Company Takes First US Dog Cloning Order

CloningRNL Bio, a company based in Seoul, South Korea, is offering to clone pet dogs in cooperation with the scientists who created the world’s first cloned canine.

The company has already received its first order from an American woman who wants a clone of her dead pit bull.

Bernann McKunney of California, provided RNL Bio with ear tissue from her dog. She had the tissue taken and preserved at a U.S. biotech company before the dog died a year-and-a-half ago.

A company spokeswoman said the chances of successfully creating a clone are about 25 percent, but scientists will continue to work on it until they are successful.

The company charges $150,000 for the clones and the clients pay after they have received their new pet. RNL said that hundreds of other dog owners have expressed interest in cloning their pet.

“Canines die faster than humans,” an RNL salesman said, “but now, people can have the same dog for their whole lives.”

Source: CBS News

36 Responses to “Company Takes First US Dog Cloning Order”

  1. Lynne says:

    This is so typical of a consumer-oriented society. I could clone my dog Dusty, sure. But it would not be Dusty. He is a unique individual, a unique soul. We may be able to reproduce matter but not spirit.

  2. Marie says:

    First, the clonned dog may not act like the dog previously. It is only a genetic duplicate. Second, imagine the good that amount of money could do for a shelter or rescue group. The family/person could adopt and save a life and donate the difference. I find it very selfish and misguided.

  3. Highnote says:

    I personally do not believe in cloning. I feel there is no way to develop exactly the same personality as the pet once had. Their environment may not be exactly the same and things happen in a pets life just like in our life to change their personalities too. They may look the same but never act the same. Just like that guy that cloned his pet bull. He thought the other one would be just like his precious bull he raised. But the cloned bull ended up attacking him.
    Some things should be left to God and not be messed with. I do not feel any good can come out of cloning.

  4. Carol says:

    “25 percent chance”–means 75 percent chance horrible things could happen maybe—not ever a chance I would take. I have learned to love my memories of my lost “furkids”. I actually delight that they have each been a little bit different!

  5. Nora and Rufus says:

    Well said Lynne, cloning will not reproduce spirit. There will NEVER be another Rufus, my precious Aussie boy. And all the poor doggies out there who need homes and they are all so loving and intelligent. Cloning is just not needed. And with the puppy mills becoming so huge, widespread and powerful (and THEY ARE), the shelters will be teaming with rescued purebred castoffs in the near future….but mixed are great too!

  6. Merlin Marshall says:

    This is sickening. It won’t be the same animal, its experiences will be different and it will be a different pet. Identical twins look alike, but they have different personalities - they are not the same person. There are millions of unwanted pets out there who are wonderful animals - most will be killed. Think of the good that money could do for animal shelters and rescue and spay/neuter groups, not to mention the life of a pet spared if these idiots would go to the local pound and adopt a great animal already here.

  7. Kristy says:

    The shelters are already overflowing - I can’t even imagine how much this would increase with cloning. Especially if it gets to the point that it is affordable for the masses. Thinking of all the things that could happen all equal very bad endings for pet overpopulation. I cry thinking about it.

  8. The Lioness says:

    Disgusting. I agree that some things are best left to Nature.

    ~The Lioness

  9. purplecircle4pets.com says:

    I agree with the Lioness. Cloning any animal is a Crime against Nature. So many animals could be supported with that money….in fact one could consider opening a shelter to take care of many abused and needy animals.
    Cheryl

  10. Andrea says:

    Let me be the dissenting opinion here.. if they have the money to spend, and it helps them with their grief, who are we to say what is wrong? I personally wouldn’t do it, but I don’t begrudge someone else the privilege.

  11. pit bull mommy x4 says:

    I have to agree with Andrea. Let the poor woman grief the way she needs to. We all grief differently and if this is what she needs to move thru the process so be it. Yes the money could be better spent, I can only think of the number of pit bulls that could be saved with that money, but I won’t degrudge another HUMAN being the same respect I would demand in my grief process. Besides, I thought we were the Human in the word HUMANE.

  12. Don Earl says:

    A good collection of various articles, pro and con, on cloning:

    http://cats.about.com/od/cloni.....s_Cons.htm

    Of particular interest is the lady who paid $50,000 to get her beloved cat back and was perfectly happy with the results.

    I’d do the same to get Chuckles back, and wouldn’t lose a moment’s sleep worrying about it being a “crime against nature” or that I should instead give the money to some Communist loser too lazy and stupid to earn it and donate it himself.

    I especially have a hard time comprehending the religious arguments against cloning. Is some people’s concept of god really one of such a helpless and limited being that it doesn’t encompass the creativity built into the human spirit in all its wonder? Personally, I think that’s kind of sad. Why not get a bigger god instead of lobbying for a smaller man?

