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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, March 03, 2018 1:00 am

Cloned pets: the way they were

You can clone your favorite dog or cat. Who knew?

Barbra Streisand knew. In an interview that appeared in Variety last week, she confirmed that two of her dogs, named Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett, are clones. The dogs are a breed called “coton de Tulears.” And since we had to look that up, we can tell you that's French for “cotton of Tulears.” Cute little lapdogs with cottony fur, they are said to have sprung from a line of cuddly canines who survived a shipwreck off the coast of Madagascar, an island nation off the coast of East Africa. Tulear is the former name of Toliara, Madagascar.

But we digress. Streisand's 14-year-old coton, Samantha, died last year, and Violet and Scarlett were cloned from her cells, according to the New York Times.

It turns out there's a company in Texas that offers pet-cloning on the internet. Check it out at viagenpets.com.

Predictably, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has already registered its objections. A statement released by PETA President Ingrid Newkirk began, “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.''

Another consideration might be the price. The company charges $25,000 to clone your cat, $50,000 to clone your dog or $1,600 to preserve your pet's genetic code for possible future use.

Finally, it's clear why Streisand has charged as much as $1,500 for tickets to her concerts.