Would You Clone Your Dog?
“Many people come to us to genetically preserve their loved pet’s DNA to give them some peace and hope,” says Melain Rodriguez, ViaGen Pet's client service manager and owner of Benji, a cloned cat. “That way their pet’s DNA is stored, giving them the option of cloning their pet down the line.”
ViaGen Pets & Equine started preserving the DNA of cows, pigs, and livestock 18 years ago, before successfully cloning dogs and cats in 2015. They are currently the only company in the United States to clone dogs, cats, and horses.
For those potentially interested in cloning their pet, the first step is simple: your vet will take a small skin sample from your dog’s stomach area and send it to ViaGen. Viagen uses this sample to grow millions of cells, which are stored in liquid nitrogen until you are ready to start the cloning process. This step costs $1600 and there is an annual storage fee of $150. The actual cloning, however, will set you back $50,000 for a dog (or $35,000 for a cat). But for some pet owners who can’t bear the thought of being without their beloved companion, the expense is worth it.
"I talked to my husband about it and we both decided that we didn't want to live without a part of Buhner," says ViaGen client Amy Vangemert. "I couldn't be happier. It's the best decision I have ever made… I never could have imagined my love for Buhner could live on in the lives of his clones. Thank you ViaGen for making dreams come true.”