    RE: ““25 percent chance”–means 75 percent chance horrible things could happen”

    Actually, the situation isn’t some science fiction, 3 headed monster scenario. The technology is in its infancy and the odds of getting a viable clone just aren’t very good at present. Among other things, what they’re working with is frozen tissue that has been in storage for some time.

  13. Chuck U. Farley says:

    http://www.nopetcloning.org/overpop.shtml

  14. MaineMom says:

    Every animal I have ever shared my life and home with has been unique and special - and this includes cats, dogs, Angus, Herfords, Morgans, a grumpy goat, Koi, etc. They all hold a special place in my heart. But I’ve always found room for a new critter too. Animals are as individual as people. Guess some people can’t let go and accept life. Wonder if they would clone their human loved ones too if it were possible?

  15. Mike S. says:

    Don’t people realize that you can only clone genes and not a soul. Just because a person or animal is genetically the same, it doesn’t mean it will be the same person or animal because their soul will not be the same. For all we know, they may not even have a soul. The soul is what makes a person unique it has nothing to do with their genes.

    I know identical twins and one is an a-hole and the other is the nicest person. They have the same genes (they’re twins afterall) but they’re not the same because they have different souls.

  16. Pam says:

    Cloning is not moving through the grieving process. It is get stuck. People that do this type of thing only love one animal - the one that looks back at them in the mirror.

  17. Don Earl says:

    Pam,

    Have you ever lost your wallet? There is grief from any kind of loss, it’s just a matter of degree.

    By your arguement, nothing lost should ever be returned. If your house burns down, you should spend the rest of your life outdoors. If your husband gets the kids in a divorce, you should never be allowed to see them again. If you’re robbed, even if what was stolen may be returned or replaced with an identical item, you should be deprived of it regardless. After all, you should be left alone with your grief to suffer through it, rather have relief from it of any kind. And, heaven forbid any of your fellows should be allowed to find happiness, in whatever form they may find it.

    RE: “People that do this type of thing only love one animal - the one that looks back at them in the mirror.”

    Well, at least that’s one more than those on the other side of the issue.

  18. shibadiva says:

    I like Sarah Hartwell’s discussion of cloning over at Messy Beast.

    http://www.messybeast.com/clonecat.htm

    There are innumerable opportunities. Animals need never become extinct. You can hunt the heck out of them or devastate their habitat, and there will be a gene pool (not so diverse maybe) to produce more. Think of the value cloned beasts would have to the research industry, with none of that nasty genetic variability. And once you have lean pigs genetically modified the way you want them, with bacon that practically slices itself, World Hunger can be Solved. And it doesn’t mean that animals mean any less to us than they do now. But you’d better be quick or someone else will have the patent.

  19. Velvet's Dad says:

    Okay, well, I can sympathize with those who say in essence live and let live. If it makes people happy, etc. But I also agree cloning only duplicates genetic material; it does not and cannot capture the “spirit” of the creature cloned. And therein lies the answer, I think.

    Don Earl, you would clone Chuckles but the clone would not be Chuckles. If you agree Chuckles is a unique pet and creature, then that very uniqueness negates any possibility of another Chuckles.

    Let’s take it one step further. Where would or should cloning end? Should we clone you, Don Earl? If we were to, would we not be devaluing your life and your uniqueness? Or, can we cookie-cutter you or any other living creature? If so, we reduce life to little or no meaning. For there was and can be, only one Ghandi or Jesus or Lincoln. An army of Ghandis or the like would only be Ghandi in matter and not spirit. A Helen Keller or Christopher Reeve teaches us it is the human spirit, not human matter, that truly matters.

    And, Don Earl, I am an agnostic; my arguments have nothing to do with religion but everything to do with valuing the uniqueness in life and living.

  20. Don Earl says:

    RE: “Where would or should cloning end?”

    Personally, I can’t see any logical reason why it should be limited. Fantastic stories of the fictional variety aside, it’s benevolent technology, and the only way to produce a 50 year old clone is to wait 50 years. Maybe you could raise your grandfather as your son, but your own clone isn’t going to be dating your wife any time soon.

    Questions of “spirit” aside (whatever that is), the potential is in the genes. No amount of spirit is going to turn Elmer Fud into Albert Einstein.

    What are pure breed programs other than an attempt to reproduce a special, long lost pet? Breeders make no bones about the fact they target specific personality traits and physical characteristics. The only difference between that and cloning is that cloning doesn’t involve rolling the genetic dice to produce the same results.

    In the mean time, think of this: What if when a company like Menu Foods murders a quarter million pets, instead of giving you a coupon good for a case of the latest batch of poisoned pet food in a settlement, they had to give you an identical replacement kitten, cloned from the pet they killed?

