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DOG, INC.: How a Collection of Visionaries, Rebels, Eccentrics and Their Pets Launched the Commercial Dog Cloning Industry

What started with a sheep named Dolly became possible for dogs in 2005, when scientists in South Korea produced the world’s first canine clone, an Afghan hound named Snuppy. Even before that was accomplished, an American company — foreseeing vast profits in pet cloning — was marketing the service, banking the cells of customers’ pets with the promise that one would soon be able to have it back again, through cloning.

Despite millions invested by one of America’s richest men, attempts to clone the world’s first dog at Texas A&M University failed — though its scientists managed to produce cloned cats, bulls, goats and pigs. Scientists at Seoul National University, meanwhile, applying an around-the-clock work ethic and taking advantage of easy access to “farm dogs,” beat them to the punch.

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The two lead scientists who produced Snuppy would soon go their separate ways — one teaming up with a Korean company marketing pet cloning, the other contracting to produce cloned dogs for BioArts, the American company.

What followed was a nasty fight, as both companies tried to corner the pet cloning market, and cash in — in the view of pet cloning critics — on the anguish of those who have lost their best friends.

Dog, Inc. looks at the science, the ethics, the marketing, the emotions and the often quirky personalities involved in pet cloning — those behind the science, behind the businesses and those who became customers.

Did those customers get exact replicas of their dogs? Sometimes, in some ways, yes; sometimes, in some ways, no. The bigger question, though, is — beyond the $100,000 or so they forked over – at what cost?

And perhaps the bigger question yet is this: If man’s best friend is being cloned, can man be far behind?

Dog, Inc. (Penguin-Avery) is now available for pre-order from Amazon, Borders and Barnes and Noble, and will be released at the end of December.

Marines and Mira

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