Clone No More

Published October 2006

In February, 2002, we published the article,
A Cat Is Cloned in which it was announced that Genetic Savings & Clone, a biotechnology company, had cloned the first cat.

Formed to produce and sell cloned pets, it has now been announced that Genetic Savings & Clone will close its doors at the end of the year because of the little demand for cloned cats.

The company had recently reduced the price to clone a cat from $50,000 to $32,000, but only two people had made reservations since the year 2000. It appears there does not seem to be much of a market for cloned kitties, even at the reduced price.

Genetic Savings & Clone was launched by billionaire University of Phoenix founder, John Sperling, who had hoped to have his favorite hunting dog, Missy, cloned. Genetic Savings & Clone were never successful at cloning a dog.

Even for the most devoted pet lovers, there's a limit to how far they will go to have their favorite feline or canine for life.

The Sausalito company stated it would no longer accept new orders for clones because it was “unable to develop the technology to the point that cloning pets is commercially viable.”

A message on the company's answering machine referred customers interested in freezing their pets genetic material to the Austin, Texas-based biotechnology company, ViaGen Inc.

Since Genetic Savings & Clone opened for business in 2000, it had produced five cloned cats, but sold only two to paying customers. The first commercially cloned cat was named Little Nicky and was delivered to a Texas woman saddened by the loss of a cat she had owned for 17 years.

The kitten cost its owner $50,000 and was created from DNA from her beloved cat, who died the previous year.

That kitten's creation and sale ignited fierce debate over the ethics of cloning pets. With thousands of stray cats euthanized each year for lack of homes, many feline lovers felt that cloning was both unethical and amoral.

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