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Dog Cloning: Would You Clone if the Price Were Right?

Dog Cloning: Would You Clone if the Price Were Right?

By now everyone has heard of Edgar and Nina Otto, the couple who paid $150,000 to have their golden Labrador retriever, named Sir Lancelot cloned. That price makes cloning a far-fetched extravagance for most of us, but what if the fee was dramatically reduced? Would you consider cloning a pet?

Well, the world of opulence may soon become a reality for the average person because RNL Bio, the Korean company that is responsible for the cloning process, announced they have developed a new method for retrieving DNA. It uses stem cells that are easily found in the fat tissue of a deceased dog. They successfully cloned two puppies this way and believe the fee for cloning will be greatly reduced.

Personally, I am on the fence. Each of my dogs has been a one-of-a-kind treasure. I suppose that would make them “clone worthy,” but I don’t know if that is what I would choose, especially when there are thousands of homeless dogs already on this planet waiting to be adopted.

Edgar and Nina Otto decided cloning was the way to go for them. They now have a beautiful golden Lab puppy named Lancelot Encore or “Lancy” for short. In an interview with MSNBC, Nina Otto said, “Pets lives are too short. It truthfully is amazing to me that this process has come to be and that I am getting, if not my dog, certainly the essence of Lancelot.”

Otto is correct about a clone being the essence of her dog. Clones have the same DNA as the original dog, but each develops their own personality. Lou Hawthorne CEO of BioArts International found this out when his company cloned his mother’s dog, Missy. The two cloned puppies named Mira and MissyToo have different temperaments and even differ in size. This is due in part to living in the body of a surrogate dog. Hawthorne cloned Missy six times. This produced Mira and MissyToo plus two more puppies that were adopted and two dogs that became sick with Parvo and died.

And that poses another problem with cloning; it can produce sick and abnormal dogs. Dr. Robert Lanza who is a scientist with Advanced Cell Technology explained that cloning is a difficult process that sometimes produces “mistakes.”

A recent set of puppies, named Magic and Stem were born via cloning. But the process took 84 embryos that were implanted into five surrogate dogs which finally produced the two healthy pups. Dr. Lanza had this to say to potential clients.

“Anyone who wants to have their pet cloned should ask themselves if they are willing to have one or two defective copies of ‘Fluffy’ or ‘Spot’ put down in order to get their pet back. Of course, cloning is associated with lots of abnormalities and genetic defects–and a significant percent of newborn animals die in the first few days or weeks of life.”

Dr. Lanza also sees the benefits of cloning. He pointed out in a research paper that cloning could help reproduce dogs that are needed for specific purposes such as “sniffer dogs” to work to police and other government entities.

Where do you stand on cloning? Would you clone a beloved pet if the price were right? Please leave your answer in the poll at the end of this page.

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50 comments

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6:19PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

of course i would clone, why not? provided the technology is advanced enough to be inexpensive and cull-free.

to "it goes completely against nature" types: living past menopause is against nature. treating cancer and genetic diseases is against nature. be consistent and say you're against all these things.

and what's the problem with cloning a deceased child? how exactly is it worse than conceiving a new one?

5:21PM PST on Dec 13, 2011

What an obscene waste of money. The pounds are full of unwanted dogs. Cloning pets panders to human vanity and stupidity. Urghh.

11:38AM PST on Dec 13, 2011

No, I don‘t think so. Most of my dogs have been mixed breed “one off’’s”. Street rescues or adopted from a shelter. Much as I love them a cloned version would not be the same animal, each has it’s own unique personality. Why clone when there are so many wonderful dogs in shelters right now? Science and technology are going to make the future a strange place.

9:58AM PST on Mar 3, 2009

That's just disturbing. If you had a child that died, would you clone your dead child? I sure wouldn't! It goes completely against nature. Also it would be really creepy to have a dog that looked just like your old dog, but wasn't. Just get a new dog. It's a living creature for goodness' sake.

10:51AM PST on Feb 17, 2009

Most of my pets have been rescues (or fosters that turned into permanents LOL). With all the homeless animals in need that money spent for cloning could have put to a better use in memory of a well loved departed pet.
Save a pet, don't create more!!!!!

10:27PM PST on Feb 16, 2009

No.
there are so may animals in shelters or homeless i the streets i have four dogs: two from a shelters and two i rescue from the streets. For me they are like children, like my kids. If one or your kids die will you clone it? no obviously. it´s the same for pets. The death of a pet can makes us suffer too much, i have felt it when my pets die. But each time i see my actual pets i remerber those whoe have letf and i´m sure they will be proud of me beceuse i share my love and life with others fury friends that were in need. No buy pets. No clone pets. Adopt your friend. And also gotta remember that love don´t have or required pedigree, a friend is a friend.

4:50PM PST on Feb 13, 2009

As many other people have noted, I would never have a pet cloned. As much as I loved those pets who have died before me, they have, in their absence, made way for me to share my home with another pet who badly needed a loving home. Edward S. must be referring to puppy mills, which need to be put out of business. Visit your local ASPCA Shelter or animal pound to adopt a pet in need.

10:49PM PST on Feb 12, 2009

claro que NO cada ser vivo es individual ademas todavia laclonaciono esta en investigacion para qeu clonar cuando se peude adoptar a 1 que ya este vivo y requiera amor y nos lo de tambien

8:08AM PST on Feb 10, 2009

Knowing I would have to put "imperfect" clones down, I could never clone any of my pets. That is inhumane.

5:34PM PST on Feb 9, 2009

I would never clone one of my pets. Sure they are all precious and have their own personality that makes them special and they came from an animal shelter. One was rescued from a puppy mill.
There are enough unwanted animals in shelters that need adopted into a loving home.

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