Joe Biden's German shepherd Major becomes first shelter dog in White House, Champ enjoys new bed by fireplace

Biden's dogs mark a return to the centuries-old tradition of presidents and their families keeping pets in the White House


                            Joe Biden's German shepherd Major becomes first shelter dog in White House, Champ enjoys new bed by fireplace
Jill Biden with Champ and Major and Joe Biden (Getty/Twitter)

President Joe Biden's two German shepherds Champ and Major officially joined the first family in the White House on Sunday. "The First Family wanted to get settled before bringing the dogs down to Washington from Delaware. Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by the fireplace, and Major loved running around on the South Lawn," first lady Jill Biden's press secretary Michael LaRosa told CNN on Monday.

Biden's dogs mark a return to the centuries-old tradition of presidents and their families keeping pets in the White House. Former President Donald  Trump did not have any pets in the White House during his four-year tenure. Champ has been with the Biden family for over a decade. He was welcomed into the family in December 2008, after Biden became Barack Obama's vice president-elect. Major, on the other hand, was adopted from a shelter in November 2018, months before Biden announced he would run for president in 2020. 

 



 

It's worth noting that Major is the first shelter dog to live at 1600, Pennsylvania Ave. The Delaware Humane Association, where he was adopted from, joined hands with Pumpkin Pet Insurance to host an exclusive "Indoguration Party" for Major earlier this month. The future first dog was born as part of a litter of six German shepherd puppies at the shelter in early 2018. At the time, however, the pups were in a medical crisis. "They were very sick," Patrick Carroll, executive director of the Delaware Humane Association, told NPR. "They had gotten into a toxic substance. We're not sure what. The dogs were lethargic, vomiting, and hospitalized for a few days," Carrol added.

 



 

However, the pups soon recovered with fluids and medication, and the shelter posted to Facebook in March 2018 in search of foster homes for them. Ashley Biden subsequently sent the post to her father, according to Carroll, as she knew he was looking for a companion for the elderly Champ. Carroll recalled to the outlet how the future president showed up "on Easter Sunday of all days, and wanted to meet the puppies."

While Major is the first shelter dog at the White House, he definitely isn't the first rescue. Former President Lyndon B. Johnson's mix-breed dog 'Yuki' was rescued by his daughter, Luci, after he was abandoned by his owner at a gas station in Texas. Meanwhile, former President Bill Clinton's family cat, Socks, was also a rescue, according to CNN.

 



 

Jill Biden has told Fox 5 in Washington that she would "love to get a cat." She added: "I love having animals around the house."

But on Sunday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she did not have an update about the cat situation. "I'm also wondering about the cat, because the cat is going to dominate the internet whenever the cat is announced and wherever that cat is found," Psaki said Sunday evening while responding to questions on Twitter. According to CNN, the tradition of keeping pets in the White House was started by Thomas Jefferson, who reportedly kept a mockingbird and a couple of bear cubs during his presidential tenure.

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