  21. shibadiva says:

    Menu Foods gets into the cloning business. Now THAT is a chilling thought.

  22. Don Earl says:

    RE: “Menu Foods gets into the cloning business. Now THAT is a chilling thought.”

    Is English your second language? How on earth could you come up with that interpretation from the above comment? If someone totals your car, do you figure the guy that hit you will make you a new one? good grief.

  23. Klondike says:

    From the Messybeast:
    “The clone will simply not be the same animal as the original. A cat’s personality is shaped by a combination of nature (genetics) and nurture (environment). The clone may be physically identical and inherit a similar temperament (e.g. the laid back temperament of Ragdolls), but it will not have an identical personality. The owner will also be 10-15 years older and will have changed - personality traits which were endearing when the owner was single might be a nuisance in a busy household. The clone itself would be forever living in the shadow of the original without getting a chance to be itself and maybe failing to live up to the owner’s expectations.”
    ——————————————————————————

    What if you clone the genetic material of a deceased loved one, then the dog or cat has an accident or illness that disfigures it or alters its mental capabilities? If you loyally stand by the clone, is the clone you will be loving, or the original?

    Will you be haunted by the memory of the original in that case? Also, how would you feel if a spouse could clone you and age advance you to your current age? Would you feel flattered or objectified?

    And I suppose human cloning is inevitable. That will take sibling rivalry to new heights. At least in the case of human cloning, people won’t be able to irresponsibly dump the results of their folly off at a shelter if they have regrets.

  24. Velvet's Dad says:

    ‘Questions of “spirit” aside (whatever that is), the potential is in the genes.’

    Don Earl, I’ll tell you what spirit is. It is the choice parents make when they come to the aid of their children; it is the response a man gives when a woman signals him her love; it is the old man sitting on the park bench feeding the pigeons; it is the child unwrapping her birthday present; it is the firefighter responding to a fire call; it is all these things and more. It is what makes us human, makes us alive, that is what spirit is.

    It is consciousness . . . awareness . . . response.

    Animals too have spirits which we, as humans, can help shape and foster through the love we give them.

    As an agnostic I question the need for our spirits to survive our deaths. However, those spirits do live on in the hearts of those whom we have touched. That, in my view, is the definition of immortality.

    Cloning is little more than than commercial reproduction of genes. It has little to do with true living and real life.

  25. shibadiva says:

    Good grief, indeed.

  26. Don Earl says:

    Klondike,

    Those arguments are the same whether it’s a clone or a kitten from a shelter. Every new pet tends to live in the shadow of previous pets. The big difference is a clone is identical in appearance and has the identical capacity to learn everything its genetic double had. Also, to the extent genes play a role in temperment, that also is the same.

    As stated previously, this is the same goal that is targeted in pure breed programs. Also, how often have you spent time with your cat or dog and had fond memories of when they were puppies or kittens, or looked at photos and done the same? With a clone, you’d be reliving those moments in real time, with a baby that’s virtually identical to the original. So, maybe it does grow up with slightly different experiences than the original, what of it? It’s a fresh start with an existing bond.

    The bottom line is in the only instance I know of where a pet owner was able to obtain a clone of her pet, she was happy with the results. IMO, that counts for a lot more than the anti type speculation.

    It’s a safe bet to say the technology is here to stay and will continue to develop, regardless of the opinions of the “tain’t natural” crowd. There are too many very obvious benefits the technology can provide, as well as a host of similarly beneficial related technology.

    Somewhere along the line I think people should ask if they want South Korea to have a monopoly on the technology, while we play the role of third world country, or if maybe we should engage in competitive research to stay on the cutting edge of human knowledge.

  27. Don Earl says:

    RE: “I’ll tell you what spirit is.”

    Yes, everyone can tell you what “spirit” is, but I doubt you could find two people sitting on the same bench at church that would give you the same telling. That’s when the telling is likely to be similar and doesn’t even begin to take into account when the telling is likely to be at wide variance with other views.

    Without comparing my views to that of others, in my own experience, on different days, I’m not even in agreement with myself. Since I can’t point to one and describe it’s most intimate aspects in a manner where it’s possible to have a common language in discussing those aspects, I won’t attempt to do so.

    RE: “Cloning is little more than than commercial reproduction of genes. It has little to do with true living and real life.”

    Ah, but here it is possible to point to a clone and say, “See, it does live and does experience real life.”. If spirit is required to animate life, and I’m not saying it is or it isn’t, then it’s supplied as part of the package, from whatever source such things come from. Unless you want to have a go at solipsism, if your assumption is you have a “spirit” (whatever that is), why would you assume a clone isn’t able to acquire one from the same place you got yours?

