" Two entrepreneurs are charging pet owners to store their Fido or Fifi's DNA in anticipation of the day when science can clone their beloved animals.
For $1,000 per pet - plus a $100 annual storage fee - Heather J. Bessoff and Ron D. Gillespie will take a genetic sample from a living or dead animal and keep it frozen at their lab.
Their company, PerPETuate Inc., has signed up six customers since it began in October. Bessoff is a veterinarian and Gillespie an agricultural consultant. They run the company from Bessoff's basement.
"There could be people who don't agree with what we're doing. We understand that," Bessoff said. "But we feel there are so many benefits."
So far, scientists have cloned only mice and farm livestock such as sheep. Recently, a dog owner donated $2.3 million to Texas A&M University to try to clone his beloved Missy.
Martha Westerfield, who stored a tissue sample of her Maltese dog Lacy, who died of cancer, said: "It's a comforting feeling to know that maybe someday we can have her back."
Lisa Lange, a spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, suggested people instead adopt one of the millions of homeless animals that are put to death every year.
Animals "are not commodities to be manufactured like tomatoes or grapefruit," she said. "
First Human Clone?