Meet Joe Biden's Dogs Champ and Major, Set to Become the First White House Pets in 4 Years
President-elect Joe Biden will be the first U.S. President to have a pet at the White House in four years. Find out more about his dogs and see pics of them and former Presidential pets.
For the first time in four years, and in a move that restores a centuries-old tradition, the White House is set to gain a First Pet. Actually, two.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, whose victory in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election was announced on Saturday, and wife Jill Biden have two German Shepherds, Champ and Major. The latter is also set to become the first rescue dog to live at the White House.
After the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, Joe kept his promise to Jill to get a puppy if President Barack Obama won, gifting his wife with Champ, a three-month-old pooch purchased from a Pennsylvania breeder. Obama made the same promise to his daughters and fulfilled it, bringing home their first dog, Bo.
The Bidens' granddaughters were the ones who named Champ. The name also has sentimental significance for the President-elect. In his 2008 Vice Presidential campaign speeches, he recalled how his father would tell him, "Any time you get knocked down, champ, get up!"
Joe later said his family planned on getting another dog, this time from a shelter. In November 2018, the Bidens adopted Major from the Delaware Humane Association.
"Today is Major's lucky day!" read a post on the group's Facebook page at the time. "Not only did Major find his forever home, but he got adopted by Vice President Joe Biden & Dr. Jill Biden! The Bidens have gotten to know Major while fostering him and are now ready to make the adoption official."
The group said, "Major was 1 of 6 puppies who were brought to DHA after coming in contact with something toxic in their home. Their original owner was unable to afford veterinary care so they surrendered them. With the help of our friends at VSCD, together we provided lifesaving care, shared their story here and that we were looking for fosters for them. Once we posted about them for your help, Joe Biden caught wind of them and reached out immediately. The rest is history!"
With the addition of `Champ and Major to the White House, the Bidens will revive a tradition that dates back to the days of the Founding Fathers. Donald Trump was the first President to not have a pet at the White House in more than 120 years.
The first President to have a pet while in office was the first President, George Washington, although he did not live at the White House, as construction on it was not completed until 1800, three years after he ended his final term. His successor, John Adams, owner of two dogs, was technically the first President to have a domestic pet call 1600 Pennsylvania home.
Since President William McKinley's administration, which began in 1897, every single President except Trump has had a dog at some point, according to the Washington Post.
See photos of Presidential First Dogs and other pets in the White House over the years:
The Vice President and President-elect appears with his rescue dog at the Delaware Humane Association headquarters in 2018.
Vice President and President-elect Joe Biden's wife Jill Biden appears with their German Shepherds in a 2020 election campaign photo.
The President appears with First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha Obama and Malia Obama and their Portuguese Water Dogs in the Rose Garden of the White House in 2015.
The President pets his family's Portuguese Water Dog, their first White House pet, at the White House in 2012.
The President carries his dog near his ranch in Crawford, Texas in 2003.
The President plays with his family's cat at the Governor's Mansion in Austin, Texas before they moved to the White House.
The President appears with his famiky's dog outside the White House in 1999.
The President carries his family's cat on the grounds on the White House in 1993.
The President and First Lady Barbara Bush ride with their dog on a golf cart at their home at Walker's Point in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 2004. Millie lived with them at the White House. He served as U.S. leader between 1989 and 1993.
The President sits with his granddaughter, Marshall, and one of his dogs in this undated picture.
The President presents wife Nancy Reagan with an early Christmas present: A King Charles Cavalier Spaniel.
The President and First Lady Nancy Reagan pose with one of their dogs and kittens at Rancho del Cielo, their vacation home near Santa Barbara, Calif., in the '80s.
The President plays with his family's dog on the South Lawn of the White House in 1978.
The President plays with one of his golden retrievers in 1976.
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