How much do you love your dog? Enough to have it cloned? Then, you may be in luck. According to MSNBC, a Northern California biotech company is about to hold an online auction. Promising the five highest bidders will get a genetically-identical copy of an existing pet – or a puppy from the frozen tissue of a long-dead dog. Opening bids: $100,000.

The project is called Best Friends Again, run by entrepreneur Lou Hawthorne. He says his company has the only license to clone dogs, cats, and endangered species using the patents issued when Dolly the sheep became the first successfully-cloned animal. Hawthorne recently hired a South Korean scientist to create three clones of the Hawthorne family dog, Missy – who died in 2002. The three puppies – born to three different mothers - don’t look exactly like Missy. Although tests show they’re perfect genetic copies, fur coloring and size are influenced by conditions in the womb – so they look a bit different. Hawthorne says they have the same mischievous streak as the original Missy - and they all love steamed broccoli, just like she did.

Is it moral to clone dogs? Critics point out that it’s cruel. Vets have to operate on three dogs to clone a puppy – the DNA donor – if it’s still alive - the egg donor, and the surrogate mother. Only one in four implanted embryos survive to term – though supporters say that’s about the same success rate as conventional dog breeders. There’s also no guarantee that the cloned dogs will have the same temperament or personality as the original. Meaning – they’re really not just like your late, beloved Rover. The Humane Society says it's irresponsible to duplicate an animal when we're euthanizing millions of happy, health pets simply because there aren't enough homes for them. Your thoughts? Would you clone your pet if you had an extra $100-grand to spare? Call me toll free: 866-865-TESH.
And if you’re interested in the cloned dog auction, it happens on June 18th. I’ll post a relevant link at Tesh .com.