Taxidermists make a lot of animal trophies for customers deer heads, fish, small game, waterfowl, etc. Why is this different from preserving a pet? The difference, for Chris, is that there is a memory of hunting or fishing that the client wants to preserve, but not years of emotional history and emotional ties. When a customer brings a deer for taxidermy, they are willing to spend their hard-earned money on the piece so they can remember the history of the hunt or the situation in which the animal was taken. However, there is no deep emotional connection with a trophy, such as what we can share with our cats or pets.
In the end, it all comes down to a personal decision. A qualified and experienced taxidermist will do a very professional job within the limitations of currently available tools and methods. According to Clare Fowler, the taxidermist to whom I took my kingfisher, people who want their pets to be stuffed often come to her as I did, in an unforeseen state of mourning. If taxidermy on your deceased pet is something you want, know that there are qualified taxidermists who will provide the service for you.
Of course, this is just their opinion, and taxidermists vary in their approach to it, as do potential customers. My husband is a state and federal licensed taxidermist and a full-time professional biologist who does taxidermy on a part-time basis. Most taxidermists can't or don't want to handle pets because of the pressure to do it right and the lack of pre-made forms for each type of animal. Chris noted that while he has also been asked if he would apply taxidermy techniques to domestic pets, he has never done taxidermy on a pet, and shares the opinion of his teacher, Dennis Rinehart, on this subject.
George Jamieson, a taxidermist working near Edinburgh, describes good taxidermy as “a frozen moment. It helps if the taxidermist belongs to a professional organization, such as the NTA, a national organization, or other state-related organizations. Without really thinking about it, I found a taxidermist nearby and delivered the small body to his freezer, from where at some point in the future I hope he will resurrect. Although many professional taxidermists reject pets, my personal experiences with the devastation of loss have resonated deeply: I understand the importance of personal rituals and dignified aftercare.
The taxidermist wants to do things right, but will need to provide color photographs that highlight any special features.