Losing a pet is one of the most difficult things a person will ever go through. Knowing that your beloved pet can never truly be replaced is a devastating lesson in heartbreak.
For award-winning actress and singer Barbra Streisand, however, the grief of losing her late dog, Samantha, took on an entirely different form. In a recent interview with Variety, Streisand reveals that she took cells from Samantha's mouth and stomach before her death in 2017 at the age of 14 in order to have the Coton du Tulear cloned.
Since then, Samantha has been cloned into two of Streisand's three current dogs: Miss Scarlett and Miss Violet.
"They have different personalities,” Streisand told the magazine, adding, "I’m waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have [Samantha’s] brown eyes and seriousness."
Pet cloning, which can cost upwards of $50,000, is a procedure in which an animal's cells are preserved and put into an egg of a surrogate mother.
According to ViaGen Pets, who claim to be “America’s pet cloning and genetic preservation experts,” the genetic identity of cloned dogs is identical to the original dogs, and these dogs can live full, healthy and happy lives.
Streisand’s decision to clone her dog into two new dogs has captured the attention and fascination of many, but not everyone is thrilled with her choice. In a statement released to petMD, PETA’s president Ingrid Newkirk says that while the organization understands the star’s grief, she wishes it could have talked her out of cloning Samantha.
“We all want our beloved dogs to live forever, but while it may sound like a good idea, cloning doesn't achieve that—instead, it creates a new and different dog who has only the physical characteristics of the original,” Newkirk says. "Animals' personalities, quirks, and very 'essence' simply cannot be replicated."
Image via @barbrastreisand