Korolev's space dogs
Sergey Korolev was the founder of the Soviet space agency. He's pictured here with a dog in 1954 after returning from space “after a lob to an altitude of 100 kilometers on an R-1D scientific rocket.”
One source reports that as many as 13 dogs were sent into space by the Soviets between 1957 and 1961. The first living animals to survive orbital flight were Soviet dogs Belka and Strelka, who survived a 1960 launch into space. According to SpaceToday, Strelka later gave birth to several puppies, one of which was given to first daughter Caroline Kennedy by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev.