An amazing letter from The Pet Fund about the value of cloning
March 10, 2018, 2:48pm

Attn. Streisand Foundation Staff & Ms. Streisand.

We are writing to you from The Pet Fund, the largest national nonprofit that pays for veterinary care for those who cannot afford it. After reading media sources report criticism regarding your recent successful dog cloning, we wanted to send our support for your decision for two reasons: first, cloning is an important aspect of cancer research, and second, the response to losing a pet is a process no one has the right to criticize for any reason.

Cloning, even when done privately, helps all cancer research – even when only anecdotal information is made available – because the health outcomes of this process help to inform research into all cancer treatment. Cancer is, after all, a process of cell division, and the progress (and outcome) of each cloning attempt helps to build data about health outcomes related to that process.

As a nonprofit that focuses only on companion animal healthcare, we have seen a significant rise in the number of cancer cases among dogs and cats since we started in 2003. Requests for help with the cost of cancer treatment used to make up 20% of the number of cases we funded. That number has now grown to over 60% of the cases we now need to fund, and the age at which animals are diagnosed with cancer has also moved to younger animals. It is now not unusual to have a 6 month old dog diagnosed with cancer.

Because of the (unexplained) rising rates of cancer in companion animals, we are working collaboratively with other nonprofits working in research to try to provide clinical trial opportunities for pet owners whose animals may be eligible to participate in important research. Any and every avenue to research into possible cancer treatment has a legitimate and important goal, which is furthering the understanding of cancer and its possible cures. This is an example of why even private cloning has its part to play in the development of new theories and treatments.

Even more importantly, no one has the right to criticize any pet owner’s response to losing a companion animal. There is no easy way to lose a friend or family member, and grief is not simple to resolve. It is a process that is different for each pet parent and family, and how each individual deals with loss is up to that person exclusively. The loss of any companion animal is devastating for any pet parent who has truly loved their animal, and while any companion animal is indeed lucky to have found a loving home, that fact does not make the pain of grief any easier. We would argue that anyone who thinks it is acceptable to criticize your decision has never really understood the depth and importance of love for a companion animal, and so cannot understand the meaning of their eventual loss.

We were outraged to read criticism of your decision to clone your beloved pet, and hope that this (email) letter provides some support for your perfectly legitimate decision. We hope your puppies are doing well, and that they will have a long and healthy life.

Please accept our support for your decision.

Best Regards,

Karen Leslie
Executive Director
The Pet Fund
phone: (916) 443-6007
email: [email protected]

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