Pets should rest in peace, not be cloned

MORGANTOWN, W.V. (U-Wire) — Cloning is no longer limited to sheep. A company named PerPETuate Inc. is now taking genetic samples of pets and storing them for future resurrection.
“Pet Sematary,” anyone?
Pets are comforting creatures. They chase away loneliness and make people laugh. Pets can be enjoyed by everyone — young, old, rich or poor. The only requirement is love.
However, Americans are now approaching a line, which happens every so often.
Science is overstepping its bounds again.
“Animals are not commodities to be manufactured like tomatoes or grapefruit,” Lisa Lange, spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said.
There are many homeless animals roaming our country, starving for food and attention. Irresponsible owners contribute to this trend.
Rather than spend outrageous amounts of money to freeze genetic samples ($1,000 per pet plus annual storage costs), why don’t people with so much love in their hearts adopt those homeless animals.
Why are these people entrusting their money to strangers on the off chance that someday their beloved pet, which could end up not even having the same personality, will come to life again? What benefits do they expect?
Although the advantages pets provide are numerous, it is not impossible to find a new puppy or kitten that could provide the same benefits as the deceased pet.
The possibility of never saying goodbye is very tantalizing to some people. It is hard to part with a loved one. That sentiment could be exactly what PerPETuate Inc. is preying on.
Pet owner Martha Westerfield supports this claim. She had a tissue sample of her Maltese dog, Lucy, stored.
“It’s a comforting feeling to know that maybe someday we can have her back.”
Lucy died of cancer. And while the death of a pet is like losing a member of the family, Americans need to recognize that adopting a new pet might be more beneficial to their pockets and their hearts than waiting for science to catch up to their love.

This staff editorial originally appeared in Thursday’s West Virginia University Daily Athenaeum.