INSTAGRAM influencers are cloning their dogs to keep the popular pet profile relevant even after the animal passes away.
The world of ‘petfluencers’ is thriving on social media apps like Instagram as online content about cute animals often attracts a large following.
However, in an event that looks unimaginative, influencers who run popular pet accounts are now making genetic copies of their animals.
And for some, the driving force behind this pet cloning is even stranger: Allowing influencers to continue posting content on the pet’s Instagram account after their death.
While this concept of pet cloning may sound like something out of a 1980s sci-fi movie (i.e. Pet Semetary), the reality is that it’s, well, it’s reality.
And thanks to companies like Texas-based ViaGen, the process is accessible to anyone with tens of thousands of dollars to spare.
ViaGen uses the same technology as IVF, using a pet’s original cells to create embryos, which are then transferred to a surrogate.
“Someone can clone their pet and replace the original. The world doesn’t need to know. They may never know”. Melin Rodriguez, customer service manager at ViaGen, said.
In fact, cloning pets is more common than one might think.
Several accounts on Instagram openly market their cloned pets, including @ipartywithbrucewayne and @clash_of_the_clones.
The Instagram page @wander_with_willow, which boasts more than 138k followers, is another popular account featuring a cloned dog named Phoenix.
This account was originally run by a 29-year-old Californian named Udvar-Hazy, showcasing the life and times of a puppy named Willow.
Unfortunately, Willow passed away after being hit by a car, which led Udvar-Hazy to decide to clone his dog.
“I get a lot of crap about cloning. People say I have zombie dogs, or they call me a crazy rich girl. At first, it was painful for me,” said Udvar-Hazy.
“I have a really special connection with Willow. I will take pictures of her every day. She is my muse,” she added.
While Udvar-Hazy says grief is her main motivation for cloning Willow, for other influencers it can be more of a financial source.
“If someone made a living off their pet and then suddenly their pet disappeared, what would they do?” Rodriguez asked.
She added that after she made this point during a petfluencer conference, ViaGen had a number of customers come forward with cell preservation.
The practice of pet cloning has raised serious ethical concerns around the cruelty of animals because bringing in surrogate animals through IVF is a difficult process.
What’s more, many people seem to find this process unnecessary and decadent as 6.3 million animals enter U.S. shelters each year.
Despite the controversy and criticism, it seems that more and more petfluencers are going this route.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/17380731/instagram-influencer-clone-dog-cat/ Instagram stars are CLOSE their dogs so that even death won’t end the popularity of pet profiles