Not everyone was happy to hear Barbra Streisand couldn’t give up on her beloved pooch.
The 75-year-old singer/actress recently told Variety her two Coton de Tulear dogs are actually clones of a canine she used to have that died last year. However, the news immediately came with major backlash.
PETA president Ingrid Newkirk told Page Six Tuesday she hopes other pet owners won’t follow in the star’s footsteps. Instead, Newkirk insisted people should consider adopting animals in dire need of loving homes.
“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,” she explained. “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.”
Many chimed in on Twitter, mocking Streisand’s controversial choice, leading to hashtag #adoptdontclone.
The New York Times noted cloning is significantly more expensive than heading to a shelter. While one doesn’t need to be a celebrity to have the procedure done, it can cost up to a whopping $50,000. It also noted that cloned animals aren’t exact replicas of the original dogs.
And Sooam Biotech, a lab in South Korea which has cloned more than 600 dogs, revealed the cloning process works only about 33 to 40 percent of the time, resulting in a strong potential for miscarriages.
Streisand herself said her dogs, Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett, aren’t completely similar to her former pooch Samantha.
“They have different personalities,” she explained. “I’m waiting for them to get older so I can see if they have her [Samantha’s] brown eyes and seriousness.”
Before Samantha died, Streisand had cells taken from the dog’s mouth and stomach for replicating purposes.
She also has a third dog, Miss Fanny, who is a distant cousin of Samantha.
Streisand isn't the only celebrity who has considered cloning. Back in 2016, Page Six reported fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and media tycoon Barry Diller cloned his Jack Russell terrier named Shannon into two dogs.