Not too long ago, we were watching the 1996 episode of Andy Cohen’s Then and Now and Andy touched on something he hadn’t thought about in 21 years: The cloning of Dolly the sheep. Now obviously we can barely remember it because were were merely three years old at the time (…), but we do recall how the concept of one sheep suddenly existing twice made our brains short circuit.
It’s pretty crazy to think that Dolly was the very first instance of a mammal being successfully cloned — and it was such a major deal that it incited outrage and religion-vs.-science wars — yet just two decades later, it’s almost common practice. (Just last year, Korean biotech company Sooam announced they were producing 500 cloned embryos per day.)
And while technology has caught up with science, market demand hasn’t caught up to technology quite yet. Turns out, people find a little … uh … super effing creepy to have an exact replica of their deceased pet. That’s not to say you can’t do it … just that it’s gonna cost you a pretty penny.
Viagen Pets in Cedar Park, Texas has a proprietary method for cloning your furry friend. They take cells from your pet (typically a skin sample, so it can be done at any stage of life), then cryogenically freeze them, and finally use a donor egg to produce an embryo which is placed into a surrogate animal. Easy peasy. (Also: Eepy creepy.)
“You would never know that he’s a cloned puppy,” company manager Melain Rodriguez told KDKA.com. “It is not science fiction.”
The procedure costs $50,000 for a dog but only $25,000 for a cat (finally, being a cat person pays off!), and there’s a waiting list to boot. But at the end, you’ll have identical clone of your cuddlebug so you never have to say goodbye.
Or, y’know, you could adopt a new dog who’s in need of a loving home and donate that $50,000 to charity. #AdoptDontClone
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