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Is Pet Animal Preservation for you?

Freeze- Dried Cat

Pet preservation is the method of
freeze-drying your deceased pet.

The  Pet  Freeze-Drying  Process

The trained professional, usually a
taxidermist first removes all the internal organs and body fat  from your pet. In  some  cases  the    body  must  be filled  out with  artificial  fillers  to  compensate  for  the  dehydration. False eyes, usually custom made glass eyes  in exact  matching  colour  are  inserted  into  the  sockets to prevent a  sunken  look. Your pet is then put inside a  special  freeze drying  sealed chamber  with a very low temperature  to  produce a  vacuum application.
All the moisture is removed and the  tissue  remains  unaltered. This  way  its  avoids  decay.
As time goes by frozen moisture
will convert into a gaseous like state and will be extracted
away from the chamber. The  procedure  is  called  lyophilization.

Pet owners are asked to provide  their  pet’s  picture  so  as  the  operator  can  recreate an appearance and  pose as  close  to  lifelike  as  is  possible.  The choice of pose needs to be decided on prior to laying
the pet inside the chamber. Pets can be posed  with eyes open or closed, an extended paw or a  skyward gaze. A sleeping or lying down posture  is the more natural appearance and  is more cost  effective.  Your pet will weigh  significantly  less  on completion.

How Long will This Take?

Generally the whole procedure will take  8 to  12  weeks for  small mammals and  up  to  5  to  10  months  for  larger  ones.                                                                                         
After this period your pet shall  be returned to  you  at  room  temperature and  remain in  that condition  indefinitely.

Preparation of Deceased Pet

It is advisable and important that
less  than 24  hours  after  your  pet has died that its placed inside a sealed plastic bag and  put inside a  standard freezer preferably in a  curled up  position.
Your pet needs to be shipped by overnight express courier  to  the  facility.
It is  imperative  that  it doesn’t  thaw   as it  becomes  spoiled.

Aftercare Of  Your  Pet

Your  preserved  pet must  be  kept  away  from direct  heat,  intense  sunlight, heaters  of  any  kind, fireplaces  and  areas  of  high  humidity. Other  than  that  all  it  needs  is  a  light  dusting  down  and  wipe down  with  a  slightly  damp  cloth.

It  can  be  held,   carried,  transported  and  gently  petted.  This  is  the  closest  thing  to  having  your  pet still with and  beside  you  without  the  animation of  course.

Immortalizing   Your  Pet,  The  Cost

Depending  on  your  chosen  service  provider  you  can  expect  to  pay  between   $850  and  $1,200  for  a  pet  under 10 pounds weight. Pricing  is  estimated  on  size  and  weight  so  thereby  something bigger  and  heavier would cost  significantly  more.

Where  Is  Pet Freeze-Drying  Service Offered?

Its unclear  but  it  may  number  less  that  30  worlds wide. Pet  owners  want   perfection.  They  have a tendency to  scrutinise  every  fine  detail to  seek  out  any  imperfection  or  flaw.  These  services  may  feel  as  though  they  cannot  live  up  to  the  high  standards  expected  therefore  many  conventional  taxidermists  don’t provide  this  service. This  is  expected  to  change  over the coming  years.

Is  Freeze-Drying  Pets  After  Death  Common?

It  appears  as  thought  this  practice  is  becoming  increasingly  more  popular  but  still   vastly  in  the  minority. Elderly  people  who  do   not  intent  getting  another  pet are  the  most  likely  to  have  it  done. Also  a  trend  is  developing  in  the  celebrity world  to  keep  their  dead  pets  around.

Summary

We  all  love  and   adore  our  pets  and  are  in  a  state  of  devastation  when  they  pass on. That  spontaneous  nudge  of  a  wet  nose  or  a  lick  of  the  hand.  The  over joyous  leap   and  frantic   tail  wagging  on  greeting  us   at  the  door.   We   know  their   every  idiosyncrasy,  we  talk  to  them  and  feel  as  though  they  are  listening  to us. They  give  us  a  lift  on   days  we  are  sad  and  low. They  make  us  feel  wanted  and  special  when  others  may  have  doubted  or  deserted  us. The  emotional  bond created  can  be  very  strong  and  intense  and  want  it  to  last  forever.

