The two German Shepherds, named Champ and Major, were sent to Biden’s home in Wilmington last week following the incident, multiple sources told CNN.
The decision was made after Major, whom Biden adopted from a shelter in late 2018, allegedly attacked a member of White House security. One source described it as a “biting incident,” but did not provide details about the extent of the victim’s injuries.
Biden’s other German Shepherd, Champ, is a 13-year-old dog in his senior years.
The White House did not immediately comment on the incident, and it’s unclear whether the move home will be permanent.
It’s a disappointing development for fans of Major, who has been celebrated as the first shelter pet ever to live in the White House. The Delaware Humane Association even held an “InDOGuration” for Major to mark the occasion in January.
“It means everything to us because it shines a light on what we do,” Patrick Carroll, head of the Delaware Humane Association, told ABC 7 ahead of the event, which played out as a virtual dog party. “It shows that shelters are a wonderful place to adopt.”
First Lady Jill Biden spoke about the challenges of getting their dogs settled in at the White House last month, during an interview on The Kelly Clarkson Show.
“I’ve been getting obsessed with getting our dogs settled because we have an old dog and we have a very young dog,” Biden told Clarkson.
“They have to take the elevator, they’re not used to that, and they have to go out on the South Lawn with lots of people watching them. So that’s what I’ve been obsessed with, getting everybody settled and calm.”
Champ previously lived in the White House from 2008 until 2016, during Biden’s two terms as vice president to Barack Obama.
There is a long tradition of the president having a pet (often a dog) at the White House. Obama had two Portuguese water dogs, George W. Bush had terriers and Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a German Shepherd who was (perhaps not coincidentally) named Major.
Biden’s Major was the first shelter dog to live in the White House, but not the first rescue. That distinction belongs to Yuki, a mutt that Lyndon B. Johnson adopted after he found it at a gas station in Texas.
Donald Trump was the first president in more than a century to live at the White House without a pet.