A British couple who paid more than $137,000 to clone their dead dog have just celebrated the birth of two puppies born using Dylan the boxer's DNA, the Guardian reports.
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The two puppies, Chance and Shadow, were born on Dec. 26 and Dec. 28 in Seoul, South Korea, with the help of Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, a controversial organization that claims to have cloned the world's first dog in 2007, according to its website. The two pups were born to separate surrogate mothers, the newspaper reported.
The couple contacted Sooam after Dylan died of a brain tumour in June, because they had read about it after a British woman won a contest to have her dog cloned by the organization. The Yorkshire couple told the Guardian that they understood people might not agree with their decision, but Laura Jacques said that she was not ready to let go of the dog that had been with her for eight years.
"I had had Dylan since he was a puppy," she told the U.K. newspaper. "I mothered him so much, he was my baby, my child, my entire world."
Sooam Biotech Research Foundation offers instructions on what to do after a beloved pet has died in order to successfully extract live cells to be used for cloning. Owners need to wrap a dog in towels and store it in the fridge rather than the freezer, the instructions say.
Typically, the cells need to be taken from a pet within five days of its death, according to information from Sooam's website.
It took so many humans to help little Chance into the world 😍😍 pic.twitter.com/hPzdHrxPXZ— @WeLovedDylan
The birth of Dylan's clones is the first time the company has been able to clone pups from DNA extracted 12 days after its parent's death, a representative from Sooam told the Guardian.
"Hopefully it will allow us to extend the time after death that we can take cells for cloning," David Kim said.
The puppies need to stay in quarantine for several months. They will be able to go home with Jacques and her partner, Richard Remde, in about six months, the Guardian reports.
Jacques and Remde could not be reached by CBC News Tuesday.
Hi, I'm Dylan Dog. I'm in Doggie Heaven now just waiting for my little clone babies to be born. ♥ Merry Christmas ♥ pic.twitter.com/001KLFlVkT— @WeLovedDylan