The year is 1986 and the location is Cleveland, Ohio. Mutant animals are the stuff of the tabloids. Few know that they really do exist and the animals prefer it that way.
You come from different backgrounds but all heard about the Furry Party (the term Furry Convention has yet to be invented). Sprouting up across the US, Furry Parties as they are known are a convenient way for anthromophic animals to gather. That and lots of costumed sex. The humans are mostly useful dupes but some are in on the secret.
There you were contacted mentally by someone who thought you "had the right stuff" and "could make a difference". The voice invited you to an old building in the warehouse district to learn more. Intrigued, you agreed to meet in person.
At the warehouse you were ushered in as you arrived by a burly 4+ foot pigeon with bling and tatted up human arms. He motions you inside with a flick of his beaked head.