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U.K. Pet Owner Wins Cloned Dog in Contest

By Sid Kirchheimer    April 14, 2014 / (15) comments

Some contest winners yelp with delight for getting gift cards or small appliances. Rebecca Smith got something that’s really worth barking about: a cloned dog — the first in Britain’s history.


After winning a contest held by a South Korean tech firm that performed the test tube procedure, “Mini Winnie” was born on March 30, weighing in at just over 1 pound. The pup was cloned from Smith’s 12-year-old dachshund, Winnie.


“She is the best sausage dog in the world,” said Smith, 29, who works as a caterer in London. “The world will be a better place with more Winnies in it.”


The South Korean company, which usually charges £60,000 to clone animals — roughly $100,500 in U.S. dollars — held a contest offering the procedure at no cost in hopes it would spark more Brits to get their pets replicated. Although "Mini Winnie" is Britian's first cloned canine, the company reports that it has previously cloned some 500 dogs for pet parents around the world.


In 1996, a sheep named Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult.


Smith, who said she adopted Winnie nine years ago to help her overcome the eating disorder bulimia, was chosen as winner based on videos she submitted, according to media reports.


“Mini Winnie” was conceived after harvesting tissue from her namesake. Stored in liquid nitrogen, the tissue was transported to South Korea and placed in the eggs of a “donor” dachshund, creating a cloned embryo. That embryo was implanted into a surrogate dog and “Mini Winnie” was delivered by caesarean section.


Smith was present for the birth. "I saw it being born and it looks exactly like Winnie. It is identical. Personality-wise, I couldn’t tell you because it doesn’t see and it doesn’t hear yet. It is just a little sausage dog that wriggles around drinking milk."


Photo: Production Stills

Comments  15

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  • Could I clone my Kitty?
    04/15/2014 01:42pm

    I would have loved to have my Kitty of 23 years cloned. The vet said she never saw such a bond.

    However, I could not have a pet cloned using other animals, as Ms. Smith had to do. The embryo needed to be implanted in two dogs. And the second dog had a C-Section to deliver little "Mini Winnie." I can only imagine the circumstances under which these dogs, & others lived. They are lab animals. I imagine they were expendable & probably used over & over for cloning embryos. And then killed. These dogs suffered greatly, & most likely died, so another dog could be given life...cloned...

    And notably, this was in *[b]South Korea[/b], a country that is horrendously cruel to dogs. They eat dogs, and the suffering of the dogs before slaughter is shocking. Dogs are just "[b][i]things[/i][/b]" in S. Korea.

    So all that said, the only way I could even think of having an animal cloned, is if it was all done "artificially." Using test tubes, heated incubators to develop the embryo to fetus to baby, if this technology is even available. And there could be complications, needed to destroy the developing clone, or born baby. And what if the cloned baby animal was not satisfactory to the owner?

    Upon further thought, cloning is so "unnatural," even creepy. And not respecting the natural life cycle of birth & death. No, I could not clone my Kitty.

    And I wonder how Ms. Smith felt for the two dogs who suffered & most likely died so "Mini Minnie" could could be replicated?

    We love our pets dearly & no other can take the pet's place. Of course not. But there is always another& another waiting animal at shelters, just yearning to be held & loved, in open-hearted, loving human's arms.

    Thank you.

  • 04/15/2014 07:58pm

    I completely agree. Although I have always wished I could bring back my malamute, learning about what the surrogate and the egg donor dogs go through (I was thinking the same thing, how poorly they are likely treated) has changed my mind.

    I was also thinking that a problem for a lot of dogs is being taken away from their litter too young. If a cloned dog is born this way, all alone, she won't have any litter mates and it doesn't sound she will even have a mother for eight weeks. They whole thing sounds very cruel all around.

    I will continue to adopt dogs who need homes, and hope that dogs reincarnate and I see my Shadow again one day that way (although I realize that sounds a bit crazy).

