You love your dog. But would you spend $50,000 to clone it? If the answer is yes, then a Texas company is ready to help.
The veterinarians at Viagen Pets use a propriety process for genetically preserving your pet’s DNA and safely maintaining it at its cryo-storage plant. Using a donor egg, the company’s technicians join it and your pet’s previously frozen cells (which are easily taken by any veterinarian from a skin sample — even if your dog is sick or late in life) to produce an embryo.
The embryo is then implanted into a surrogate animal. The result is an identical genetic twin that’s delivered after a normal gestation period. The entire process takes six to seven months.
“People have a hard time wrapping their brain around that it that it is a real technology,” Melain Rodriguez, a manager at the company, said in this report on television station website KDKA.com. “It is not science fiction.” Viagen has been doing this for more than 15 years and has cloned thousands of animals including cattle, horses, pigs, sheep and — yes — dogs and cats.
The process isn’t cheap. A cloned dog costs $50,000, but cats are cloned for half that price.
Even at this price, the company reports that it has a waiting list — and no, not professional breeders (the American Kennel Club won’t register cloned dogs). It’s just normal people who desperately love their pets and are willing to pay just about anything to keep them — or a cloned version of them. “Pets’ lives are very short compared to ours,” Rodriguez told KDKA, “so if you can clone that pet and have another one that is very similar, it’s very rewarding.”
Rodriguez assures us that your cloned pet will not be a Frankenstein. It will be “just a normal dog like any other dog. You would never know that he’s a cloned puppy.” Well, yeah, but can’t my cloned dog at least know not to pee on the sofa like my dog does now? If so, then sign me up.