Submit photos of your dog, cat or guinea pig to Cuddle Clones, and they'll send back a plushy replica of your pet. It's cute, we think?
Perhaps it's less odd if you imagine giving such a "clone" of a beloved pet to a family member who's joining the military or heading off to college. Or maybe to a niece who can't have her own dog. But according to Cuddle Clones, many customers order replicas of their deceased pets -- or of their living pets for when that time inevitably comes.
Cuddle Clones charges $199 for large animals -- including dogs, cats and horses -- and $129 for smaller pets like rabbits, birds and guinea pigs. The usual processing time is a eight (yes, eight) months, although rush orders can be delivered in six or even four weeks for an extra $50 or $100, respectively.
According to the website, each stuffed animal is made to order by a team of 13 workers at a workshop in China's Guangdong province. Distinguishing marks are added by airbrush, and the Kentucky-based company gives customers a number of customization options. Pets can be made standing up, sitting or lying down, with their ears perked up or flopped over, tongue out or in.
Cuddle Clones co-founder Jennifer Graham says on the website that the idea came to her in 2005, but it wasn't until her Great Dane passed away a few years later that she really got to work.
There are other kinds of pet preservation services out there. But they either involve actual cloning, for a cool $100,000, or they lean toward cringe-worthy concepts like taxidermy, freeze-drying and cryogenics, which make a stuffed toy seem pretty nice.
As for the pets themselves, they're not really sure what to make of it.