Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009

The Custom Puppy

In 1997, the year scientists announced they had created Dolly the cloned sheep, Lou Hawthorne began wondering what it would take to create a genetic replica of his mother's dog Missy. In 2007, his company BioArts did it, and in 2009, Hawthorne delivered puppies to five customers who paid an average of $144,000 for copies of their canines. (The company also created, pro bono, five clones of a search-and-rescue dog that worked at the World Trade Center after 9/11.) BioArts has since said the pet-cloning market is too small to be commercially viable, but for pet owners who jumped at the chance for a second chance, the puppy love lives on.