Nov 16, 2012 3:14 PM by Kirsten Bennett
A Louisiana man spent big bucks to get back man's best friend.
After his Blue Tick Hound passed away, he contacted cloning experts in South Korea for a second chance with the pooch.
Gator is one of only five or six cloned dogs in the United States.
"It's the most exciting thing I think we've done as a clinic," said Dr. Clark Cooper, "he's the same personality, the same bark. It is strange to me to see a 13-year-old dog and then see him started over as a clone puppy."
Veterinarian Cooper took tissue from Gator's predecessor, extracted, froze and preserved DNA from the sample and then sent it to one of only two men in the world who can successfully clone a canine.
While some dogs are cloned for scientific research, Gator was cloned to save a specific genetic line.
"He's one of a few in a family line that we can't produce, so we won't be able to have any more if we can't reproduce him," said Dr. Cooper.
The big concern is the cost. Dr. Cooper says cloning a dog costs about $100,000 or more.