GET READY TO CRY, LAUGH AND SQUIRM:
ANIMAL PLANET'S NEW SERIES ABOUT PET PRESERVATION BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO DEAD PETS
AMERICAN STUFFERS Premieres Thursday, January 5, at 10 PM
All dogs go to heaven? We hope so, but in Romance, Arkansas, Daniel Ross and his coworkers are giving beloved cats, pet chickens, canines and lizards a different kind of afterlife.
Daniel is a taxidermist.
Taxidermy - or the "art of preparing, stuffing and mounting the skins of animals so they appear lifelike" - is not what many would choose for a career, but in Animal Planet's new eight-episode series, AMERICAN STUFFERS, premiering Thursday, January 5, at 10 PM, Daniel has built his profession around this practice. His company, Xtreme Taxidermy, is unique in that it's the only shop in the area that specializes in pet preservation. By capturing the essence of each animal, Daniel and his team of three (Fred, Joseph and Dixie) give their clients' pets a loving and lasting alternative to cremation or burial.
Nothing can bring back a furry family member, but Daniel and his team come as close as science and art will permit. Some people travel more than a thousand miles to Daniel's shop, and at the end of nearly a yearlong process, Daniel's clients go home with their preserved pets, experiencing them in their final, life-long repose.
Unfortunately, what happens at Xtreme Taxidermy doesn't always stay in the shop, much to the aggravation of Daniel's sassy wife, LaDawn, who steps in as the company's bookkeeper. As the shop is in the family's backyard, it's no wonder that the Rosses consider themselves the Addams Family of the South - they are exposed to dead animal parts at every turn. LaDawn puts her foot down when Daniel's work invades her kitchen, giving him the stink eye when she smells something foul coming from the oven she uses to bake cinnamon toast.
In the shop, Fred, Joseph and Dixie help keep the business afloat by perfecting the art of pet preservation, but working in taxidermy can get sticky...literally. Joseph wishes he could steer clear of the blood and guts that come hand in hand with the career, and new intern Dixie, who's a veterinary student and Daniel's only female staffer, has to prove that a woman can handle the unpleasant work it takes to get the job done. Associate taxidermist Fred isn't scared of getting his hands dirty, but he likes to strip down to just his pants while doing so. When Daniel isn't dealing with the antics of his staff, he's consoling bereaved clients and trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Daniel's job may seem strange and unpleasant, but at Xtreme Taxidermy, he's doing his best to offer his clients a unique opportunity to reunite with a loved one. Also, the clients aren't shy about sharing why pet preservation is a must. A burly farmer is distraught over his Chihuahua's death. A woman asks Daniel to preserve the deceased pet raccoon that slept in her bed. You may think their choices are strange, but perhaps you may change your mind when you watch AMERICAN STUFFERS.
AMERICAN STUFFERS is produced for Animal Planet by Collins Avenue (producers of Dance Moms and Billy the Exterminator). Jeff Collins and Mike Aho are executive producers for Collins Avenue. Mick Kaczorowski is executive producer for Animal Planet.