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United States presidential pets


United States Presidents and their families have often had pets while serving their term(s) in office.

The first White House dog to receive regular newspaper coverage was Warren G. Harding's dog Laddie Boy.

Pets also featured on presidential elections. Herbert Hoover got a Belgian shepherd dog, 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 re-election 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 a televised "Checkers speech" named after his cocker spaniel; denying he had a slush fund but admitted that, "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 Nixon had been in danger of being kicked off 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”.


President Pet(s)
George Washington
John Adams
  • Juno, Mark, and Satan – Dogs
  • Cleopatra and Caesar – Horse
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
  • Polly – parrot (taught to swear)
  • Fighting cocks
  • Bolivia, Emily, Lady Nashville, Sam Patches, and Truxton – Horses
Martin Van Buren
  • Briefly owned two tiger cubs given to him by the Sultan of Oman before Congress forced him to donate the tigers to the zoo*
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
  • Seven miniature Oriental dogs
  • Two birds from Japan, which had just opened its trading posts to the United States.
James Buchanan
Abraham Lincoln
  • Nanny and Nanko – goats
  • Jack – Turkey
  • Fido – Dog
  • Jip – Dog
  • Tabby and Dixie - Cats. Lincoln once remarked that Dixie "is smarter than my whole cabinet."
  • Horse
  • Rabbit
Andrew Johnson
Ulysses S. Grant
  • Butcher Boy, Cincinnatus (a gift from the citizens of Cincinnati, Ohio), Egypt, Jeff Davis (his wartime mount), Jennie, Julia, Mary, and St. Louis – Horses.
  • Billy Button and Reb – Ponies
  • Faithful – Newfoundland
  • Rosie – Dog
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
  • Rabbit
  • Three horses
Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
Dash in front of his doghouse
  • Whiskers ("His Whiskers", or "Old Whiskers") – Goat
  • Dash – Collie
  • Mr. Reciprocity and Mr. Protection – Opossums
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
Roosevelt family with Skip
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Warren G. Harding
Laddie Boy
Calvin Coolidge
Portrait of Rob Roy and Grace Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover with King Tut
Franklin D. Roosevelt
FDR and Fala (1940)
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Kennedy family and dogs
Lyndon B. Johnson
LBJ with Him
Richard Nixon
King Timahoe, Vicki and Pasha looking out the window in the White House
Gerald Ford
Susan Ford, daughter of Gerald Ford, and the family's siamese cat, Shan, in 1974.

Ford and Liberty in the Oval Office
  • Liberty (1974–1984) – Golden Retriever
  • Lucky – Dog*
  • Misty – (Liberty's puppy born in the White House)
  • Shan – Siamese cat
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
Rex
Ronald Reagan on El Alamein
George H. W. Bush
Millie
Bill Clinton
Socks
George W. Bush
India
Barack Obama
Bo and Sunny

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