For those wondering about having their pet preserved I have tried to answer the most common questions that I am asked below. In addition to traditional taxidermy and for an additional fee I can arrange the cremation of your pet’s remains or the return of your pets remains for burial.
Take photographs of your pet in typical poses, their face, the way the hold their head, their ears, the way they sleep, the color of their eyes, etc. Photographs of your pet as a young baby will not be useful if your pet has aged.
Grieve. The last thing you need to worry about is taxidermy. Most veterinary clinics will have a chest freezer available to store your pet for at least a few days while you make inquiries. It must be a freezer, a fridge is not good enough. Please make sure you or the veterinarian remove any blankets or towels from the pet as they can slow the freezing process very much and your pet will be unsuitable for taxidermy if not frozen quickly. This is very important.
If bagged in a thick plastic bag, airtight, your pet will be safe for at least 12 months in a chest freezer. Do not use a self-thawing /cleaning freezer. Also your vet will most likely not keep it for this long and depending on the size of the animal and workload demand, I do not always have room for pet storage. You may have to hire or invest in a chest freezer for this purpose yourself.
That decision is entirely your choice however I do suggest certain positions to hide veterinary stitches, wounds and hair loss due to being shaved. Some people find it hard to look at their pets with their eyes open; sleeping is a good pose to avoid this. Remember pets in poor condition at the time of passing generally have a coat in less than good condition and there is nothing that I can do to remedy that. What I do tell my clients is to think long and hard about this as once the pet is mounted and finished, it cannot be changed. Also, I will not take in pets without the owner present to sign the intake contract. Pets that have undergone radiation/chemotherapy will not be accepted. Also, if your pet smells bad after you pick it up from the vet, chances are it was not frozen quickly enough.
Yes, if possible bring copies of recent photographs of your pet. USB preferred or printed copies are ok too. No originals please. If having your pet placed as if asleep in its basket, please bring that also. Bring the collar if commonly worn. When traveling long distance, (some of my clients are interstate), the pet still within the plastic can be placed into a camp freezer or large esky, (dry ice only if absolutely necessary), or if it is too large, remove the pet from the plastic, place it on some cardboard and towels, out of the sunlight and heat. Please call ahead to make sure I’m going to be available to start working on your pet as soon as it arrives as it will start to thaw on trips over a few hours.
Pet taxidermy requires individual molding and casting of the body or a heavily altered form to ensure a true to type manikin to place the tanned skin onto. Depending on the size and pose of the animal, this can take quite some time and materials before the mounting process can even be started. Also some pet’s eyes need to be custom made in the USA for the correct color match and to be as close as possible to the originals. As such, final prices are given on an individual basis. Starting prices for a cat is $1500ea, small dogs $2500., etc. A 50% deposit is required on all pet work.
You have known your pet, probably for well over 8 years. Even with all the photographic reference, no taxidermist can put the ‘character’ back into your pet with traditional or freeze dry methods. We can however make your pet look like the pet in the photo to the best of our ability. With this in mind, look at a taxidermists previous pet work before deciding who to leave your pet with. Don’t let a cheap price sway you.
Pets are usually returned to their owner within 8 - 12 months.
No, not any more after a previous bad experience.
Cremation of remains is also possible and i can arrange this for you at an additional cost.