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Fala Donates Toys to the War Effort (1942)

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum/NARA

From the earliest days of the White House, a variety of animals have been kept as pets. Most of these animals were not different from those generally found in American households, although a few White House families have kept unusual pets. White House pets have provided companionship to presidents and their families, and they also sometimes have played important roles in humanizing the president's political image and promoting important issues in the United States.