The White House has been without dogs for four years – that's changing with Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden will be ushering in two new first dogs when he makes his move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. The White House (and America) has been without presidential dogs since 2016 when President Donald Trump became the first president without a dog in decades.
German shepherds Major and Champ will be accompanying the Biden family to their new residence. The Biden grandchildren gave 12-year-old Champ, who joined the family in 2008, the name Biden Sr. often used as an endearment.
The dogs are even social media official, joining Twitter and Instagram under the moniker First Family Dogs. Multiple photos and videos of the adorable pups solo and with their presidential parents popped up on the Instagram account within its first 24 hours.
The Bidens adopted Major two years ago.
Major is from a litter of six other German shepherd puppies, who were given "life-saving medical care" after exposure to "something toxic in their home," a Delaware Humane Association news release said at the time of adoption in 2018.
Major fostered with the Bidens before being adopted to join his pup-brother, Champ.
"We are so happy to welcome Major to the Biden family, and we are grateful to the Delaware Humane Association for their work in finding forever homes for Major and countless other animals," Biden told CNN in 2018. (Biden has owned at least three other German Shepherds and had a Great Dane named Governor.)
This isn't the first time the White House has had two dogs under its roof. Most recently, Barack Obama had two first dogs under his administration: Bo and Sunny, Portuguese water dogs.
Bo, who was the family's first first dog, made headlines when the Obama family took him in. Sunny joined the Obama family four years later. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his beloved terrier Fala. President George H.W. Bush's English springer spaniel Millie was featured on "The Simpsons."
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When asked about plans for a four-legged addition to the White House in 2017, Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Melania Trump, said in a statement: "The first family is still getting settled so there are no plans at this time."
"In the modern-day presidency, almost all of them have had a pet," said Jennifer Pickens, a White House social expert who wrote "Pets at the White House." Still, she noted, "all didn't necessarily have them at the beginning of the administration."
Contributing: Sonja Haller and the Associated Press