All pets and pet guardians are treated with utmost respect and kindness throughout the preservation process at Precious Creature. We understand that losing a pet can be a devastating loss to one's family and home. Allowing us to preserve your pet by means of traditional taxidermy, bone cleaning, or cremation may soothe the pain that comes with a pet's departure over the Rainbow Bridge. With pet preservation, you will be able to enjoy and capture the memory of your pet for a lifetime. As soon as you are interested in Precious Creature's aftercare services, it is important that you give us a call, email, or text to receive a cost estimate, schedule pick up, drop off, or to discuss shipping arrangements for your pet.
Sometimes the loss of a pet can come unexpectedly and other times, we know their passing is imminent. This can be a stressful time in either case and there is no reason to make any hasty decisions regarding your pet's aftercare. Upon your pet's passing, whether it happens at your vet's office or at home, it is only important that your pet be placed in a standard freezer promptly. Your vet will know what to do in the case of your pet passing at his or her office. If at home, or if you wish to immediately bring your pet home with you, simply wrap your pet in a towel or his or her favorite blanket and seal in a plastic bag to prepare him or her. There is no need to bathe or groom your pet as this is part of the preservation process that we will take care of for you.
There are a variety of options for pet aftercare that you may or may not know about. Some pet parents may want "the works" for their pet while some only wish for a simple and concise way to honor their loved one. Any combination of these services are available to you and your pet. For example, these options include and are not limited to:
- Pick up from home or veterinary office
- Full, Lifesize Taxidermy; Traditional
- Full, Lifesize Taxidermy; Soft Mount
- Private Aquamation or Cremation (full body or partial)
- Coat Preservation; just the soft hide is returned
- Paw Preservation
- Tail Preservation
- Complete Skeletal Cleaning
- Skull Cleaning
- Custom Jewelry
- Paw and Nose Print Impressions or Prints
- And More - if you have a special idea for your precious creature's aftercare, just ask!
Pricing of pet preservation work is determined on a pet to pet basis. Pricing is determined by size and weight of pet and whether your pet is of a furred or hairless variety. All pets require a 50% deposit of their estimated cost of preservation at time of receiving unless otherwise discussed. We DO offer payment plans to suit a variety of budgets. Please email, call, or text to receive a quote for your pet's specific species and size.
Precious Creature is located in San Bernardino County, in the heart of Southern California. We drive to pick up pets within the region, gladly serving San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, and Orange Counties. If you are more comfortable with bringing your pet to our in-home studio in person, this is encouraged and also gives pet guardians a little extra time to say goodbye. We take pride in providing a comforting atmosphere in which to pass your loved one into our care.
Shipping Your Pet: For long distance or out-of-state pets, contact us in order to set up an appropriate delivery date in association with your chosen mail carrier. We highly recommend FedEx's and UPS's overnight to two-day services for pets that are to receive taxidermy services. If you are only interested in bone cleaning and/or cremation services, two-four day business day shipping is suitable. In this case you can use USPS's Priority Mail. ALWAYS ship pets on a Monday or Tuesday to ensure that the package doesn't get stuck somewhere over a Sunday or holiday.
To pack a pet for long distance shipping, you will need:
- an appropriately sized foam cooler/ice chest (smaller = lesser postage costs)
- a few ice packs or dry ice
- a storage type baggy to place your pet into to prevent excess moisture on or around your pet
- photos of your pet for the preservation process
- cardboard box to envelop the foam cooler and to address the package
When postage is paid, your postal service will give you a tracking number so that we will be able to see where your pet is and to ensure their timely arrival. Upon arrival, we will let you know via email, text, or phone call.
The Preservation Process...
Our taxidermy is made in the Victorian tradition with completely handmade and sculpted forms. All pets under our care receive custom sculpted and cast forms that capture the exactness of your pet's subtleties. We use modern and time-proven methods to preserve your pet and to ensure that their memory is able to last a lifetime and then some.
FOR TAXIDERMY SERVICES: Some pets can take quite some time to be finished, as our pet work is never rushed and lots of pets are receiving the same special care as your own. For medium pets, such as small dogs, cats and large rabbits, expect a wait time of around six to twelve months for completion. For smaller pets such as rats, and chinchillas, a common turn around time is around three-four months.
FOR BONE CLEANING AND CREMATION SERVICES: Bone cleaning and cremation services take much less time to complete. A common turn around time for skull cleaning and cremation for example, will be around one to two months. Full skeletal cleaning however, is subject to longer wait times, similar to our pet taxidermy services.
We will keep you updated throughout the entire process from your pet's arrival, beginning, middle, finishing and their completion. If you wish, we may send respectful process photos at your request. Some pet parents miss their babies so much that they stop by to say hello - this is fine too. We strive to make this a healing and positive experience for you in whatever way you choose to honor your Precious Creature.
Water Cremation and Cremation...
We offer straight to water cremation and regular cremation! You may just want your pet's ashes or cremated remains returned to you and we are happy to provide this as a simple stand alone service. Or, in addition to any skull cleaning and/or taxidermy preservation, you may wish to have any other remains returned to you in the form of cremated remains. We proudly work with two local family owned facilities in Southern California; Sorrento Valley Pet Cemetery and Crematory located in San Diego and Paws and Claws Aquamation and Memorials in the city of Orange. Both facilities take around 7-10 business days for completion.
- Private water cremation includes a polished hardwood urn, certificate of service, paw print imprint (where applicable), and memory blooms.
- Private cremations include a bamboo urn with heart lock and keys, a certificate of service, and an engraved metal nameplate with your pet's name.
- Within either given urn, you will find your pet's remains which can easily be moved for scattering or other memorial ceremonies if you so choose.
Wait...what is "water cremation?"
Water cremation (also called aquamation, resomation, or alkaline hydrolysis) is an up and coming, eco-friendly, and flameless alternative to traditional cremation. Instead of flame, an alkaline hydrolysis machine uses 95% water and 5% potassium hydroxide to yield the same result as traditional cremation, but with up to 30% more remains left intact. In fact, it mirrors the exact process that occurs when a body is buried beneath the earth, only the process is sped up to completion in less than a day. Overall, it is a much gentler process on your pet and the environment. Water cremation is currently only available for pets, but will soon be legal for use with humans in the state of California as soon as 2019.
Here, you can see examples of completed pet preservation and aftercare work, each pet telling a unique story all their own.