In 2018, if you’re the world’s smallest living dog, you’re not going to be left alone by science. Researchers who reportedly want to gain new understanding into the world’s smallest living dog, nicknamed “Miracle Milly,” have subjected the dog to cloning. Not just once or twice, either, but a whopping 49 times, according to the Daily Mail.
Milly, a chihuahua, weighs a little more than a pound and is 3.8″ tall. Many believed she would not survive because she was born so small, but she thrived under the care of her loving owner.
South Korean company Sooam Biotech Research Foundation did all of the cloning. The company charges around $100,000 per pet, saying that they “prolong the companionship with your dog by bringing back the memories that you have with your friend.”
The owner of the original Milly, Vanesa Semler, explained the reasoning behind the multiple clones.
“The original idea was to make ten clones in total, nine for research and one for us, but they decided to clone her more times…. They want to find out why she was so small and then study her genes to find out what makes her so tiny.”
The Sooam lab will be working with specialists and the Beijing Genomics Institute. The researchers plan to publish a paper with the findings of their research, detailed the Telegraph.
And because there are so many Milly clones, Semler lives with 12 of them: Molly, Mally, Melly, Molly, Mumu, Mila, Mary, Mimi, Moni, Mini, Mela, and Mulan. How she keeps track of them is anyone’s guess.
And what’s it like to be around so many Milly clones, you may wonder? Semler elaborated.
“It’s amazing to be around all of her clones, they are so smart, very playful like Milly and have really similar personalities.”
Dog cloning has become more mainstream in past years, with celebrities, like Barbara Streisand, cloning their dead pets. In the case of Streisand, after her original dog Samantha died, she had two clones made. These she dubbed Miss Scarlett and Miss Violet reported the National Geographic.
However, many people are still wary of the idea of cloning pets. And to make matters worse, animal cloning has yet to be regulated by most lawmakers.
One outspoken critic of cloning is the Humane Society. They’ve said that “Companies that offer to clone pets profit off of distraught pet lovers by falsely promising a replica of a beloved pet. With millions of deserving dogs and cats in need of a home, pet cloning is completely unnecessary.”
Even so, the technology is still fairly costly, making it a service that is not accessible to the everyday American.