  • 04/19/2014 07:01am

    Love your comment!!! TOTALLY agree with you!! I love EVERY ANIMAL on this planet! However, my dog and cat completely have my heart!! I ONLY adopt or save a stray!! As much as I would LOVE to have another Macy and Kitty, I would rather fall in love with another precious soul from a shelter or the streets!!

  • Willing to torture & kill
    04/15/2014 02:51pm

    Shame on PetMD! This is the most horrible thing ever for the poor dogs that the South Koreans are using to be the surrogate mothers for the cloned dogs. I cannot imagine any human being so cruel and selfish as to use a dog kept as a lab animal to create their own little clone. And I don't believe it is good for sites like PetMD to be publishing glowing articles about how excited someone was to to get a free cloned dog!! That is very unethical for a site which supposedly advocates ethical treatment of animals.
    Most kill shelters in the US aren't even allowed to sell to experimental labs and yet the dogs used as clone surrogates are lab animals in a country with disgustingly horrendous records of treatment of animals.
    And then there is the issue of how many perfectly wonderful, precious animals could be saved with the $100,000 spent on cloning an animal. Any animal who is cloned should have a sign reading "my selfish guardian was willing to kill and torture another animal to get me!"

  • More dogs=more $ 4 PETMD?
    04/15/2014 05:20pm

    Nice PetMd.

    Have any other stories about animals being kept in labs? Used for research?

    How many dogs do they go through each year as they have "perfected" cloning techniques?

    I look forward to your "Hurray for Puppy Mills" article, next.

    04/15/2014 06:24pm


  • 04/15/2014 08:05pm

    There are vile, loathsome people here in North America who would do the same thing if they were allowed. I'm a student and I'm appalled by the studies I read about that they run on nonhuman primates (monkeys). My textbooks make me wonder what horror some human has dreamed up for the next monkey, just to learn about what one particular neuron does.

    Before we blame the South Koreans, we have to remember that they wouldn't do it if people didn't want it, and hopefully educate people. That's one good thing about this article - I had no idea how awful cloning was and used to think I would love to have had my dog cloned. Not anymore! I didn't even think about potential suffering of other animals just for my own selfishness.

  • 04/27/2014 03:27pm

    This comment has been flagged as inappropriate.

  • Cloning is nice in theory
    04/15/2014 08:31pm

    Even if all the other factors did not exist and I could clone my beloved pet easily and safely, you have no guarantees the pet would have the same personality as the pet you had. While they would look like your pet, and have some of the same personality, there are still environmental factors, just like humans that make our pets unique. So while my beloved Max was the best pet I ever have had, I would not clone him. I can just love his memory and the times we had. I can make room in my life for new pet friends and hope our bond is just as special.

  • Sad
    04/15/2014 10:12pm

    It is so sad that other dogs died just so this lady could get a puppy. Just adopt a new puppy, instead of making other dogs (including your dog) suffer! This whole cloning things is getting out of hand. We don't need any more dogs or animals when so many of them don't even have homes! Just stop cloning, we get it, it's possible, but seriously? This is cruel to animals. Stop.
    At first I thought it was cool to clone things. I wanted to clone humans and animals so bad but after reading this article it just seems plain wrong. There are so many dogs and pets that go to the pound why not give them another chance. The world doesn't need any more animals people are just going to give them to the pound because they aren't cute anymore. In conclusion it's plain wrong I can not believe people mess with that stuff so cruel!!!!

  • Anyone here from S. Korea
    04/16/2014 12:35am

    I think some of you posters are absolutely racist. I am apalled at your jugdmental comments though you don't even know specific details of the process. Just because you have heard of a couple of stories about Asians eatting dogs, you just assume that it is a country wide activity. Not so. However, if your family is starving, I guess that would be o.k. just so the dog doesn't get killed! It is no wonder people from other countries read our news and consider us barbarians.

  • 04/16/2014 04:02am


  • 04/19/2014 07:08am

    I have and will ALWAYS love all animals and wish that everybody would think more like you, me and the majority of people who have posted comments here! Animals are defenseless and humans are not!! Adults that is!

  • 04/27/2014 03:32pm

    This comment has been flagged as inappropriate.