Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/18/hero_dog_cloned/

9/11 hero mutt cloned

Ground Zero rescue dog honoured fivefold

By Lester Haines

Posted in Science, 18th June 2009 11:45 GMT

The teary-eyed owner of 9/11 hero Trakr - the dog who pulled the last survivor from the rubble of the World Trade Center - has been presented with five clones of his beloved mutt, AFP reports.

Former Canadian cop James Symington and Trakr arrived at Ground Zero on 12 September 2001, among the first "K9" search and rescue teams to offer assistance. Symington said: "Trakr was an extraordinary search and rescue dog. His work at Ground Zero was the culmination of his career."

Sadly, the sharp-nosed canine popped his paws back in April, but not before his master entered him in California cloning outfit BioArts International's "Golden Clone Giveaway" competition. BioArts chief exec Lou Hawthorne said of the winner: "We received many very touching submissions to our contest, describing some truly amazing dogs. But Trakr's story blew us away."

BioArts International tasked its partner SooAm Biotech Research Foundation of South Korea with knocking up a few copies of Trakr, and the result is five puppies named Trustt, Valor, Prodigy, Solace and Deja Vu.

Symington told reporters at the Los Angeles hand-over ceremony: "We're here to celebrate that Trakr's legacy lives on in these five beautiful puppies. If they have the same attributes Trakr did, then hopefully they'll develop into world class search and rescue dogs."

Of the puppy quintet, Symington noted that Trustt was most like his, er, dad. He explained: "The physical similarities are uncanny. He's the spitting image of the Trakr that I first met in 1995. He has exactly the same markings, the way he moves, everything. Very alert, very intelligent and intuitive."

The proud clone mutt owner concluded: "I respect that cloning's not for everyone. But there are few dogs that are born with extraordinary abilities and Trakr was one of those dogs."

That dog cloning might not be for everyone is evidenced by the fact that Hawthorne set the price of a single canine copy at $144K. ®

Bootnote

Those of you who are not already weeping into your coffee and who fancy having your hearts' cockles further warmed are directed to AFP, which has a lovely snap of the cloned hounds here. Bless.