Losing a pet is one of the most heartbreaking parts of being a pet owner. Thanks to modern science, pets can be cloned, but will the cloned pet be an exact replica of their original? Barbra Streisand can answer that, as she cloned her cherished dog Samantha, who died last year, and now Barbra has two cloned dogs in Samantha’s place.
When speaking to Variety, Barbra Streisand revealed that two of her dogs, Miss Violet and Miss Scarlet, were cloned from her beloved late dog, Samantha.
All Coton de Tulear dogs, she is now waiting for them to “get older” to see how much they are like the original. She want to know if the two cloned dogs have Samantha’s “brown eyes and her seriousness.”
Streisand has a third dog, Miss Fanny, who is also a Coton de Tulear, and calls her a “distant cousin” to her other dogs. A rescue, she was adopted six months ago, while The Way We Were actress and singer was awaiting her two cloned pets.
Us Magazine reveals she was a rescue dog, and originally named Funny Girl, after the movie that Streisand starred in with Omar Sherif. Streisand had won a Best Actress Oscar for her role as Fanny Brice, and fittingly, her dog Funny Girl was eventually renamed Fanny.
How was Samantha cloned? According to Streisand, cells were taken from her cherished pet’s stomach and mouth, after the 14-year-old died in 2017.
According to USA Today, the cost of such pet cloning services such as ViaGen, can run from $25,000 to four times that cost.
What are Coton de Tulear dogs? According to DogTime, they are a “sweet and cuddly” breed with a “clownish” personality. The dogs with cotton soft fur were originally from Madagascar. Their closest dog breed is the Maltese and Bichon Frise.¨
So should everyone clone their cherished pets? PETA says no. They continue to advocate pet adoption.
The San Francisco Gate reported that PETA issued a statement on Barbara Streisand’s dog cloning, explaining that losing a dog is one of the most heartbreaking experiences for a pet owner. They also concede that the idea of cloning seems like a resurrection of sorts, with the beloved pet living on in the cloned pet, yet the personality that we love in that pet cannot be cloned. They contend that since there are so many pets in shelters, rescuing is preferred to cloning.
“We all want our beloved dogs to live forever, but while it may sound like a good idea, cloning doesn’t achieve that — instead, it creates a new and different dog who has only the physical characteristics of the original. Animals’ personalities, quirks, and very ‘essence’ simply cannot be replicated, and when you consider that millions of wonderful adoptable dogs are languishing in animal shelters every year or dying in terrifying ways when abandoned, you realize that cloning adds to the homeless-animal population crisis.”