Woman Wins Contest to Get Her Dog Cloned (Video)
Earlier this year, Rebecca Smith won a UK contest to get her 12-year-old dachshund "Winnie" cloned for free.
Winnie's clone, “mini Winnie,” was created in a laboratory by Sooam Biotech in Seoul, South Korea on March 30.
Sooam Biotech is hoping the publicity from this unusual contest will lead to UK pet owners paying £60,000 ($100,000) to get their animals cloned.
Smith and her dogs will appear on Britain's Channel 4 in a TV special tonight (video below) entitled "The £60,000 Puppy: Cloning Man's Best Friend."
According to The Guardian, Smith told Channel 4 that Winnie helped her to overcome an eating disorder when she was 18.
“We Brits do have a close attachment to our dogs, so it is exciting," Smith told the Mirror Online. "My sausage dog is very special, but she is 12 and not going to be around forever. My boyfriend always joked, ‘We need to get her cloned.’"
"Then I read an article about it and there was a competition to get your pet cloned," added Smith. "We sent in some videos and it just sort of snowballed from there.”
After Winnie won the unusual contest, a sample of her skin cells were transported to Seoul where the cells were put into eggs from a dog of the same breed.
A cloned embryo of Winnie was created and placed into a surrogate dog mom.
“I saw it being born and it looks exactly like Winnie," stated Smith. "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."
However, a spokesperson for PETA countered, “Cloned animals will develop different personalities. We cannot resurrect animals, but we can give living animals in desperate need a chance at a happy life. Every year, millions of homeless animals are euthanized.”