World Leaders and Animals

World leaders disagree on a lot but clearly agree on one thing – liking to be photographed with animals. Well, most world leaders…

First Pets Club

What is it with world leaders and animals? North Korea released these majestic pictures of Kim Jong Un atop a white horse. Russian President Vladimir Putin is also frequently seen on a horse. And apparently uses his dogs to intimidate his guests. China occasionally gives pandas to other countries as diplomatic gifts. Vice President Mike Pence has a famous pet bunny. Most world leaders have pet dogs. Emmanuel Macron, Sauli Niinisto, Queen Elizabeth II and every U.S. President for the last 130 years has had a dog. Except for Donald Trump. In fact, Trump doesn’t seem to think very highly of animals in general.

According to the BBC, Macron and his wife spent two hours and nearly $300 for the dog, who was adopted from a shelter outside of Paris last weekend. With his adoption, Nemo became the newest member of the First Pets Club, an elite group of animals whose job it is to offer their illustrious human owners’ loyalty, companionship, and, of course, good publicity. Shortly after patiently differentiating blonde women for President Trump, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö was photographed holding his dog, the 5-year-old Boston Terrier Lennu. Unlike the French First Dog, Nemo, Lennu has been described as “not fully media trained,” which seems inaccurate given how good he is at working the cameras.

The group’s members have also included some of history’s most famous pets, including the Obamas’ dogs, Bo and Sunny, the Clintons’ cat, Socks, and Winston Churchill’s poodle, Rufus. But for the first time in 150 years, there is no sitting U.S. representative of the First Pets Club. President Trump has no pets whatsoever, and when asked whether this would change, a spokesperson for Melania Trump told CBS News: “The first family is still getting settled so there are no plans at this time.”