Theodore Roosevelt and family had many pets during their time in the White House – in fact, they hold the record for having most Presidential pets of all time. This family wasn’t afraid to take care of animals of all kinds, and so their menagerie included dogs and cats, but also chickens, a pig, horses, a badger, and more.
Some say that the Roosevelts also had a pet raccoon. If so, he wouldn’t be the only President to do so – Calvin Coolidge and his wife Grace had 2 raccoons as Presidential pets. However, nothing can be found on the Roosevelts having owned a raccoon. One story actually has Roosevelt regretfully shooting a raccoon who wandered too close the chicken coops.
Roosevelt wrote to his sister in 1898, stating that he “could not guarantee to take on a coon from here, and I believe there must be coons in the animal shops in New York.” Likely Roosevelt resisted having a coon for a pet because the Roosevelts had so many animals that a raccoon would consider perfect prey – chickens, parrots, and guinea pigs among them.