Richard Remde and Laura Jacques are celebrating the arrival of their new puppy pets, Shadow and Chance- but this is no ordinary tale of dog meets world.
Shadow and Chance were created after Remded and Jacques previous dog, a boxer named Dylan, passed away after having a seizure.
Jacques told ITV “I started thinking ‘what am I going to do?’ and I looked into getting him stuffed, which sounds awful but I didn’t want to part with him.
“I couldn’t bear the thought of never being able to see him again and I searched dog cloning and I sent Richard a message saying ‘we can get him stuffed for two grand or cloned for sixty grand.’”
In fact, the cloning cost £67,000. So where did it take place? Well, South Korea is garnering a reputation for more than just k-pop and kimchi, they’re now making leaps and bounds into cloning, having recently attempted cloning a woolly mammoth to boot.
The couple sent some of Dylan’s cells to the South Korean Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul, where his DNA was extracted.
However, the scientists crushingly revealed the DNA had been contaminated and so requested another sample. Rather than go barking mad, the couple made the cool decision to unthaw Dylan from his freezer.
Jacques said “it took ages to thaw him out. He wasn’t even fully thawed out when I took the second lot of cells. I was still in shock at that point, I was still in total shock. I just focused on what I had to do.”
The new cell’s DNA was extracted and implanted into a blank egg, which was given electric shocks to stimulate cell division. The egg was then implanted into a surrogate dog who gave birth to two puppies, identical to one another and identical to Boxer, right down to the very genes.
The achievements of the scheme has made history as it is one of the world’s first successful cloning procedures.
The couple made multiple visits to South Korea during the various stages of the process and also went to see the pups being born.
However, bringing them homeward bound was another matter. Due to strict animal border rules, the pups had to be held in a sixth month quarantine before being admitted to the UK.
After completing their quarantine in South Korea, the pups were then flown to Britain where they’ve been living with the canine-crazy cloning couple in their home in West Yorkshire.