Pet Owners on Why They Cloned Their Pets and Share Their Lives With Their Replicas on TikTok
The TikTok animal stars Phoenix the dog and Belle the cat are both clones of their owners’ previous pets.
Kelly Anderson had her late cat Chai, who was popular on Instagram, cloned. Anderson wanted to tell her cat Belle’s story on TikTok because the platform enables people to tell longer stories, she said.
“Everywhere else they're just pictures,” Anderson told Inside Edition Digital. “So, it's just another cat on the internet. On TikTok, you can kind of tell a story or share information about cloning in ways that you can't elsewhere. So, I've been able to kind of start building up a following there that's a little bit more unique to Belle and her story.”
Anderson says her late cat Chai was popular on Instagram, but when Chai died unexpectedly, grief prevented her from keeping up with social media and many followers dropped off. Four years later, Chai’s clone took to TikTok as Belle the Clone Kitty. There, Anderson shares facts about her replica pet.
She maintains that she didn’t clone Chai for the Instagram fame.
“People love their pets in all different kinds of ways” Anderson said. “And I think that people who clone their pets aren't doing it because they want to carry on their social media legacy or for really any other reason except for love. That is where all of this comes from is love.”
Courtney Udvar-Hazy cloned her wolfdog Willow because she said was grieving. Udvar-Hazy also said people have assumed that she cloned her dog Willow for fame but she said that’s not true. She cloned her dog because she was grieving, not because she wanted to be TikTok famous, she said. Her new dog Phoenix has nearly one million followers on the app.
“That was just like a personal thing for me and my heart and my dog, me and the dogs and what was right for me,” Udvar-Hazy said. “But the social media thing took off really after Phoenix, after doing this cloning thing, that's when it took off.”
Udvar-Hazy said she wanted to educate people on Phoenix’s breed of wolfdog and cloning.
“They're not a dog you might want to get just because they look cool and also talk about the cloning experience,” Udvar-Hazy said of the things she discusses.
Both women said they understand the controversial nature of pet cloning, which for cats can cost around $35,000 and dogs $50,000.
“Money wasn't really a thought in my head,” Udvar-Hazy said. "For me, it was the right decision for me in that situation.”
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