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Woman clones her pit bull … and boy am I mad!


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Bernann McKinney with a cloned puppy; photo via the AP

A California woman has paid $50,000 to clone her pet pit bull, receiving five puppies Tuesday who are genetically identical to her late dog Booger.

I hear a lot of crazy stuff at this job, and not much really gets the steam coming out of my ears, but this story has me all kinds of angry.

Each week I walk dogs at my local animal control center. The dogs are overwhelmingly pit bulls, and the majority of them are euthanized for lack of homes, even though most are sweet, loving dogs.

$50,000 would go a long way toward improving those dogs’ quality of life — not to mention the fact that giving homes to five of them would mean literally everything for those five souls. (According to the Associated Press, the woman, Bernann McKinney, “said
she will take three of the cloned dogs to her home in California and
donate the others to work as service dogs for the handicapped or

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Sharky is available for adoption at the Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City, NJ — for less than $50K

I don’t think people should be cloning their pets at all when so many are waiting for homes in shelters, but the fact that she cloned a pit bull when I mourn so many lovely pits each week really got to me.

Ironically, Ms. McKinney has an amazing story and could have been a great spokesperson for pits:

McKinney said she was especially attached to Booger because he saved
her life when she was attacked by another dog three times his size. The
incident resulted in her left hand later being amputated, and injured
her leg nerves and stomach. Doctors later reconstructed her hand and
she spent part of her recovery in a wheelchair.

McKinney said Booger acted as more than just a canine companion as she recuperated from the attack. Her dog pulled her wheelchair when its battery ran out. He opened
her house door with his teeth and helped her take off her shoes and
socks, even though she never trained him to do so.

“The most unusual thing about Booger was that he has a unique ability to reason,” she said. “He seems to understand I couldn’t use my hands.”

As a screenwriter and drama teacher, McKinney had a unique platform from which to tell others about her amazing pit. Still, I’m trying to look at the bright side here and hope that the publicity around this story will result in some positive public sentiment toward pits.

Maybe someone will read about this and think, Hey, if one pit bull is special enough to spend $50,000 to clone, maybe the little guy down at my local shelter, who’s available for a nominal adoption fee, is worth his weight in gold!

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