Iconic singer, actress, director and dog lover Barbra Streisand recently revealed to Variety that she had two clones made of Samantha, her deceased Coton du Tulears pup. The two “refurbished” dogs, which she calls Miss Scarlett and Miss Violet, join a third dog named Miss Fanny who is a distant cousin of her original dog.
Samantha died in 2017 at 14 years old, but before she crossed the rainbow bridge, the star had cells taken from the pooch’s mouth and stomach in order to preserve the pup’s physical legacy. While Streisand, 75, may have the prerogative — and the money, cloning can cost upwards of $50,000 — to double down (twice) on her beloved dog, many animal lovers are not fans of the futuristic procedure.
One of the loudest anti-cloning voices comes from animal advocacy group PETA. Perhaps unsurprisingly, PETA’s president Ingrid Newkirk issued a statement to Page Six on Tuesday on the matter.
“We all want our beloved dogs to live forever, but while it may sound like a good idea, cloning doesn’t achieve that,” said Newkirk. “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. We feel Barbra’s grief at losing her beloved dog but would also love to have talked her out of cloning.”
The article also notes that besides Streisand, other luminaries like media billionaire Barry Diller and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg have cloned pets.