Filipino toy maker David Tan is inundated with orders from grieving pet owners who want to memorialise their dogs, cats, hamsters and rabbits in the form of a stuffed animal.
Tan and a team of 20 employees use photos sent by customers to create lifelike replicas of the dead pets using synthetic fur that is spray-painted to recreate the animals’ colours and features.
– The process is different from taxidermy (craftsmanship where, among other things, you deal with the preparation and stuffing of birds and animals)) which preserves the animal’s body, says Tan, owner of the Pampanga Teddy Bear Factory.
It removes the “yuck” factor. This is actually one hundred percent a real stuffed animal, he adds.
Each stuffed animal costs about 3,500 pesos (about NOK 700), which 38-year-old dog lover Jaja Lazarte said is a price worth paying for the memory of her shih tzu (Tibetan dog breed).
“Even though his ashes are here, and his memories are here, it’s so much better to see something that really looks like him,” Lazarte said.