Barbra Streisand has two clones of her late dog Samantha, but even non-famous pet owners can get their beloved companions cloned — for a price.
History, Cost Of Cloning Pets
Cloning animals have been around for a few decades. In 1996, Dolly the Sheep was famously born, spurring researchers to attempt cloning dozens of other mammal species such as cattle, horses, rats, rabbits, cats, and dogs.
South Korea played a central role in developing the technology, successfully cloning a dog for the first time in 2005. It took over 1,000 eggs and nearly three years to pull off the feat. By 2015, NPR reported that one particular laboratory in South Korea, Sooam Biotech, has been able to clone over 600 dogs by itself.
ViaGen Pets was the first lab to successfully clone a dog in the United States, according to People. The Texas-based laboratory produced a dog named Nubia, a Jack Russell Terrier. Since then, ViaGen has reportedly cloned around 600 dogs.
Pet owners who want their beloved companions cloned will be set back thousands of dollars, though. South Korea's Sooam Biotech charges $100,000 for an attempt at cloning, while going to ViaGen in Texas will cost $50,000 for cloning and $1,600 for the preservation of a pet's genes.
The cloning process lasts about two months, the length of a dog's pregnancy.
"A cloned dog is simply a genetic twin of your dog, born at a later date," the ViaGen website states. "The cloned twin will share many of the key attributes of your current dog, often including intelligence, temperament and appearance."
The cloned dog is expected to live a full lifespan with no additional health concerns beyond a regular dog's.
Barbra On Her Cloned Pets
For Streisand, the cloning of her beloved pet worked out perfectly.
It was in an interview with Variety that Streisand mentioned cloning her 14-year-old Coton de Tulear, Samantha, who died in May of last year. Her two cloned pups, Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett, live with her, her husband, James Brolin, and another pooch named Miss Fanny.
While her two cloned dogs may share identical genes, the multi-awarded actress reveals that she noticed that they have different personalities.
"I'm waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have her [Samantha's] brown eyes and her seriousness," Streisand says.
A post shared by Barbra Streisand (@barbrastreisand) on Jan 1, 2018 at 6:34pm PST