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Heroic 9/11 Search And Rescue Dog Cloned

German Shepherd “Trakr” Died 2 Months Ago, But Lineage Will Live On Thanks To 5 Genetically Identical Puppies.

trackr2

LOS ANGELES (CBS)

A dog made famous for its heroics in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks has succesfully been cloned by BioArts, a California-based company.

Trakr, a German Sheppard rescue dog from Nova Scotia, helped rescue victims at Ground Zero eight years ago. The dog actually pulled the last remaining survivor from the rubble itself, and his owner, James Symington, believes that was merely one example of Trakr’s abilities.

“His heroic work at Ground Zero was just a culmination of his amazing career,” Symington said.

trackrBut in 2008, as Trakr aged, he became ravaged by multiple diseases. Symington then saw an advertisement for a contest sponspored by BioArts and decided to submit Trakr’s story to the company. The contest’s prize: cloning one lucky dog free of charge to its owner.

CEO Louis Hawthorne believes Trakr’s past accomplishments made him the winner.

“We expected that the winner would be an exceptional pet,” Hawthorne said. “Maybe he would have rescued Timmy from a well. But we didn’t think it would be anything of the historical significance that Trakr played. That blew us away.”

BioArts originally intended to make one clone of the German Sheppard, but then decided to re-think the process.

“At some point in the process we woke up and said, ‘hey, wait a second. Why stop at one? Let’s make a whole set,'” Hawthorne said.

Scientists extracted DNA from Trakr and inserted it into the cells of surrogates. This meant that, Sunday, Symington came face to face with five genetically identical puppies.

“It was worth the wait,” Symington said.

He added that the meeting was bittersweet, as Trakr passed away two months ago. But Symington is happy the dog’s memory can live on in the five pups, also known as Trustt, Solace, Valor, Prodigy and Deja-Vu.

“Trakr was so much a part of my life, and, you know, he was more than just my partner,” Symington said. “He was my best friend and my lifelong companion. Seeing and having his legacy live on in these puppies is a tremendous gift.”

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Sherri Hinkle
Sherri Hinkle
11 years ago

This is wonderful. Trackr was not your average dog. None of us really believe our dogs are just average including me, but Trackr was a hero. He worked in the worse conditions imaginable without giving up and pulled multiple people to safety, giving them a new life. In his pups, we see the hopes that at least one will live up to the heroics of Trackr. I see no problem with this. cloning has increased the odds of having this actually happen. Much better odds than breeding. Trackr was a rescue. that makes it even better. I have had rescued dogs in my life and loved them completely. I have had dogs that were purposely bred also. I would not change the fact that I have been fortunate enough to share my life with either. I also would be proud to share my life with a clone pup such as trackr's. There are so many judgmental people in the world. Perhaps we could learn to be less judgmental from our dogs, no matter what their origin, and channel our energies to better the world, like Trackr.

dog gift
11 years ago

Whilst I think it's fantastic that a dog as extraordinary as Trackr lives on after death through cloning, I'm not very keen on the idea of cloning – yes, it's very clever and I can see why scientists want to explore and conquer the challenges of it. Without sounding like a complete Luddite it just seems to much like playing God, to me.

dog gift
11 years ago

Whilst I think it's fantastic that a dog as extraordinary as Trackr lives on after death through cloning, I'm not very keen on the idea of cloning – yes, it's very clever and I can see why scientists want to explore and conquer the challenges of it. Without sounding like a complete Luddite it just seems to much like playing God, to me.

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