Animal Planet
Daniel Ross with employees Joseph, Dixie and Fred. Ross and his employees operate Xtreme Taxidermy, a business featured in Animal Planet\'s new TV series, \"American Stuffers.\"
I can understand where somebody would think that it's odd or different but, for me, it's about helping these customers overcome this grieving process —Daniel Ross, Xtreme Taxidermy

Fido doesn't have to roll over in the grave quite yet.

With the new trend for immortalizing animals, he can be put right back in his usual corner after death, but it just takes a while for the process of freeze-drying to complete.

Freeze-drying pets is starting to become more popular, according to an article by Stephanie Pappas in Live Science, and is more effective than traditional taxidermy practices.

"Instead (of traditional taxidermy), pet preservationists use freeze-dry chambers, which lower air pressure to the point that ice turns directly into gas without going through the liquid phase," wrote Pappas. This process helps the pets look more closely to what they did in life, as traditional taxidermy requires skinning the animal and stretching the hide over a mold.

Though freeze-drying isn't exactly a circus either.

Taxidermists must have to take out organs and fat, then artificial fillers plump up the dehydrated animals. Then the owner has to decide on either an eyes-closed or eyes-open pose, both of which require glass eyes. This process can take up to a year and can cost up to $4,000 for larger house pets.

For Tim Drottz of Kansas City, Mo., he couldn't bear to have his four-pound miniature Chihuahua Maggie Moo cremated, so he decided to have her freeze-dried, as reported by the St. Louis News. She now sits in her doggie bed with her tongue sticking out.

The procedure was done at Anthony Eddy's Wildlife Studio in Missouri, one of a few places in the country that specializes in freeze-drying animals.

"Pet preservation has become a big part of our business," Eddy said in the article. "People say they just can't stand to bury it or have it cremated. Once they find out that there are other ways to deal with a love one. This is an alternative and they choose it."

Business is booming, especially for Daniel Ross of Romance, AR, owns the company Xtreme Taxidermy, as reported on KLTV East Texas News. He starred in a reality TV show called "Animal Stuffers" on Animal Planet.

"I can understand where somebody would think that it's odd or different but, for me, it's about helping these customers overcome this grieving process," Ross said.

Email: tackerman@desnews.com