United States presidential pets
History of White House dogs
Pets also featured on presidential elections. Herbert Hoover got a "Belgian Police Dog" (Belgian Malinois), King Tut, during his campaign and pictures of him with his new dog were sent all across the United States.
In 1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt was running for his fourth term when rumors surfaced that his Scottish Terrier, Fala, had accidentally been left behind when visiting the Aleutian Islands. After allegedly sending back ships to rescue his dog, Roosevelt was ridiculed and accused of spending thousands of taxpayers' dollars to retrieve his dog. At a speech following this Roosevelt said, "you can criticize me, my wife and my family, but you can't criticize my little dog. He's Scotch and all these allegations about spending all this money have just made his little soul furious." What was later called the "Fala speech" reportedly helped secure reelection for Roosevelt.
Richard Nixon was accused of hiding a secret slush fund during his candidacy for vice president under Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952. He gave the televised "Checkers speech" named after his cocker spaniel, denying he had a slush fund but admitting, "there is one thing that I did get as a gift that I'm not going to give back." The gift was a black-and-white cocker spaniel, Checkers, given to his daughters. Although there had been talk of Nixon being dropped from the ticket, following his speech he received an increase in support and Mamie Eisenhower reportedly recommended he stay because he was "such a warm person."
Animal lovers were upset when President Lyndon B. Johnson was photographed picking his two beagles, named Him and Her, up by their ears. Others did not understand the uproar; former president Harry S. Truman said, "What the hell are the critics complaining about; that's how you handle hounds."
List of presidential pets
In addition to traditional pets, this list includes some animals normally considered livestock or working animals that have a close association with presidents or their families. Presidents have often been given exotic animals from foreign dignitaries; occasionally these are kept, but often they are promptly donated to a zoo.
|John Quincy Adams||
|Martin Van Buren|
|William Henry Harrison|
|James K. Polk||
|Ulysses S. Grant||
|Rutherford B. Hayes||
|James A. Garfield|
|Chester A. Arthur|
|William Howard Taft|
|Warren G. Harding|
|Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Harry S. Truman|
|Dwight D. Eisenhower|
|John F. Kennedy|
|Lyndon B. Johnson|
|George H. W. Bush|
|George W. Bush|
- Number unknown
- Breed unknown
- Species unknown
- Name unknown
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- Canadian Parliamentary Cats
- Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, United Kingdom
- Hermitage cats in Saint Petersburg, Russia
- Pets of Vladimir Putin
- Sully, retired President H.W. Bush's service dog during his final months of life
- Tibs the Great
- Cats of the President of Taiwan
- Category: Pets of the British Royal Family
- Washington was an avid dog breeder; he called the breed that he was developing "Virginia Hounds"; which eventually became American Foxhounds
- Some sources reference the name "Polly"
- The East Room was still under repair following the 1814 burning of the White House by the British, and was primarily used for storage. During the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette to the United States, Lafayette acquired several tons of gifts (including the alligator) that was stored there. much to the consternation of visitors. Possibly sent to France aboard the USS Brandywine
- See: Conveying Marquis de Lafayette to France
- Number uncertain, perhaps received as many as seven. "Pierce was thought to have kept one dog, and he gave the other to his Secretary of War, Jefferson Davis. Davis was particularly pleased with the dog and was known to have carried it with him in his pocket."
- Illustration from St. Nicholas (1908); original caption: "With an amused bow, the President escorted the Ambassadress around 'Slippers' and kept on his way toward the East Room."
- Checkers died in 1964, before Nixon became president, but had played a major role in his electoral career
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- Famous and Forgotten, Toledo’s Laddie Boy, The First Presidential Pet Archived August 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
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- "1944 Radio News, 1944-09-23 FDR Teamsters Union Address – Fala (27:45–30:08)". Internet Archive. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
- "Fala, the dog who helped win a presidential election". National Constitution Center. September 23, 2017. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
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- Pamela Redmond Satran (November 5, 2012). "Do You Have a Dog in This Election? Pets Are Presidential". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
- "Soldier, Statesman, Dog-Lover: George Washington's Pups". George Washington's Mount Vernon.
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- "Apollo, Zachary Taylor's Pony". Presidential Pet Museum. January 6, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Kate Kelly (August 5, 2015). "Teacup Dogs Owned by President Franklin Pierce". America Comes Alive. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
- King, Gilbert. "The History of Pardoning Turkeys Began With Tad Lincoln". Smithsonian. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- Ackermann, Ann Marie (July 11, 2017). "Lincoln's dog Fido: A Faithful Pet Assassinated Like His Master". www.annmarieackermann.com. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
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- "Where Does the Dog Name Fido Come From?". American Kennel Club. January 1, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- Abraham Lincoln’s Cats
- Bushong, William. "Presidents as Horsemen". The White House Historical Association. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
- "Ulysses S. Grant and His Horses During and After the Civil War". The Ulysses S. Grant Information Center. College of St. Scholastica. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- Sickles letter about Siamese cat. Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center.
