A wealthy New York man's two cloned dogs are wreaking havoc in Central Park and on the Upper West Side, but he sees nothing wrong with the large dogs and their vicious behavior.
Gary Rintel, 45, loved his original collie-Great Pyrenees dog, Astro so much that when it died, he had two cloned dogs made from its DNA, along with a fur hat for himself so he could always remember the animal.
But now, he lets the copycat dogs run around Central Park unleashed, and neighbors complain the dogs are terrorizing the Upper West Side, reports the New York Post.
“This is a tragedy waiting to happen,” said one man who claims the dogs charged at his puppy and bit his hand. “The city knows about this problem and does nothing. The law has no teeth, so to speak.”
When Rintel takes the large dogs out, he walks about a block or so back, and says he doesn't believe in the city's leash law. He's paid $2,000 in tickets in the last year, and still sees no reason to tie up his animals.
If you were a dog, would you want to live with a rope around your neck? I don’t think most people care about their dogs’ happiness. Sometimes I’m guilty of breaking that law.
Rintel, a writer who apparently lives off a trust fund, paid $140,000 four years ago to a lab to insert Astro's DNA into a donor egg, and a surrogate dog gave birth to the two new dogs, Cosmo and Retro, about three-and-a-half years ago.
But neighbors are wishing Rintel had never had the dogs cloned. Jarrod Mittan, 29, said Rintel "ignores his dogs as they’re bounding down the sidewalk, and he screams at them as though they understand what he’s saying.”
Other neighbors say the cloned menaces even run into buildings chasing down other animals, and doormen are constantly chasing the dogs out.
But Rintel says his dogs are "good boys," even after his former dog-walker let them off leash in July in Central Park and the clones attacked and bit a bicyclist. Park rules mandate dogs must be on leashes between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
And as for the guy who says the clones bit him and attacked his puppy? Rintel says he doesn't think that happened.
It seems like dirty pool to manufacture an incident just because you’re upset my dog jumped on yours. They’re not threatening or dangerous dogs. They’re playful and they’re under check. The idea that two dogs are savaging the Upper West Side isn’t true.