Weird and Wacky Presidential Pets


With Election Day just around the corner, we started wondering what kind of pets have lived in the White House. It turns out, some pretty weird and wacky animals have called the White House home.

  • John Quincy Adams—the sixth president—received an alligator as a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette. The alligator lived in a bathtub in the East Room.

  • The King of Siam gifted James Buchanan a herd of elephants.

  • To save money during World War I, Woodrow Wilson kept a herd of sheep for lawn maintenance.

  • Calvin Coolidge had a pygmy hippo named Billie plus enough other animals to make a small zoo. The collection of animals included dogs, birds, raccoons, a bobcat, and a wallaby.

  • Theodore Roosevelt had a pony named Algonquin that rode in the White House elevator.

Having a dog as a pet seems plain old boring compared to those strange pets. Plenty of dogs have had the run of the White House over the years.

  • George Washington had a menagerie of dogs as his “best friends,” including Sweet Lips, Scentwell and Vulcan—all American Staghounds—and Drunkard, Taster, Tipler, and Tipsy, which were Black and Tan Coonhounds.

  • Abraham Lincoln had Fido to keep him company.

  • Ronald Reagan had six different dogs, including a Siberian husky, an Irish Setter, a golden retriever, and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, during his two terms in the White House.

  • And of course, President Obama has two family dogs, Bo and Sunny, who are both Portuguese Water Dogs.

Hillary Clinton has a Toy Poodle named Tally. (It is unclear if Donald Trump has a pet.) Stay tuned in November to find out if Tally gets to move in to the White House!


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