These 2020 candidates want to put a dog back in the White House

Donald Trump may have broken with the presidential pet tradition, but several of his 2020 contenders have fluffy sidekicks.

By Michelle Lou

Published May 7, 2019


Throughout the years, presidential pets have become celebrities of sorts.

President Franklin Roosevelt's pup, Fala, often received letters from people nationwide.

White House Historical Association

President Warren Harding's Airedale terrior had his own chair in the Roosevelt Room for Cabinet meetings.

Herbert E. French/White House Historical Association

Donald Trump is the first U.S. president in a while without a pet running around the White House. But several of his 2020 presidential contenders are proud owners of adorable, four-legged creatures.

Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been around German shepherds since he was a kid. Now, he owns two: an older one named Champ and another named Major, which he adopted in 2018.

Delaware Humane Association

Champ would sometimes go with Biden to his office in Washington, DC, so he’s already familiar with the capital.

Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren received the best present from her husband last year: a fluffy golden retriever named Bailey, after the main character in the film “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

The 1-year-old dog has campaigned with Warren and is often featured on the senator's social media.

Getty Images

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke may not have the most political experience, but he does have the most pets of all the presidential candidates.

Associated Press

O’Rourke has two black Labrador retrievers named Artemis and Rosie.

Artemis achieved fame after the dog appeared throughout a Vanity Fair photoshoot with O’Rourke.

Beto O'Rourke

The O’Rourkes adopted a cat named Silver.

Beto O'Rourke/Facebook

They also have a turtle named Gus, who went missing for a week -- only to be found hiding in a closet. The family owns a snake and gerbil, as well.

Beto O'Rourke/Facebook

Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg owns two rescue dogs: one Labrador beagle mix named Truman and a one-eyed puggle named Buddy.


Truman is named after the former 33rd President Harry Truman, who said, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."

From Pete Buttigieg/Twitter

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand got a brand new Labradoodle puppy in 2017.

AFP/Getty Images

Gillibrand's dog looks as sweet as her name, Maple.

Kirsten Gillibrand/Instagram

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper often brought his dog Skye into the office.

Getty Images

Skye, an Akita-bulldog-chow chow mix, is a rescue dog.

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan's family went to pick out one puppy from the shelter. But they ended up bringing home two.

Bloomberg via Getty Images

We can see why they couldn't choose just one. This sleepy fella is Bear.

Tim Ryan/Twitter

This one is Buckeye. The littermates' mom was a Labrador and the father was either a Husky or a German Shepherd.

Tim Ryan/Twitter

The Oval Office remains pet-less for now. But if former First Lady Grace Coolidge's pet raccoon made it, there's hope for all.

National Photo Company/White House Historical Association