White House pets: Cats, dogs and raccoons through the years

Published

It hasn't always been dogs and cats in the White House - here are a few photos going back decades of first families with their pets.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPresident Warren G Harding and First Lady Florence Harding stand alongside their dog, called Laddie Boy, as they watch the annual Easter Monday children's egg-rolling on the White House lawn in 1922.
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionLaddie Boy enjoys a birthday cake at the White House in 1921.
image copyrightNational Photo Collection/Library of Congress
image captionFirst Lady Grace Coolidge, wife of President Calvin Coolidge, holds their pet raccoon Rebecca. It was given to the Coolidge family in 1926 by a supporter who suggested she be served up for a Thanksgiving dinner. However, the family fell in love and adopted her as a pet instead.
image copyrightNational Photo Collection/Library of Congress
image captionFirst Lady Grace Coolidge and Rebecca the raccoon make an appearance at the annual White House egg-rolling event on 18 April 1927. President Coolidge gave Rebecca an embroidered collar with the title "White House Raccoon". After the family left the White House, Rebecca was sent to a zoo to live with other raccoons.
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPresident Coolidge and the first lady also had a pet dog, seen here outside the White House in 1927.
image copyrightNational Photo Collection/Library of Congress
image captionPresident Hoover introduced another unusual pet to the White House; a wild opossum named Billy Possum. The animal was captured by White House policeman BB Snodgrass (seen above) and placed in a pen that was originally built for Rebecca.
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe Kennedy family dogs Charlie and Pushinka pose for photographers in 1961.
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPresident John F Kennedy plays with his dog Charlie in Virginia in 1962.
image copyrightJohn F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum/NARA
image captionMr Kennedy's daughter Caroline was given a pony, named Macaroni, by Lyndon B Johnson. The president, Caroline and Macaroni are seen above with John Kennedy Jr outside the Oval Office in 1962.
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPresident Lyndon Johnson holds one of his beagles, named Him, as he speaks with members of the White House press corps in 1964.
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPresident Johnson walks his dogs Him (front left) and Blanco (front right) alongside journalists in the White House grounds in 1965.
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPresident Johnson attempts to sign a bill with his pet dog Yuki on his lap in 1967. Mr Johnson's daughter, Luci, found Yuki at a petrol station in his home state of Texas on Thanksgiving Day in 1966.
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPresident Gerald R Ford plays with his new pet golden retriever, named Liberty, in the White House Executive Residence in 1975.
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPresident Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher walk Reagan's dog Lucky on the White House lawn in 1985.
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionFirst Lady Barbara Bush and her granddaughter, Marshall Lloyd Bush, look at the Bush's pet dog Millie and her litter of puppies in 1989.
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPresident Bill Clinton takes a walk with Socks the pet cat in 1993.
image copyrightGetty Images
image caption(left) President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton and their daughter Chelsea Clinton walk their dog Buddy on the White House South Law in 1998. (right) Buddy greets Mr Clinton in 1999.
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPresident Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk their dog Bo to a picnic for members of Congress on the South Lawn of the White House in 2010.
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionBo the dog waits to board Air Force One in Massachusetts in 2009.
image copyrightEPA
image captionThe first dog Major arrives at the White House, alongside fellow German Shepherd Champ, as President Biden begins his new administration in January 2021

More on this story