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MANILA, Philippines – Philippines toy maker David Tan is flooded with orders from grieving pet owners who want to memorialize their dogs, cats, hamsters, and rabbits with stuffed toys or ‘plushies’.
Tan and a team of 20 employees use photos sent by customers to create life-like replicas of their deceased pets using synthetic fur that is airbrushed to recreate colors and markings of the animals.
The process is different from taxidermy, which preserves the body of the animal, said Tan, owner of Pampanga Teddy Bear Factory.
“It removes that ‘ick’ factor. This is actually one hundred percent, genuinely a stuffed toy,” he said.
Each plushie costs about 3,500 pesos (US$ 65), which 38-year-old dog lover Jaja Lazarte said is a price worth paying for the memory of her Shih Tzu.
“Although his ashes are here, and his memories are here, it’s so much better to see something that really resembles him,” Lazarte said. – Rappler.com