California couple spend $50,000 cloning their Labrador

California couple spend $50,000 cloning their beloved Labrador Marley – and reveal their new dog Ziggy has an ‘identical personality’ and ‘likes the same toys’

  • California couple decided to clone their dog after he was diagnosed with cancer 
  • The Tschirharts decided to clone their pet via the company ViaGen Pets
  • They took the step after crediting the beloved Labrador with saving their lives 

A California couple who were devastated at the prospect of losing their beloved Labrador decided to clone the pet. 

Alicia and David Tschirhart from Escondido are understood to have forked out up to $50,000 to clone their dog Marley, who they credit with saving their lives after he alerted them to a venomous snake while out on a hike. 

The couple decided to take the step after Marley was diagnosed with cancer. He passed away five years ago. 

Alicia and David Tschirhart. The couple are understood to have forked out up to $50,000 to clone their dog Marley

Ziggy (pictured) was cloned from Marley. His owners say his characteristics are remarkably similar to their beloved Labrador 

Not being able to bear the prospect of losing Marley after 12 years, the Tschirharts decided to clone their pet via the company ViaGen Pets 

Not being able to bear the prospect of losing Marley after 12 years, the Tschirharts decided to clone their pet via the company ViaGen Pets. 

The company uses the same technology that was implemented for the clone of Dolly the sheep in 1997. 

The couple named the clone dog ‘Ziggy’, and say his characteristics are remarkably similar to their beloved Labrador. 

‘They have the same personality, they play the same, they favor the same toys,’ Alicia told 10News. 

The Tschirharts pictured with clone dog Zappy. ‘They have the same personality, they play the same, they favor the same toys,’ Alicia told 10News

Ziggy (pictured) was cloned via the company ViaGen Pets

It appears ViaGen’s service are in high demand. A spokesperson said the current waiting list for pet cloning is one year. 

The Tschirharts explained that they wanted to clone their dog after could have potentially saved their lives. 

The couple were on a hike, while Alicia was three months pregnant, when Marley noticed a venomous rattle snake in their path. 

‘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.’ 

Alicia had been reaching down to pick up a stick, unaware there was a coiled-up snake right next to it. 

Marley managed to chase the snake away before it could harm his owners. 

Alicia and David are grateful they had the option of cloning, so that their children can grow up with more than just a memory of Marley.  

 

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