  28. Velvet's Dad says:

    Don Earl, I’m afraid you completely miss the point. Despite the fact that you don’t agree with yourself (your own words), no one has said a clone would not have a spirit or consciousness. But their spirit–their innateness, if you will–will be unique. As someone earlier pointed out, we become the product of both environment (nurturing or lack there of) AND genes. One does not exist without the other.

    Therefore, the clone does not “acquire” the same spirit or uniqueness as its genetic source.

    If the purpose of cloning is for replication, that replication will be as imperfect as the reproduction of the species when the natural (by nature) occurrence is allowed to prevail.

  29. Klondike says:

    Don,

    I do think that expectations about clones are unique since why else would someone pay $50,000 for one? I’m not saying that you are ready to jump into this without thinking because I know you are a thinker, but in general I just want to point out that there are other legacies to a lost loved one that could be very comforting and empowering, and also honoring of the beloved’s memory in other ways.

    As far as competing with South Korea, we do a great deal of genetic engineering of research animals and this may extend to farm animals. (It has for medical research purposes already.)

    Scientific progress will not be stymied by considering our pets to be distinct from farm and research animals. Isn’t that the consideration we want from the pet food companies and the regulatory and legal systems?

  30. Don Earl says:

    VD,

    Why wouldn’t a genetically identical kitten, raised in the same home, by the same person, be virtually identical to the original? Or at least close enough to the original that the owner would be happy with the result?

    RE: “I’m afraid you completely miss the point.”

    I’m not convinced there is a point. You have benevolent technology, which is potentially commercially viable, the sole purpose of which is to make people happy. If you’ll pardon my saying so, the arguments against strike me as being superstitious and mean spirited.

    I know of people that spend thousands of dollars on golf. Personally, I’ve always thought golf was about like a game of fetch, played without the dog. Never the less, some folks get a big kick out of it. I’m not going to stand on the White House lawn saying golf equipment should be outlawed because I have no interest in the game. As long as it makes someone happy, and they’re not hurting anyone in the process, why should anyone care?

  31. shibadiva says:

    Nothing wrong with benevolent technology that makes people happy. How would you manage it, Don, so it doesn’t fall into the hands of fools? Or is that just a fact of life?

  32. Don Earl says:

    RE: “How would you manage it, Don, so it doesn’t fall into the hands of fools?”

    I can’t imagine how the technology could be abuse, although the potential for scams is readily apparent.

    What’d you have in mind? A saber toothed fighting tabby, the size of an elephant, of the Stephen King varitey? Perhaps create an army of the same, with human brains, to take over the world? Send in Arnold with a .50 calibur gattling gun and an, “Ah’ll be bock”.

    Or, how about an army of killer puppy clones out to destroy the world’s shoe supply? Bruce Willis could probably handle that one barefooted, without making a second trip.

    I hate to burst your bubble, but baby cats and puppies aren’t very dangerous, beyond being a minor threat to mini blinds, furnature, and assorted small but interesting objects.

  33. shibadiva says:

    Highly imaginative but not what I had in mind. Just the more mundane aspects like loss of hybrid vigour. As I said much earlier, it isn’t anything we don’t already do/exploit now. The technology just makes it easier.

  34. AnimalLuvr says:

    Don Earl-

    You should become a politician.

  35. Hazel Chambers says:

    Don Earl

    It would appear that we disagree about just about everything. I do take the time to respond to your comments because while I disagree with what you say….I believe you are a rational and reasonable person…..so my comments are with respect to you.

    I think the concept of cloning is one of the most frightening ideas to come along since man invented the wheel.

    Shades of 1984 ….where will it lead….do we clone a “worker bee” class….a “super soldier”.

    If we clone animals….the next step will surely me humans…if it has not already been done somewhere.

    What shapes who we are….is it nature….or nuture? We could have a hardy talk on that….but one thing I hope we can agree on is that even if the genes are identical…we can not exactly duplicate experiences….treatement yes…..but not experiences.

    Cloned animals have health issues….why chance that when there are so many homeless ones in need now

    I do not believe they would be identical in appearance either.

    Dog cloning is very difficult….see below

    Although many other animals have been successfully cloned, dogs are notoriously difficult: the South Korean team only obtained three pregnancies from more than 1,000 embryo transfers into 123 recipients.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sci.....742453.stm

    Here are some interesting sources:

    http://dogs.about.com/cs/gener.....loning.htm

    http://www.pamperedpuppy.com/f.....dclone.php

  36. Hazel Chambers says:

    I think many of us here have a misconception that cloning produces an identical animal. It does not….read the below:

    Dolly or any other animal created using nuclear transfer technology is not truly an identical clone of the donor animal. Only the clone’s chromosomal or nuclear DNA is the same as the donor.

    http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techre.....ning.shtml


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