At this time we are not accepting any companion pet work. Please use this page as a resource of information and references to having to say goodbye to your loved ones as well as other individuals that do accept companion pet work.
Note: We do not know of any taxidermists in MA
that offer any pet taxidermy for dogs or cats.
If anything changes, we will post them below in our links.
Here at Lone Fox Taxidermy, we understand how hard it is to say goodbye to our loved ones. While we at this time are not offering services for companion animals, we hope to provide some valuable information and resources if you are looking into taxidermy for your beloved four legged friend.
Information into the Taxidermy Process
Taxidermy and bone/skull cleaning is a lengthy process. Most (but not all) of our companion animal customers have not dealt with taxidermists before. On average, a taxidermy piece may take anywhere from 6 months at a bare minimum, up to 2 years to complete. Please be patient with your taxidermist as you await your loved one during the process. Bone cleaning can also take a lengthy amount of time. Small animal's bones are often very fragile so we need to use a gentle process when cleaning them, often making the process take much longer.
Why it is so hard to make your pet look alive vs. a wild animal
Most taxidermists can make a wild animal look almost alive, which is what we are all striving for. However it is a completely different process to work on a companion animal. Most taxidermy includes using a pre-made sculpted high density foam form to go inside of the animal's tanned skin. We of course make alterations and sculpt the clay work to fit the animal best, including setting the glass eyes by hand. Most companion animals do not have forms available for them, so we must make them by hand. This is usually done by tracing the carcass of an animal, and measuring every detail. We then either wrap a body using excelsior, carve a body out of foam, or mold and cast a body using the carcass. As you can imagine, this is a very detailed process and extremely lengthy. And it is also a whole other avenue of taxidermy that not all taxidermists even offer. It is a special skill to learn that takes time. It is also very different to get the look right in the face and eyes of your loved one, that you have no doubt spent countless moments in their presence admiring them. This is much harder to do than to make a wild fox or a deer look alive.
The cost of these services is something to also consider. Again if you have not dealt with a taxidermist before, you may not be aware of the pricing for these services. A life-size fox costs around $800 and up. The pricing for a companion animal of similar size is typically double that, if not more. Some taxidermists start at $1200, which is for a cat sized animal. Be prepared to pay very high costs for these services. Your animal is one of a kind, completely irreplaceable. There is a high level of detail that goes into every step of the process with companion animals, please keep this in mind.
Allow Yourself to Grieve
Lastly, allow yourself plenty of time to grieve for the loss of your pet. Some individuals have already thought long and hard that they wanted to get their companion worked on after death. However we often receive many inquiries that are spur of the moment or in the exact time of death when we are completely at a loss. Do not jump into these decisions lightly. If your pet has passed, wrap them in secure bags and place in the freezer, or have your veterinarian hold them for you. You do not need to rush this, they will be fine to wait once they are frozen. Make sure everyone in your household agrees with the decision to have them made into taxidermy. And please understand this will sadly not bring them back. We all wish they would live forever, taxidermy is not the answer to this. But it can bring some people piece of mind in some scenarios. Just make sure you allow yourself the time to grieve and decide on a clear mind. Taxidermists that offer these services love to bring you the closure you need and if that includes giving you a memorial item whether that is taxidermy, skull cleaning, or something else, we are happy to do that for you.
Please find below a list of individuals that do offer companion animal related services to help you in your time of loss, as well as taxidermy services.
Please note, I do not know the current workload of these individuals. You will need to contact them directly to inquire on their services and if they are currently accepting clients.
Lauren Ward, Pet Death Doula
Lauren is certified as a pet death doula and in pet loss and grief. She specializes in end of life planning and loss of your beloved companion animals of all shapes and sizes. Whether you are unsure of what to do or just need a shoulder to cry on, Lauren can help you deal with the loss of your companion. Her services include end of life planning, euthanasia support, funeral and memorial services at their safe haven center, and pet loss and grief sessions once you have said goodbye. She is truly a special soul to help you in your time of need.
Gotham Taxidermy by Divya Anantharaman
Divya is an extremely talented taxidermist who specializes in birds. However, her mammals are exquisite as well. She has an extensive background in art and has been studying the art of taxidermy for many years. She has won several awards at the state competitions. She takes in a select number of pet clients. Her website offers information into the services she offers as well as a gallery of her previous pet work.
Buckshot Taxidermy by Mark Van Leuven
Mark at Buckshot Taxidermy offers freeze drying services for your companion animals. This is another method similar to taxidermy. They can often be placed in your chosen pose and then memorialized in that pose. His website offers a gallery of previous pet work they have done.
Chupacabra Crafts by Shannon Bernardi
Shannon has been studying the art of taxidermy for several years now and has a speciality with small animals. I have sent customers to her in the past and she has done a wonderful job at providing them with full body mounts as well as bone cleaning (via maceration). She also does pelt tanning and mummification. She typically works with rabbits, guinea pigs, and other small rodent sized animals. Below you can find her email address, she also has an Etsy shop and can be found on social media.
Shannon's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I have sent countless individuals to the Oddities Warehouse Facebook group for various companion animal services. There is a wealth of knowledge in there and so many people that offer a very wide arrange of services. From taxidermy, to death casts, fur art, there is someone there that offers it all.
If you decide to forego taxidermy services, the wonderful staff at Forget-Me-Not Pet Crematory are here for you. Your vet may use them, however they are also open to the public for dropping off your loved one. They are extremely kind and thoughtful with your beloved friends. They also offer a variety of memorial items such as paw print casting and jewelry items. They offer private and group cremation services.
I hope you have found this information helpful.
I'm so very sorry for the loss of your companion . They are truly sent from above to bring us happiness and love that nothing else compares to.
I hope you find the services that help you and the closure you need to carry on.