From loyal lapdogs raising money for the war effort to savy street cats who managed to get themselves adopted by an entire town: we've collected five of the world's most famous pet statues.
Hamish McHamish in St. Andrews, UK
The Hamish McHamish memorial statue in St. Andrews, Credit Michael Laing
It’s not uncommon for stray cats to end up being fed by four or five houses in the same street, but Hamish McHamish was more ambitious than most and the ginger tom ended up being adopted by an entire town.
Hamish, a fluffball with a purr like an industrial engine, was the unofficial St. Andrews mascot. With a free run of the town and hundreds of locals vying for his attention, it was only fitting that after Hamish’s death a local newspaper erected a statue in his honour.
Nearest pet friendly hotel: Macdonald Rusacks Hotel
Fala in Washington, USA
The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington
While the image of a loyal hound is as old as time, it works both ways, as can be demonstrated by Franklin Roosevelt’s relationship with his pet dog, Fala. During Roosevelt’s reelection campaign in 1944, his habit of taking his favourite Scottish Terrier with him on official trips was criticised by his opponents. Something that Roosevelt called them out on during his opening speech.
As a little dog with such a big profile, Fala was made an honorary private in the army and he contributed $1 per day to the war effort. Today this hard-working and much loved mutt has his own statue, sitting at his master's feet at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.
Nearest pet-friendly hotel: Heaven on Washington
Tombili in Istanbul, Turkey
The Tombili statue in Istanbul, Credit Bora Kilic
The full-figured Tombili was a street cat whose distinctive form was as much a part of the Istanbul cityscape as the Hagia Sofia or the Blue Mosque. Tombili was famously photographed reclining on an Istanbul step, watching the world go by.
His reputation for placidly enjoying the streets of Istanbul outlived Tombili and after his death a statue was commissioned. Today tourists can visit Tombili and take a selfie with him, or just follow his shining example and people watch for a few hours.
Nearest pet-friendly hotel: White House Hotel
Mrs Chippy in Wellington, New Zealand
The memorial statue for Mrs Chippy in Wellington, Credit Shane Petterd
Mrs Chippy was a carpenter’s cat who accompanied its master when he sailed for Antarctica alongside Sir. Ernest Shackleton in 1914. Mrs Chippy actually turned out to be a male, but the name had already stuck. He did not survive the trip, but when the expedition returned home a statue was commissioned - Mrs Chippy was a favourite among the crew - and today it sits atop the carpenter’s grave.
For such a short-lived tabby, Mrs Chippy made a big impact and in recent years it has had its portrait appear in Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery, and an opera dedicated to its memory.
Nearest pet-friendly hotel: At Home Wellington City
Hachikō in Tokyo, Japan
The statue of Hachikō at Shibuya Station
The original, and perhaps most famous, loyal pet was Hachikō: an Akita dog who waited nine years for his owner to return home after he had passed away. Hachikō’s poignant vigil ended with the dog’s own death, but his memory lives on in the form of a bronze statue at the Tokyo Shibuya subway station where he used to sit and wait.
And the city of Tokyo didn’t just stop with one statue. While Hachikō’s subway statue is the best known, there is an equally heart-warming statue outside the University of Tokyo which shows Hachikō and his owner finally being reunited.
Nearest pet-friendly hotel: Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo