Daily Paws

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Made-to-order pets. If you could do it, would you?


Headlines tell a lot about trends.  For example, recently this headline caught my eye:

Chinese perfect method of choosing sex of animals prior to birth.
The story was about Chinese scientists sorting pig sperm into male or female chromosomes and then using artificial insemination to impregnate two different sows.  One gave birth to all male piglets and the other to all female piglets.  This same method has also been used for buffalo and milk cows.  Apparently pig sperm are much more difficult to sort as they are more delicate than the buffalo or cow sperm is.  Although the scientists are working with farm animals – in the future this same method can be used for any type of animal and sperm.

Here’s another one:

Scientists successfully clone 5 puppies that are genetic copies of a German Shepherd that helped in the hunt for 9-11 victims.
In this case a company who wants to make headlines for cloning dogs (it’s a lucrative market that they want to promote), ran a contest for the most clone-worthy dog and Trackr, the above mentioned German Shepherd won the contest .  Here is a picture of Trackr’s genetically identical offspring.


And finally this headline:

Allerca Inc. Sued over Non-Delivery of Hypoallergenic Kitten
In case you’re not familiar with who Allerca is, it’s a company that claimed to have developed the first hypoallergenic cat – with much hype and hoopla accompanying the announcement – along with photos of the first cat.  They took orders from cat lovers who were allergic, charging around $8,000 for a kitten, and another $2000 or so to be on the rush list.  Apparently there were problems and a man is suing because they failed to deliver the kitten he ordered over 3 years ago.

The trend here is that the methods for creating designer pets, cloned, sorted, sterilized and categorized, continues to grow and pet owners are paying big dollars for them.

There is just one component that is missing in these engineered companions and that is who the occupants of these designer pet bodies are.

Cloning a dog does not return your same dog.  It gives you a dog that looks like your old dog does (or 5 of them as in the case of Trackr).  Choosing a designer pet does not mean you’ll get a great pet or companion, or one that is healthy and free from problems.

So my question to you is:  If you could make a pet to your order, a designer pet, if you could do it, would you?


PS: As I write this article, my wonderful pet companion – not a designer pet by the way –  sits quietly at my feet and glances at me as if to say: “Why bother?  I’m better than any designer pet you could ever order.”  and you know what? She’s right.

Resources:  Allerca lawsuit article

Cloned puppies

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3 Responses to “Made-to-order pets. If you could do it, would you?”

  1. Cynthia says:

    I love my dogs and they are not designer dogs in any way. They are mutts. I don’t want a pet that is loving, wonderful companion. I guess designer dogs could do that but so can your average mixed breed dog. My two dogs are wonderful with my children and they were not designed in anyway and I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

  2. Linda says:

    Yes Cynthia, I am with you. Designer dogs are still just dogs. Some are wonderful of course and some have problems, just like non-designer dogs.

    People have pets for a variety of reasons, but a loving companion for themselves and their family – is right up there at the top of the list for most, and that is something that is really difficult to ‘design’ in with any accuracy. And there are shelters full of pets just begging for the chance to be a loving companion to someone who will love them back.

    You have lucky dogs.


  3. Byron Gushwa says:

    If you could “custom design” your child, would you?
    I THINK NOT!!!
    The strange, little wacko things that a DOG will do is what makes it like a child.
    I love my Chocolate Lab for who she is!!!

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