towards the notion that Lucky is guilty, confusion arose.

For one, many furs including Shi Okami remarked inconsistencies in Lucky’s narrative and pointed out especially Skuff’s ‘controlling’ posture.

That refers to how he behaved at various points of the podcast, where he’s reportedly uptight on the flow of the conversation.

Building on the doubt, suspicion towards both DHC and Qutens rose moreover, with some furs saying both parties are still ‘hiding something.’

The podcast’s co-host Brony Inspector also echoed this sentiment, stating the interview brought him ‘more questions than satisfactory answers.’

To conclude, though the authors of the document may have some backing in their statements, without clearer evidence as warranted by critics, their claims could be very weak.

On the other hand, with Lucky and Skuff now speaking up, reported lapses in their behaviour especially during the podcast lowered their credibility at the same time, thus leading to the current confusion.

It’s been one year now; any answers yet?

No.

No further investigations were done. The authorities were not contacted at any time to probe this.

Today, the controversy devolved into an out-of-bounds marker used casually among furries. The initial allegations take centre stage among them.

Many furries urged to ‘believe wholly in the victims’; to not doubt their statements and Qutens’ testimony document.

But were the allegations or even the mostly anonymous claimants real, in the very first place? That remains to be seen.

VIDEO STORY: The Don’t Hug Cacti controversy | Furry In-Depth

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