It  is  however  a  fact  of  life  that  our  pets  have  a  relatively  short  life  compared  to  humans.  It  is  not  unusual  for  the  average  person  or  average  family  household  to  own  a  number  or  numerous  pets  throughout  a  lifespan. When  a  human,  pet  or  any  creature  that  you dearly  care  for  dies, general  convention  follows  and  we  bury  or  cremate  the  body. Over  time  then  the  great  wounds  of  loss  and  sadness  slowly  dissipate.

For  some  people  letting  go  can  be  too  painful to  contemplate  so  they  want  the  unique  feeling  that  holding  on  to  the  physical  remains  gives  them. Looking at  and  touching  their  pet  still  provides   that  lasting  attachment  and  comfort.

My  Opinion

For  some  this  could  be  a  controversial subject  even  bordering  on  taboo.

Personally  I  would  not  get  a pet  preserved  by  freeze-drying  and  even  following  the  after care  maintenance  seems  more   akin  to  dealing  with  an  ornament  or  trophy.  To  me  its  a  tad  on the  eerie  side.

What  are  your  thoughts  on  this?  Would  you  take  this  unorthodox  approach  to  memorize  your  pet?

 

 

Oliver

31 Comments

  1. This is a very interesting article. I see this as a way for someone’s pet to live forever rather than just burying or cremating it. I would like to learn more about this and I will read more of your content in the future. Excellent job!

  2. Thanks for your comment
    that’s quite interesting to me that you are on the side of pet preservation.

    Oliver

  3. Oliver,
    Most interesting article. I had not given much thought to this question and I have not really given any thought to this process, I have lost a lot of my four legs Family and usually do a burial here on my property. I do not think it to be a healthy or natural way to honor my passed Friends.
    Thanks for the thoughts, and add me to the No side of the question.
    Sanders

  4. Hi Saunders,
    Yes I sense that many people have not considered this option, that may change a lot over the next several years.

    Oliver

  5. I’ve only had one pet that passed when I was a teenager, and I can’t imagine having him go through this process.

    I’m not judging anyone who thinks otherwise, but looking at him standing still as a statue wouldn’t make me feel any better.

    Pet animal preservation is definitely not for me.

    Thanks for sharing though. I enjoyed reading and learning about this.

  6. Hi Eliane,
    Thanks for your comment and opinion on this, yes its not for everyone but as the saying goes – each to their own

    Oliver

  7. This is very interesting. When my dog passes away I plan on cremation. I know there are a ton of service out there that make things for you out of the ashes. I have seen bracelets and such. What would you suggest if someone wanted to go that route?

    • Hi Amanda,
      The array of keepsakes that are available today are vast.
      It all depends on what you feel it fitting, whether that is something you can wear, ie -necklace, bracelet or a pin, key chain, it comes down to personal choice.

      Oliver

  8. This is interesting, but i don’t think i would do that to my lovely dog if he past away. Sometimes, to learn how to say goodbye is to grow. I can understand why some people would do this, especially elderly people, i wouldn’t want to feel alone either honestly.

    I think there are better ways to honor our furry friend, but i also respect people and their choices.

    Thanks so much for this interesting article.

    • Hello Ileana,
      Thank you for comment
      yes letting go and moving forward no matter how dramatic it can be is part and parcel of life but just like you said,we cannot be judgemental and must respect everyone’s choices.

  9. A very thought provoking article. I had never thought about this nor did I know it was possible. I’m sorry but I find the idea just a little creepy. You will have to put me on the no side as well, but a very informative article for those who would. To each is own I guess

  10. Hi Taianne,
    yes I agree, as the saying goes – different strokes for different folks

    Oliver

  11. Hi Oliver,

    I don’t have a pet myself but I do have family members and and some friends with pets who may or may not find this article beneficial.

    Their pets aren’t on their way out or anything but it’s something they could consider in the future. I’m not sure if they will thank me for passing this on though 🙂

    Really good and thorough article and well thought out.

    All the best and keep up the good work,

    Tom

  12. Hi Tom,
    Yes, this is not for everybody but at least by making them aware that this procedure is available it gives them another option in the aftermath of a pet’s death.

