Barbra Streisand couldn’t stand to lose her favourite dog, so she had it cloned.
In Variety‘s new cover story, the legendary singer and actress revealed that before her dog Samantha Samantha died last year, she had taken cells from her mouth and stomach.
Streisand then used those cells to create two clones of the 14-year-old Coton du Tulear, Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett.
PETA released a statement concerning the cloning, People reported.
“We all want our beloved dogs to live forever, but while it may sound like a good idea, cloning doesn’t achieve that,” PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said. “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.
“And because cloning has a high failure rate, many dogs are caged and tormented for every birth that actually occurs — so that’s not fair to them, despite the best intentions,” Newkirk added. “We feel Barbra’s grief at losing her beloved dog but would also love to have talked her out of cloning.”
Streisand spoke to Variety about how the cloned dogs compare to their mother. “They have different personalities,” she said. “I’m waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have her [Samantha’s] brown eyes and seriousness.”
Streisand also has a third dog, Miss Fanny, who is not a clone, but is one of Samantha’s cousins, bought from the same breeder.
After facing backlash online, Streisand defended her decision in an open letter shared to The New York Times, where she explained, “I was so devastated by the loss of my dear Samantha, after 14 years together, that I just wanted to keep her with me in some way.”
She added, “It was easier to let Sammie go if I knew I could keep some part of her alive, something that came from her DNA.”
However, upon learning that Streisand had cloned her late dog, Twitter users freaked out about the idea.