Barbara Streisand clones beloved dog
NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - Barbara Streisand had such fond memories of her 14 year-old Coton de Tulear "Samantha," she had her cloned, twice.
The star told Variety magazine she had cells taken from the mouth and stomach of Samantha, who died last year.
After the clones arrived, Streisand named them Miss Scarlett and Miss Violet. They joined a third Coton named Miss Fanny, who is a distant cousin of Samantha's.
While Streisand didn't say where the cloning was done, there are several companies who clone dogs in South Korea, and at least one in the United States.
Apparently, some New Yorkers have cloned their pets too.
"It definitely occurs," said Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, a veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center. "I have seen patients at the Animal Medical Center who are clones of another animal in the family."
Dr. Hohenhaus says she's also collected cell samples from several four-legged patients and sent those on to cloning facilities at the dog owners' requests.
"Although you can get a dog that looks a lot like the previous dog, you may not get a dog with the same personality because personality is more nurture maybe than nature," Dr. Hohenhaus said.
Streisand told Variety of her clones: "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 seriousness."
New Yorkers we spoke to said no thank you to cloning their beloved pets, and many said Streisand would have been better off adopting a shelter dog.
While cloning a dog isn't impossible, it is expensive. The few companies who do it say on their websites it costs at least $50,000 dollars.