    Oliver

  13. Hi Oliver
    We don’t have a pet any more our dog which was an Airedale died about 4 years ago. We have about an acre and a half, we just whent far out back and buried him.
    Even if I’d known this procedure was available, I would not want that big Airedale staring at me, kind of spooky I think preservation is definitely not for me.
    Although very interesting subject

  14. Hi Orlando,
    Yes I consider it a little abnormal to be honest but we must refrain from judgement. If their choice lifts them from a dark place in their lives and makes them feel better well then that can be a positive.

    Oliver

  15. Well, I would have never thought of this. I guess if this is something a person wants to do to immortalize their pet, well, go for it.

    The costs seems high , $800-$1000, but if this helps with the grief process, then good.

    Interesting and unique article.

  16. Hi Don,
    thanks for your thoughts, yea its not a cheap option but decisions of this nature where dear loved ones and emotional bonds are concerned should never be based on money.

    Oliver

  17. This is an extremely interesting article, Oliver, but the idea of doing this strikes me as pretty bizarre and morbid. I have had to say goodbye to many dear pets over the years–most of them larger dogs–and it’s always heart-wrenching for a while. But those things you really miss–like the nudge on your elbow, or the bark behind the kitchen door after you pulled up into the garage–could never be replaced by an empty outer shell of your pet. For me, it was more healing to try to get interested in something new and unrelated to my pet for awhile, and then after several months had passed I could begin to remember him/her again without so much distress.

  18. Hi Abbee,
    Yes I do agree with you. Having an inanimate object as a representative for what was a sentient life force would not be fitting in my view.
    As you say something to find as a distraction in the aftermath of a death can be a way to ease the pain.

    Oliver

  19. Very interesting topic. I had no idea that this was even a “thing” but why not? I could not do this to a pet, as the ones that I have had that I cared deeply for, and I could not imagine doing this to them. I can see how other people might, and to each his own.
    Would this be considered a next step up to taxidermy? And if so, what do you think is the next step after that?

  20. Hi Irma,
    Yes I would consider this an advancement [if its appropriate to say that] on taxidermy. I mean the business of taxidermy dates back roughly 250 years.
    The next step is cryogenics, maybe more applicable to humans but probably pets too, but that’s a subject for another day.

    Oliver

  21. Just last week I heard of someone that loved her dog so dearly and the pain of loosing him was so strong, that she decided to “preserve” him. I didn’t know what that meant until I read your article. I personally would not do it, just like I didn’t want to cremate my cat (to me it feels creepy having a dead body in the house whether it is in ashes or frozen). However, I’m happy that such services do exist since some people have a really hard time loosing their pets. Thanks so much for all the details in your post.

  22. Hi Carmen,
    Some people need the physical object in their possession as assurance and peace of mind while others may be abhorred by it.

    Oliver

  23. I can appreciate how people who deeply love their pets would want to preserve their pets through freezing drying. I can see how industry professionals take professional care and due diligence to ensure that the pets are respectfully frozen. This will really help owners who don’t like the idea of cremating or burring their pets. This is a lovely service. Thank you for sharing.

  24. Hi Glenys,
    Yes, some people consider this as a very personalized way of honouring their precious companions. For the pet owners who are comforted by the physical presence and want to see and touch their pets every day then this is a satisfactory option to take.

    Oliver

  25. Oh my I could never consider doing such a thing to my best friend and companion I am living with right now, I am sure I would feel much worse having him preserved in such a manner. Do people actually do this to their deceased pets, I just think this is horrible idea.

  26. Hi Jeff,
    Yes people are definitely doing this, there is demand for it as can be proved by the number of freeze-drying facilities that exist.

    Oliver

  27. Hi, Oliver
    I have just read the article and also watched the video. I have buried all of my cats and dogs on my property. The property sits on an acre so there is ample space. There is a little stone or cross for each one. I had thought of cloning my dog who passed last summer but never went through with it.

    I am sure this is for some people but I could not bear to look at my deceased pet, day in and day out, and having them put through that process even though they would not feel it. I’m not one in favor of freeze-drying one of my beloved pets.

    Thank you for sharing this information!
    Cathy

  28. Hi Cathy,
    Well I would say you are fortunate enough to have plenty ground space to bury your precious pets. I’m glad for you. That is extremely interesting to hear about your thoughts on cloning. This is the very first time I’ve ever heard anybody mention cloning of a pet. That’s intriguing to me.

    Oliver

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