Presidential pets a common White House companion

A look at candidates and their pets.

PHOENIX - Have you ever wondered what the most common trait all U.S. presidents have? A pet.

32 U.S. presidents kept dogs in the White House, some more than others. Teddy Roosevelt had ten pups through two terms in office.

You could say John F. Kennedy had his own petting zoo. There were dogs, cats, bunnies, parakeets, hamsters and a horse, of course.

A pet can do a lot for a president’s image.

“Many people feel that someone who has a pet is probably a compassionate person, a caring person. Sensitive, cares about all living things,” said Melissa Gable with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.

As the race for president gets more heated and personal attacks are lobbed back and forth, do either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump have a more compassionate, softer side?

A quick online search found Hillary Clinton currently has three dogs. During former President Bill Clinton’s time in office the first family had a dog, Buddy, and a cat, Socks.

As for Donald Trump, we could only find a few references to a yellow lab named Spinee.

Having a pet can be more beneficial than just attracting the pet lover vote. It can be healthy for the future president.

“Having a pet in the White House can be a really good idea," Gable said. We all know as pet owners, after you've had a stressful day, nothing beats sitting on the couch watching TV and having your dog or cat curl up in your lap and just snuggle with you. It really does help reduce stress and calm you down."

Added bonus: Pets will never second-guess their decisions.

There is no information on whether any of the presidential pets were ever shelter animals. Gable would love to see the next president bring one into the White House.

“They're all great dogs. I think it's important for people to realize there are so many shelter pets that would make great pets,” she said.

October is also Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Maricopa County Animals Care and Control has plenty of dogs and cats looking for a forever home. For more information, visit the shelter's website.

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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