How ‘Rest In Pieces’ is bringing dead animals back to life

Posted at 7:11 AM, May 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-29 07:14:37-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- You want skulls? Rest In Pieces at 1 S. Stafford Avenue, in Richmond's Fan District, is like Skulls 'R Us. Bat skulls, warthog skulls, snake skulls - you name it. You want pickled armadillo fetuses, skunk paws, long-dead dragon lizards wearing smiles? Bone or teeth jewelry? Do you want your pet snake or spider or other exotic pet stuffed or pickled after its death?

There's a big buzz about Rest In Pieces, a most unusual store that opened Saturday to long lines waiting to get in the small shop. I stopped in Thursday to satisfy my curiosity by taking a look. Co-owner Justin Torone explained the animals they deal with are already dead when they get them. There's no hunting.

"They died of natural causes and we're bringing it back to life rather than something that would be thrown in the dumpster," the 25-year-old business owner said. "What we do is artistic. It's not meant to be gross or cruel or anything like that."

Torone and co-owner/girlfriend Alaina Gearhart, 21, said they were truly fascinated by the anatomy and science of their collections, and the educational opportunity for people to really see inside the animal kingdom.

Alaina Gearhart and Justin Torone

Alaina Gearhart and Justin Torone

Yes it's a brand-new thing to Richmond, which is why the state game commission has come to have a look at it their shop. Have a look at our video and see for yourself. What do you think about the new business? Leave a comment below.



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