Rumors of furry-identified students using litterboxes in public schools have been thoroughly debunked. But that has not stopped anti-LGBTQ activists in Colorado from repeating the claims in an attempt to stir up outrage.

“A lot of children now are identifying as a cat or dog or an animal,” said Rich Guggenheim, a member of the anti-LGBTQ coalition Protect Kids Colorado, in a May 8 interview on KLZ Radio’s Kim Monson Show. “And this is part of the furry movement. And so kids are going to school. And in some schools across the country, we’re hearing stories where kids are using litterboxes and doing their bathroom duties like they would if they’re a cat or a dog.”

Protect Kids Colorado is a group that formed earlier this year to push ballot initiatives that would take away rights from trans youths across Colorado.

Guggenheim, who also runs the Colorado chapter of the extremist anti-trans group Gays Against Groomers, effectively rehashed stale right-wing talking points from 2022. That year, Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl argued, without evidence, that “woke ideology” had allowed furries to disrupt schools across Colorado.

While some classrooms may stock small amounts of cat litter, it’s only intended for emergency use in case students or staff are trapped in a classroom due to a lockdown.

Throughout 2022, Ganahl and other prominent conservatives, including U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert and podcaster Joe Rogan, promoted the litterbox hoax even as the schools in question denied it. It has served to advance the broader conservative culture war against LGBTQ inclusion in schools, with proponents generally positioning furries as the next stop on the slippery slope of tolerance for diverse identities.

When members of Protect Kids Colorado talk about furries, they explicitly mean it as an attack on the LGBTQ community. Speaking on the coalition’s Initiative #142, which would force schools to out trans-identified students to their families regardless of potential harm, Guggenheim touted that it would also impact the aforementioned “trans-species” students.

“[Initiative #142] is to require schools to notify parents if their child, has any kind of issues with gender incongruence,” Guggenheim said on air. “And that is, to say, basically, if a child comes out at school and says that they identify as non-binary or transgender or even trans-species, since that is now a thing. So any of those kinds of things would require the school to notify the parent.”

Guggenheim advanced the hoax to even more outrageous heights, claiming animal-identified students are biting and scratching their peers, with school officials passively accepting the violence for the sake of inclusivity.

“We’re hearing stories about other students in schools being attacked and bitten and scratched by these dogs – human children acting like dogs and cats. And the teachers aren’t doing anything about it. The school boards aren’t doing anything about it,” Guggenheim said. “Because, again, this goes back to what they believe is being inclusive.”

The Colorado Times Recorder reached out to Guggenheim via email in search of evidence for his claims. Guggenheim did not respond; this story will be updated with any response received.

Guggenheim is not the only member of the coalition to advance false claims that furries are a widespread issue in Colorado schools. Anti-trans activist Erin Lee warned furries were “very closely tied” to trans identity in an interview last year with the Daily Citizen, a media outlet run by the conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family.


“The furry movement is real. People identifying as animals is very closely tied to the trans movement,” Lee said. She went on to characterize the bestselling children’s novel series “Warrior Cats,” which features clans of feral cats as the main characters, as well as general interest in anthropomorphic or furry art, as potential gateways into alleged transgender indoctrination.

“This ideology has absolutely infiltrated all schools,” Lee told the Daily Citizen.

According to Protect Kids Colorado’s website, the group has circulated petitions at multiple recent events, including a May 16 town hall meeting hosted by state Rep. Scott Bottoms (R-Colorado Springs). Bottoms promoted the litterbox hoax on the campaign trail in 2022.

Events from Protect Kids Colorado’s website. Screenshot taken May 15, 2024.

With the deadline to secure access to the November ballot coming up in August, Protect Kids Colorado’s volunteer petition effort will need to work hard to secure the necessary signatures for Initiative #142, as well as Initiative #160, intended to force trans students to play sports according to their sex assigned at birth.

In his interview, Guggenheim encouraged listeners to “Sign up to become a petition carrier. We have 90 days to collect 200,000 signatures. So really, as you said, all hands on deck.”