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Would You Clone Your Dog?

ClonedpupsLeave it to Hollywood. This past Tuesday, California screenwriter Bernann McKinney was the first to buy cloned puppies. The five puppies are genetically identical to McKinney's late beloved Pit Bull, Booger, and were sold for $50,000 by Seoul-based RNL Bio. The real sticker price is $150,000, but McKinney received a discount because she made history and promised to help with publicity. Despite having to sell her home to afford the pups, McKinney describes this as a "miracle." She plans to keep three and donate the other two to be service dogs.

With tens of thousands of shelter dogs yearning for good homes, was this really necessary? There are many legitimate nonprofit organizations that thoughtfully breed, raise and donate service dogs. Surely, McKinney could've offered to raise service dog puppies or donate some money to these groups rather than bring five more dogs into the world. How will McKinney feel if all five puppies do not share the same personality or behavior traits as Booger? If you've ever met identical human twins, it's probably safe to say that each of these pups will be their own individual. So if that's the case, what's the point of cloning them in the first place?

What will the long-term effects be for these puppies? Will they be showered with attention and adored forever or just as long as they're little novelties? Will their health prematurely break down like Dolly the cloned sheep? Her life expectancy was only half that of a traditionally bred sheep. When we choose to clone animals, are we prepared to deal with all of the potential consequences?

Would you clone your dog? Why or why not?

Julia Kamysz Lane

August 7, 2008 in Current Affairs, Dogs and science, Health, Humane, Legislation, media, Science | Permalink


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She sold her home to clone her dog? I love my pets, most especially my dogs, but don't you think that is a little obsessive? It's kind of a weird thing. I think that cloning can be a great scientific advance, but come on! This is absolutely ridiculous.

Posted by: Barbara ( dog lover) | Sep 1, 2008 3:13:14 PM

When I first adopted my dog, Truman, I used to joke that I loved him so much I wanted to clone him, but of course, it was only a joke! Why deny yourself and a pooch in need the joy of rescuing and caring for him or her?

Posted by: christine | Aug 31, 2008 5:36:36 PM

She's a sick selfish deluded woman. Why doesn't it surprise me she's from hollyweird?

Posted by: Chef Troll | Aug 20, 2008 2:09:38 PM

I think cloning your animals is silly for the very reasons you named. One: there are PLENTY of homeless animals already and a serious pet overpopulation problem in this country already. What's the point of bringing 5 more dogs into the world? And two: you can't clone a dog's personality. No matter how similar her new dogs look compared to her old dog, there are so many variables that shape a dog's personality there's NO WAY one of them will turn out to be exactly like she had hoped.

Posted by: Jaime | Aug 19, 2008 11:50:22 AM

The argument that there are many shelter dogs to be rescued is a nice sentiment, but I think someone who's vain enough to buy a dog for $50,000 (discounted from $150,000!) is not someone who picks up a pound pooch.

Also, humans are tremendously more malleable in the nature-nurture spectrum. Chances are her dog would have a relatively similar life to her former dog and would end up being pretty much the same dog, with only minor quirky differences.

That said, I don't envy someone getting a cloned dog. You're just setting yourself up for disappointment. Why not have the fun of getting to know a new puppy and friend?

-- Barley (read Barley's Blog: http://thedogvote.com/?cat=46 )

Posted by: Barleyblogger | Aug 10, 2008 9:46:06 AM

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