Taxidermy TV: Animal Planet Introduces ‘American Stuffers’

Daniel Ross on American Stuffers (David S. Holloway/Getty Images)

Daniel Ross on American Stuffers (David S. Holloway/Animal Planet)

America: we’re full of “Pickers,” “Chopper’s,” “Loggers,” and now – “Suffers.”

Premiering on Animal Planet on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 10/9c, “American Stuffers” follows Daniel Ross, the owner of an Arkansas-based taxidermy shop specializing in pet preservation. (Or more specifically, as detailed on the Xtreme Taxidermy website, “freeze dry preservation.” Shudder.)  Daniel and his “sassy” bookkeeper wife LaDawn consider themselves  the “Addams Family” of the South – mostly because they operate Xtreme out of their backyard. So…What other insane-sounding tidbits are we to learn about the 8-part series? Read on for the crazier highlights from Animal Planet’s press release:

* 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.

* 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.

* 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.

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