Presidential PetsPublished November 5, 2008
In his Chicago acceptance speech, President Elect Barack Obama confirmed that a pet for his daughter is a top priority on his White House ‘Things to do’ list. First Lady Michele Obama has also expressed a desire to adopt from a shelter. But should we assume they are talking about a dog or a cat? There have been some pretty unusual pets in residence at Pennsylvania Avenue over the years: John Quincy Adams kept a pet alligator. Abe Lincoln is known for his menagerie of family pets and doted on Jack the turkey. Theodore Roosevelt and his family were true animal enthusiasts with horses, dogs, snakes, a cat, guinea pigs and a pack of exotic animals including a lion, hyena, wildcat, coyote, five bears, two parrots, a zebra, a barn owl, lizards, rats, roosters and a raccoon. One pet pony even rode the White House elevator to visit his son Archie when he was sick with the measles. Calvin Coolidge oversaw a miniature zoo at the White House, including Rebecca the raccoon and a donkey named Ebenezer. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Scottish terrier Fala, is rumored to have received more mail than most presidents. John F. Kennedy had multiple pets, the most famous being Macaroni, Caroline Kennedy's pony. Bill Clinton’s popular cat Socks and his chocolate lab Buddy were known to have had their share of rumbles in the White House. …and George W. Bush’s dog, Spot had the honor of being born in the White House.
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