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Major is officially the first shelter dog to live in the White House, after he and Champ moved in on Sunday

By Claudia Harmata
January 25, 2021 02:40 PM
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The first dogs have finally arrived!

On Sunday, President Joe Biden's two German Shepherds, Champ and Major, officially moved into the White House.

"The First Family wanted to get settled before bringing the dogs down to Washington from Delaware. Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by the fireplace, and Major loved running around on the South Lawn," First Lady Dr. Jill Biden's press secretary Michael LaRosa told CNN.

Champ and Major are the first pooches to live in the White House in four years, as former President Donald Trump was the first president to not have a dog since President William McKinley in 1897, per CBS News.

Champ and Major
Credit: Adam Schultz/Official White House
Champ and Major
Credit: Adam Schultz/Official White House

Major is making history as the first rescue dog to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Biden family adopted Major from the Delaware Humane Association (DHA) in November 2018, 10 years after they welcomed their first German Shepherd, Champ.

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President Biden and Dr. Biden got Champ around Christmas 2008 and brought the beloved pet with them to the vice presidential residence at the U.S. Naval Observatory during former Vice President Joe Biden's two terms with former President Barack Obama. Champ got his name from the nickname Biden's father gave him when he was a boy.

Champ and Major
Credit: Adam Schultz/Official White House

Both Champ and Major are making their presence known at their new home. The dogs could be heard barking in the background following a press conference from the Oval Office, according to a tweet from C-SPAN Communications Director Howard Mortman.

The presidential pets are also helping other animals. Earlier this month, the (DHA) held an adorable "Indoguration" party for Major on Jan. 17. The virtual fundraiser recounted Major's rise from former shelter pup to a first dog and was emceed by Today's Jill Martin. While Major himself was not in attendance, other celebrities turned out to support the effort, like Josh Groban.

Overall, over 7,400 animal lovers attended the event, which raised awareness about what shelter pets are capable of and raised over $200,000 for DHA. The rescue plans to use the donations to provide relief to pet owners struggling to care for their animals during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and to help adoptable pets find homes.

Thomas Jefferson was the very first president to ever keep a pet in the White House, housing a mockingbird and a couple of bear cubs while he was in office.

Dr. Biden also hinted that she and the president would be looking to get a cat, as well. "Well, I'd love to get a cat. I love having animals around the house," she told Fox 5's Angie Goff in November.