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Weird presidential pets include alligator, tiger cub, dog named Satan



  • Many of the 45 presidents of the United States have been animal lovers, with pet choices far beyond the ordinary run of cats and dogs.
  • Some were given exotic pets by foreign dignitaries, with President John Quincy Adams keeping an alligator in a bathtub.
  • President Martin van Buren fought Congress to keep two tiger cubs. 
  • Other presidents have bought farmyard animals to live on the grounds of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: Woodrow Wilson had a flock of sheep, and JFK’s daughter had a pony. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Many of the residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have been animal lovers, with the hallowed presidential tradition of keeping a pet in the White House stretching back to its very first occupant, John Adams. 

The most popular pet by some way is a dog, owned by 30 of the 45 presidents

Some have even gone on to be famous in their own right — Barack Obama’s dog Bo was a frequent star of White House photo ops. 

But some presidents have brought somewhat more exotic pets with them to the White House, with Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge owning a large menageries during their times.  

Below, Business Insider looks at seven of the strangest.

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