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Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM

Would You Clone Your Pet?

By March 3, 2009

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Two Dogs Drinking Water - Steven Fernandez on FlickrEven though cloning animals has been in the news for a few years now, it still feels like veterinary sci-fi. It was in July of 1996 that Dolly the ewe was born, the first successful mammal cloning.

Now cloning has reached the pet world, with several stories of pet dogs being cloned appearing in the news. In January, there was news of the clone of Lancelot the Lab followed by the clone of Jasmine the Pekingese in March.

Dolly was euthanized in February of 2003 at six years of age. It is interesting to note that Dolly's genetic material came from a sheep that was also six years old. This has caused some people to question Dolly's "real" age at the time of cloning. Will this theory affect the lifespan of cloned pets?

How "real" are these cloned pets, compared to the genetic material they originate from? It is hard to say now, while these dogs are puppies. A New York Times article on cloned dogs offers some opinions from family members who own two cloned adult dogs. Read: Beloved Pets Everlasting?

I have had many, many pets in my life; several of them so one-of-a-kind that I will deeply miss them forever. That said, I will not be in line for a cloned pet. Not now or ever. Too many more one-of-a-kind animals awaiting homes in shelters and rescues.

What do you think? Prices are high now at $150,000 a pet, but if money was not a problem, would you clone your pet?

Photo: Two Dogs Drinking Water - Steven Fernandez on Flickr

Comments

March 4, 2009 at 12:36 pm
(1) Lianne says:

I’m with you – I love my pets, but can’t see cloning them. I’d sooner adopt a new pet in need of a home. As as much as I love my current critters, they are all special in their own way, and I’d like the experience of getting to know other pets for their individuality, too (not sure if that makes sense). And besides, I think it would feel weird to have my pets’ clones running around.

March 11, 2009 at 9:46 am
(2) Father Daniel Beegan says:

I too have had special dogs, both bred by Silverbrook Kennels. I talked to the now retired co-owner of the kennel and we agreed while one could replicate the genes, it was impossible to replicate the nuture. In other words, there was no way of getting the identical dog.

March 25, 2009 at 10:54 am
(3) Christophe Bangaultier says:

I understand fully the moral and ethical concerns of cloning, but I must say, after thousands and thousands of hours of treatment and multiple layers of drug therapy, I know of a patient that has such a deeply rooted extreme connection with a pet who recently died of natural causes, and the patient has the means and I have been trying to convince them not to resort to this. They believe thier existance hinges on this animals prescence. Forgive my english. It seem delousional and I believe has some basis in mythology. Patient is highly intellectual, highly emotionally evolved……

May 20, 2009 at 1:28 pm
(4) Viictoria says:

Yes I most certainly would but out of respect for my dog i would name him something different .

March 3, 2010 at 7:29 am
(5) Hadassah Levy says:

There are both pros and cons to pet cloning. A list of these can be found at http://thepetwiki.com/wiki/Pet_Cloning:_Pros_and_Cons along with a poll where you can vote as to whether you would clone your deceased pet. Since The Pet Wiki is a collaborative website you can also add your pros or cons to the list by clicking on the edit button.

January 7, 2012 at 3:00 am
(6) Scott says:

I agree, there are tons of dogs and cats suffering all over the country that need disparately to have a home. You have to put a little effort into a new relationship with a new dog and then its just as great as it was with your last one, just different. Best thing is, you saved a life.

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