Pet lovers seek consolation in Cuddle Clones

Global Business

Pet lovers seek consolation in Cuddle Clones 2

People love their pets so much so that many owners are now cloning them; not in the laboratory but with the help of a workshop in China.

CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

Pet lovers seek consolation in Cuddle Clones

Pet lovers seek consolation in Cuddle Clones

People love their pets so much so that many owners are now cloning them; not in the laboratory but with the help of a workshop in China. CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reports.

Michelle Tharp of Denver is devoted to her dog Mitch. In fact, that’s probably an understatement.

Tharp describes her dog Mitch as “a lab or a big dog stuck in a Chihuahua’s body.”

“He’s got a funky name, a funky personality. He’s just Mitch,” Tharp said.

Mitch is 14 years-old so Michelle knows he’s on his last legs. But she’s not ready to let go of him just yet.

Mitch 2 is a stuffed version of the original Mitch, right down to his tongue and the way he sits. He’s a Cuddle Clone- a one-of-a-kind, plush replica of a beloved pet made in a workshop near Shenzhen, China.

“I think he looks cute, just like Mitch does,” Tharp said, upon meeting Mitch 2.

Jennifer Williams is the CEO of Cuddle Clones. When she began scheming the idea of replicating lifelike, plush version of pets, people either said it was the greatest idea or they said it was creepy.

It took some trial and error but Williams finally hit on a winning formula.

People submit photos of their loved ones online along with custom requests about what their clone should look like.

Then 45 designers, sewers, cutters and others take it from there. The final product arrives two months later. Williams said they crank out about 250 a week right now.

Cats and dogs are cloned most often. But they’ve also done cows, chickens and goats, even rats.

“We’ve had some weird creations,” Williams said. “We had a half-giraffe, half-bear once. And they wanted to put angel wings on it so we did that.”

For about half of Williams’ customers, a Cuddle Clone is a form of therapy, a way to remember a late pet.

Each month, about 500 to 1,000 Cuddle Clones are produced. Most are shipped to countries where English is spoken, including Asian nations. Williams thinks her creations are well-worth the price, $249 apiece.