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Freeze-drying is a method of preservation which eliminates the decaying process inherent in the living tissues of plants and animals. Freeze-dry chambers lower air pressure to the point that ice turns directly into gas without going through the liquid phase. Through a combination of very low temperature and vacuum application, all moisture is removed, leaving the tissues otherwise unaltered. Upon completion of the process, your pet is returned to room temperature, and remains indefinitely in the same condition thereafter, subject to the same care and treatment as other valued possessions.
Freeze-dry pet preservation results in the preservation of your pet’s actual, physical body. This is in sharp contrast to the conventional method of taxidermy, in which only the outer hide of the animal typically remains, attached to a plastic form or other type of artificial mounting. This means that instead of just preserving the size, freeze-drying preserves the unique features of your pet.
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Your pet is carefully prepared and posed, supported by a custom-made framework. Next, it is frozen into that pose. It is then placed into a sealed vacuum chamber at extremely low temperature. Over time, frozen moisture is slowly converted into a gaseous state, and then extracted. The larger the subject, the greater the amount of moisture to be extracted. Typically, a small cat or dog will take 8 to 12 weeks. Larger animals will take a longer period of time, perhaps as much as 4 to 5 months in the case of a very large dog. However, all animals are unique, and sometimes take a bit more or less time than expected.
Most Dogs, Cats, Birds, Reptiles, Rabbits, Ferrets, Hares, Lambs, Baby Goats, and Piglets can be freeze-dried without restrictions as to how they remain. Some animals, such as newborn Calves, Foals, and other animal of similar size, need to be freeze-dried lying down. Even larger animals can sometimes be freeze-dried but must be posed in a specific position.
If you’re unsure about whether your pet can be freeze-dried, why not give us a call, or fill out an inquiry?
If you are having your pet preserved, we will ask you to send pictures of your animal and will also communicate with you to try to ensure it will be posed as you would like. We work to create a pose and appearance that will look as natural as possible. If the entire process is done correctly, using quality equipment and techniques, the results should be very life-like, even at close viewing. For this reason, for your pet, we highly recommend a sleeping or at least lying down posture, which looks the most natural in the absence of movement. However, we will work with you to accommodate any other pose or special considerations you would like.
We strive to maintain your animal as completely and exactly as possible. During preparation, we keep the entire body of the pet intact, doing as little alteration as possible and taking several additional steps in order to produce better results. Equipment used in the freeze-dry process is very costly to purchase, operate and maintain.
Your pet will weigh much less than it did when it was alive, due to the removal of the water and other liquids which account for the majority of an animal’s weight. If not subjected to subsequent damage (dirt, spills, stains, weather, mistreatment, etc.) there should be no further change or deterioration. With a little care, your pet can be held, carried, transported, and even gently petted.
After your pet passes away, immediately place it into a sealed plastic bag (in a curled up position to make shipping easier) and then into a standard freezer. Veterinarians and kennel operators are usually happy to do this for you. Any heavy soiling or debris should be removed, but no washing, bathing or other preparation is necessary. We will attend to this for you. Your pet must remain frozen for overnight shipment to us, by Express Post or Express Courier. Normally, this is not difficult to arrange. We will discuss specific instructions with you regarding packing, or any other special considerations. Shipment should be made at the beginning of the week in order to avoid weekend delays, during which your pet may thaw, and be spoiled.
Your preserved pet will not need a lot of care. To look after your pet simply give them a light dusting and surface spray every three months to stop silverfish and such damaging their hair and skin (Just like a woollen jumper stored in a cupboard needs mothballs stored near by) You can occasionally brush and wipe down with a slightly damp almost dry cloth if needed. Otherwise no other maintenance is required.
You can place them anywhere you like, but as they are a natural product there are a few things to be aware of when considering where to place them. Keep them out of direct sunlight as over time the sun will bleach their hair. Keep them away from places of high humidity like laundries, bathrooms and kitchens. Don’t leave them outside or on verandahs and even though it may seem a good idea, you shouldn't place them close to heaters or fireplaces.
All animals and pets will vary in price depending on how big they are, and how you want them to be posed. Payment is broken into stages to make the process less of a financial burden on you during this difficult time. A 20% non-refundable deposit is required on arrival of pet, 30% more (non-refundable) will be asked at commencement of work, and the balance is due on completion.
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Markus Michalowitz 43 Lewis Road, Amamoor,
Queensland, Australia PH (07) 5488 4442