Couple Spends $50,000 Cloning Beloved Labrador, Claims New Dog 'Ziggy' Has Identical Personality

Couple Spends $50,000 Cloning Beloved Labrador, Claims New Dog 'Ziggy' Has Identical Personality

Alicia and David came up with the plan to clone Marley after their beloved pet was diagnosed with cancer.

Image Source: High Angle View Of Fluffy Dog In Lake - stock photo (Getty Images)

Cover Image For Representational Purposes Only

A bold couple from California decided to keep not just the memory of their beloved Labrador alive, but his whole body as well. Alicia and David Tschirhart from Escondido were devastated at the notion of losing their darling pet and then totally determined to clone him. The couple had no problems with the cost of the whole process which came up to even $50,000, as they were prepared to clone their puppy, Marley. The Tschirharts remarked that they credit Marley with saving their lives once, after he had alerted them to a poisonous snake while they were all out hiking, Daily Mail reports. 

Alicia and David decided to make a plan to clone Marley after the loving animal was diagnosed with cancer. The cloned dog, Ziggy, bears an uncanny resemblance to Marley, reports the couple. "They have the same personality, they play the same, they favor the same toys," Alicia shared with CNN San Diego affiliate KGTV.



The prospect of losing Marley after 12 wonderful years with them was just too unbearable for the couple. The Tschirharts were decided to clone their pet via the company ViaGen Pets. The company uses the technology that is strikingly similar to the cloning of the famous sheep Dolly back in 1997. The process was completed without any hassle as the couple's new pet 'Ziggy' has all the characteristics of their beloved Marley. "They have the same personality, they play the same, they favor the same toys," Alicia told 10News



ViaGen Pets have become quite popular for the quality of work they do. A spokesperson for the company said that their services are currently in high demand and that the current waiting list for pet cloning is one year. The cost for Viagen's services are listed online for dogs at $50,000 and cats at $35,000. While that's no small amount, but the technology involved and the fine quality of the cloning process make the cost totally worth it. 



The Tschirharts explained that they wanted to clone their dog mostly because Marley was a hero who had saved their lives. When the couple were on a casual hike with him, Marley noticed a venomous rattlesnake in their path. This incident took place a few years ago when Alicia was pregnant with their child. The couple recalled that Alicia had just unknowingly bent down to pick up a stick, without seeing the coiled-up snake right next to it. Marley, who was ever vigilant, noticed the threat and ended up chasing the snake away before it could harm either of them

"This was in 2014, Marley was 12 then, Alicia was about 4 months pregnant," David Tschirhart said. "I suddenly saw Marley dart out in front of me and clawing and digging the ground where Alicia's hand was reaching.". The couple is immensely indebted to Marley, and is also grateful that they have the option of cloning so that even their children would know all about Marley and his wonderful actions. "I couldn't think of any better way … their years growing up … to have Ziggy around," David Tschirhart said.



According to CBS Local, in order to clone a dog, scientists take the cells of one dog and fuse those cells in another dog's egg. That egg becomes an embryo, which is transplanted to a surrogate dog. The clone is a genetic copy of the animal, similar to an identical twin, but the animals don't always look exactly alike. The first dog was cloned in South Korea in 2005. It was named Snuppy and it took scientists 1,000 embryos to make one dog. This was four years after the first cat was cloned in 2001, and a decade after Dolly the Sheep. Since then, scientists have cloned over two dozen species, including cows, deer, horses, monkeys, rabbits and water buffalo.


Recommended for you