Florida couple gets dog cloned paying $155,000

It’s always hurting when you lose your lovely pet. It certainly did hurt Nina and Ed Otto, when they lost their sweet little yellow Labrador retriever puppy, Sir Lancelot, but they planned something different and interesting to come out of their agony.

Sir Lancelot, the lovely Labrador retriever of Boca Raton, Florida, couple Edgar (79) and Nina Otto (66), died of cancer at the age of 11, in January in 2008. The couple decided to get an exact clone of their Labrador developed in a lab. It sounds interesting, isn’t it?

Edgar and Nina Otto got Sir Lancelot’s DNA samples collected and frozen over six years ago. The couple hired the services of a San Francisco, California based firm BioArts International to get their pet cloned. Scientists took the DNA samples of Sir Lancelot to BioArts International in South Korea, where they developed the perfect clone of the dog.

According to BioArts International, scientists inserted Sir Lancelot’s DNA samples into Korean dog’s egg, and then inseminated another Korean dog with the fertilized egg.

The couple reportedly paid the firm $155,000 (£108,000) to get the dog cloned. Edgar and Nina’s new puppy, which they named Lancelot Encore, was born ten weeks ago. Lancelot Encore was hand-delivered to the couple by Lou Hawthorne, chairman of BioArts International, a biotechnology company.

On Monday, Edgar and Nina brought home their cuddly 17-pound, golden-haired puppy, which traveling in the first class landed on the Miami International Airport. Lancelot Encore has now become the first single-birth, commercially cloned pup in the United States.

About her new puppy, Nina Otto said, "He looked just like my original Lancelot. The most interesting thing about this Lancelot we notice he's bonded immediately within an hour with every other pets in the house. He's the Alpha dog!"

"It truthfully is amazing to me that this process has come to be and that I am getting if not my dog, certainly the essence of Lancelot and it looks so much like him that, well, he's a clone so he should look like him. Lancelot was very human and he, he just, we used to call him our Prince Charming," she told.

"Yes, it's expensive now, but as we know with everything, once it becomes common knowledge it loses its value and will become less expensive. It is economically not a good idea, but it was done, so thank God and thank God the money is gone and he is here and that's what's more important to me," said Nina, who revealed that she sold some big time jewelry to finance the cloning.

Living on a 12-acre estate in western Boca Raton, Edgar and Nina Otto presently own nine other dogs, four birds, and a few cats and sheep. They hope that Lancelot Encore will have the same personality and will be as intelligent as original Sir Lancelot, which they loved so much.