The German Shepherd bit a National Parks Service employee on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday afternoon, two sources told CNN. First Lady Jill Biden’s press secretary Michael LaRosa later confirmed that the incident occurred.
“Yes, Major nipped someone on a walk,” LaRosa told several media outlets. “Out of an abundance of caution, the individual was seen by (the White House Medical Unit) and then returned to work without injury.”
LaRosa said that Major is “still adjusting to his new surroundings.”
Reporters saw Major walking on a leash on the South Lawn Monday evening before the Bidens left the White House for an event.
The incident comes less than a month after Major was briefly banished from the White House for biting a Secret Service member. The dog was surprised by “an unfamiliar person” and caused a “minor injury,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at the time.
Major and Biden’s other dog, a 13-year-old German Shepherd named Champ, were both sent to his home in Wilmington, Del., for a few weeks.
“Look, Major was a rescue pup,” President Biden said in an interview with ABC earlier this month, when asked about the biting incident. “Major did not bite someone and penetrate the skin.”
Biden added that the dog was surprised by an unfamiliar person in a jacket and he moved “to protect.”
“He’s a sweet dog. Eighty-five per cent of the people there love him.”
The Bidens adopted Major from a Delaware animal shelter in 2018, and he has not lived at the White House before. Champ previously lived at the White House when Biden served as Barack Obama’s vice president.
Major won plenty of fans early this year when he became the first shelter pet to move into 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.”
There is a long history of presidents living at the White House with at least one pet. Donald Trump was the first president in over a century to live at the White House without one.
The White House did not say how it will address the latest incident with Major.