A couple from the UK have paid a South Korean lab to clone their dog, ending up with two duplicates of the deceased canine. Richard Remde and Laura Jacques of West Yorkshire paid South Korean firm Sooam Biotech Research Foundation £67,000 to clone their boxer Dylan, who died of a brain tumour at the age of eight, according to The Guardian.
After the couple provided DNA samples of Dylan to Sooam back in July, two clones of the dog were born to surrogate mothers just after Christmas, subsequently named Shadow and Chance by Remde and Jacques. The puppies have made history, being cloned two weeks after Dylan had died; previously, the record for cloning a dog was five days following death.
“The whole thing just feels surreal,” Jacques said. “I lost all sense of time. I have no idea how long everything took, the whole thing made me feel very disoriented. I was just clinging on to Richard for about an hour and a half after Chance was born.”
“After they got him out I still couldn’t quite believe it had happened. But once he started making noises I knew it was real. Even as a puppy of just a few minutes old I can’t believe how much he looks like Dylan. All the colourings and patterns on his body are in exactly the same places as Dylan had them,” she added. “I had had Dylan since he was a puppy. I mothered him so much, he was my baby, my child, my entire world.”
Sooam are considered experts at canine DNA cloning, having used its duplication methods – implanting DNA into dog ova from which the nucleus of the cell has been removed – to create over 700 dogs. While animal cloning is banned in Europe, the practice is permitted in South Korea.