- Kate Kelly (July 13, 2016). "Grover Cleveland's Dogs and Other Pets". America Comes Alive. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
- "Pets in the White House". White House for Kids. nara.gov. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
- Kelly, Kate (August 25, 2013). "The Pets in the Benjamin Harrison White House". America Comes Alive. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- Best, Jama A. "Opossums and the Presidency: A Tail of Intrigue and The White House" (PDF). UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture. University of Arkansas. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- Cox, Ana Marie (August 20, 2013). "Top 10 presidential pets in US history". the Guardian. Opinion. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- "1896: The Republican Platform". projects.vassar.edu. Vassar College. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- San Francisco Chronicle. "Russell Harrison’s Alligator Didn't Influence His Friends' Luck." 9 May 1890. Via: "FACT CHECK: Were Alligators Ever Kept as White House Pets?". Snopes.com. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Riis, Jacob A. ""Slippers," The White House Cat" (pdf). archive.org. Vol. XXXV; January, 1908; No. 3: St. Nicholas. p. 203.
- "The Roosevelt Pets". National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
(Reprinted from the National Archives and Records Administration)
- McClintock, J. N. (1904). New England Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly, Volume 29. Boston: America Company. p. 601.
- Roosevelt, Theodore (June 21, 1904). "53. Bill the Lizard". www.bartleby.com. Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- Roosevelt, Theodore (May 10, 1903). "20. More Treasures". www.bartleby.com. Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to His Children. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- "Why did Alice Roosevelt own a pet snake named Emily Spinach?". www.childrensmuseum.org. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- Roosevelt, Theodore (1919). Bishop, Joseph B. (ed.). Letters to his children. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 19. ISBN 9781623769864. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
- Thompson, Madeleine (September 15, 2015). "A Small Bear Named Jonathan Edwards". WCS Archives Blog. Wildlife Conservation Society. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
- Tanner, Beccy (September 10, 2012). "Pet Kansas badger once roamed White House". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
- Roosevelt, Theodore (May 28, 1904). "49. Peter Rabbit's Funeral". www.bartleby.com. Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to His Children.
- "Presidential Pets". CBS News. CBS Interactive Inc. October 4, 2016. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
- "Roughing It, Part 7". www.gutenberg.org. Retrieved May 7, 2018.
- "America's First Presidential Hyena". Ethiopianism-Ethiopiawinet Online Revival. November 14, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
- "William Taft's Caruso". Presidential Pet Museum. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
- Kelly, Kate (August 15, 2012). "The Pets of Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)". America Comes Alive. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- "Why did President Woodrow Wilson keep a flock of sheep on the White House lawn?". White House Historical Association. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
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- Betsy (July 1, 2013). "Pay a Call on Petey the Canary at Warren G. Harding's Marion Home".
- Pietrusza, David. ""Wombats and Such": Calvin and Grace Coolidge and Their Pets". www.davidpietrusza.com. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- Houghton, Leah. "The Coolidge Pets". coolidgefoundation.org. Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- Patterson, Michael Robert. "Edmund William Starling, Sergeant, United States Army". www.arlingtoncemetery.net. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
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- Costello, Matthew (June 8, 2018). "Raccoons at the White House". The White House Historical Association. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- Roby, Marguerite (September 25, 2012). "Goody Goody Gumdrops". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Theis, Michael (May 16, 2013). "Hoover's Opossum Brings Luck to Hyattsville Baseball Team". Hyattsville, MD Patch. Patch Media. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- "HOOVER POSSUM PROMISED LADS". The Spokesman-Review. Spokane Wash. AP. July 16, 1929. p. 9. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- Sandra Choron, Planet Dog: A Doglopedia, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005, ISBN 0-618-51752-9. pp 21.
- Amy Ruth, Herbert Hoover, Twenty-First Century Books, 2004, ISBN 0-8225-0821-4. pp 64.
- Wayne Bryant Eldridge, Tom Kerr The Best Pet Name Book Ever!, Barron's Educational Series, 2003, ISBN 0-7641-2499-4. pp 29.
- "FDR's German Shepherd, Major". Presidential Pet Museum. March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2019.
- "President Truman's Dog, Feller". Highland-ohio.com. January 12, 1948. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
- "Prezs' best friend: Dogs, cats and a raccoon among presidential pets over the years". NBC News. Retrieved January 26, 2018. (slide 11/26)
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- "Pets – John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum". Jfklibrary.org. December 3, 1961. Archived from the original on August 22, 2006. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
- "Caroline Kennedy's Pet Ducks". White House Historical Society. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- "White House Christmas Cards & Messages from John F. Kennedy". Retrieved December 22, 2018.
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- Robert Knudsen. "KN-C30039. Kennedy Family with Pony, Leprechaun". White House Photographs. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Morrow, Laurie Bogart, The Giant Book of Dog Names, p. 414
- JFK’s German shepherd, Clipper
- Smith, 293, 489.
- Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum President Johnson's Dogs Archived July 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Bryant, Traphes, with Frances Spatz Leighton, Dog Days at the White House: The Outrageous Memoirs of the Presidential Kennel Keeper, New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1975. ISBN 0-671-80533-9
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- "Lyndon B. Johnson's Pet Info". Exoticdogs.com. Retrieved June 16, 2011.
- "Richard M. Nixon". June 5, 2004. Archived from the original on June 5, 2004.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
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- Ford Presidential Library and Museum, Ford Family White House and Pets
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- Stanley Coren, Why We Love the Dogs We Do: How to Find the Dog That Matches Your Personality, Simon and Schuster, 2000, ISBN 0-684-85502-X. pp. 5.
- Coren, Why Does my Dog..., 7.
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