Many dogs have called the White House home throughout the years, but Major the German shepherd will be the first shelter pup to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
President-elect Joe Biden and incoming First Lady Jill Biden will bring two canines with them to the White House when they move in January 2021. In addition to Major, who they adopted from the Delaware Humane Association as a puppy in 2018, they’re also proud pup parents of Champ, a German shepherd they got from a breeder in 2008.
After their daughter, Ashley, sent them a Facebook post about Major, the Bidens fostered him and fell in love. Major and his siblings had been exposed to toxins and were in critical condition when they arrived at the Delaware Humane Association. Thankfully, they were hospitalized and successfully treated.
Humane Rescue Alliance tweeted a photo of the President-elect and Champ from the Delaware Human Association. Champ looks pretty excited about having a forever home — and this was before he knew he’d be heading to the White House!
Congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden! His German Shepherd, Major, is set to become the first shelter dog in the White House. The Bidens adopted the German shepherd from the Delaware Humane Association two years ago after initially fostering him. pic.twitter.com/qv37hAjVWO
— Humane Rescue (@HumaneRescue) November 8, 2020
“The fact that the former vice president wanted to come into our agency and adopt was really special,” Kerry Bruni, the organization’s director of animal care, told Delaware Online at the time. “I am glad he wanted to be a part of rescuing a dog.”
Now that he’s going to the White House, we’re guessing Major and Champ are both about to become a whole lot more famous.
The dogs already make appearances on the family’s social media accounts. Here’s a photo of Major that Jill posted in October:
Happy Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/6xt73OSAGf
— Dr. Jill Biden (@DrBiden) September 23, 2020
She posted a photo with both dogs for National Dog Day in August, and we’re pretty sure Champ is smiling for the camera:
Build Bark Better.
— Dr. Jill Biden (@DrBiden) August 26, 2020
President Trump does not have any dogs, making him the first president without one since William McKinley, who served from 1897 to 1901.
Biden has had German shepherds since his childhood, Politico reported. His grandchildren named Champ when they got him as a puppy in 2008, but Biden appreciated the name all the more because his father used to tell him, “Get up, champ,” when he was having tough times.
“Dogs remind you to live in the present,” Biden told New Hampshire Union Leader in February 2020. “They love unconditionally, and they savor every moment with you. When I’m with Champ and Major, I get to live in the now for a moment with them, enjoy the simple act of throwing a ball around or taking a walk.”