The 2010s era of online pet personalities has never really disappeared. While some of the “greats” like Grumpy Cat and Chloe the Bulldog have sadly passed, their legacies live on. However, some social media managers are finding ways of avoiding the worry of famous deceased Instagram pets.
Cloning deceased Instagram Pets
Reported by Newsweek, popular Grammers with passed pets are resorting to pet cloning. While some pet accounts do shift focus from one pet to another in the event of a death, some are instead cloning the original.
One such Instagrammer is Courtney Udvar-Hazy. The mind behind popular Instagram account WanderwithWillow which see the upsetting death of titular wolf-dog hybrid Willow way back in 2018.
After the death of Willow, Udvar-Hazy partnered with animal cloning company ViaGen Pets. For the sum of around $50,000, the photographer used Willow’s DNA to make clones. The main clone was named Pheonix and is the main face of the Instagram account; other puppies were gifted to friends.
Willow isn't the only deceased Instagram pet to be cloned. Instagram account Adogandacat features a cloned ragdoll. After the page’s famous cat Chai died at the hands of a pet sitter, the page’s creator wanted to continue the Instagram page. As a result, she cloned Chai and had the clone pet Belle.
An expensive coping mechanism
The death of a pet is an especially upsetting experience. It's not surprising that those with the funds available would clone deceased pets, reclaiming the comfortable feeling they recently lost. Pet owners often seek out similar looking pets to ones they recently lost.
It's also important to note that deceased Instagram pets are not being completely replaced. Most of the time, cloned pets are announced and given different names from their original. In many ways, its like getting a baby from your pet post-mortem.
Of course, cloning technology does have the potential of being used nefariously. A cloned pet “prepared” ahead of a pet’s death could be used to replace its original and mislead a fanbase. However, we hope that no one would ever want to do that. On the other hand, there are animals in shelters that could also do with some love.