ViaGen Pets has delivered the first American-born cloned puppy, a spunky Jack Russell Terrier named Nubia, who is a genetically-identical twin of the owner’s beloved pet.
ViaGen Pets is now the only American company offering pet cloning services in full compliance with all U.S. regulatory standards and humane pet care practices. The company expects this will increase demand for cloning and genetic preservation (GP) of companion pet DNA.
ViaGen has been the global leader in GP and cloning services for equine and livestock for more than a decade. This significant milestone, highlighting ViaGen’s success in advancing companion pet reproduction and genetic preservation services, coincides with the 20th anniversary of the first cloned animal, Dolly the Sheep, in July 1996. The Austin, Texas-based company is also the sole provider of genetically-similar kittens, and has delivered several of them to clients over the past year.
“Losing a pet can be devastating,” said Dr. Joel Ehrenzweig, a veterinary consultant. “Talking to bereaved pet owners about genetic preservation and cloning is a win-win for veterinary practitioners looking to offer compassionate options that soften the finality of pet loss. ViaGen Pets technology can help dissipate compassion fatigue within a practice by offering end-of-life options and facilitating client transition through the grief process.”
Veterinarians can offer genetic preservation at any stage of a pet’s life by using a dedicated ViaGen Pets GP kit and sending a DNA sample taken during a routine procedure or wellness visit to the ViaGen Pets cryostorage facility to be processed and preserved.
A cloned puppy or kitten is simply a genetic twin born at a later date, and should share many of the original’s attributes, including intelligence, temperament and appearance. ViaGen Pet’s technologically-advanced process begins with genetic preservation, a basic biomedical procedure used to safeguard and maintain the pet’s DNA. Veterinarians simply collect and send a small tissue sample to ViaGen Pets, where cells are cultured and then cryopreserved. ViaGen Pet’s GP service costs $1,600 with a $150 per year annual storage fee.
To produce a clone, the technician replaces the nucleus of a donor egg with one of the founder’s frozen cells. ViaGen’s proprietary treatment process joins this egg and cell together to produce an embryo, which a highly-trained ViaGen embryologist then implants in a surrogate mom. An identical genetic twin is delivered after a normal gestation period. Research has shown that cloned animals have the same health traits and life expectancy as other pets.
ViaGen Pets offers canine cloning for $50,000 and feline cloning for $25,000, with a 100 percent money-back guarantee. The company assumes full responsibility for the long-term care and well-being of all egg donors and surrogates.
To discuss the benefits of offering GP within their practice, veterinarians may contact ViaGen Pets Client Service Manager Melain Rodriguez at 1-888-876-6104.