Joe and Jill Biden this week got rid of one dog, Major, which had reportedly bitten a couple people, and picked up a new puppy, which has enraged the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
After the president announced the couple had welcomed a new German shepherd puppy named Commander, PETA condemned the move as a “killer” to all those needy pups languishing in local animal shelters.
“This seems deeply disappointing @POTUS. You know it’s important to adopt homeless animals like Major. Paying a breeder to add to overpopulation is irresponsible & killer,” said the group in a post on Twitter. “We wish Commander a great life, but the nearly 200 adoptable shepherds within 100mi of D.C. deserve one too.”
This seems deeply disappointing @POTUS. You know it's important to adopt homeless animals like Major. Paying a breeder to add to overpopulation is irresponsible & killer.
We wish Commander a great life, but the nearly 200 adoptable Shepherds within 100mi of D.C. deserve one too. https://t.co/siPTuyQsqL
— PETA (@peta) December 21, 2021
The White House said the Bidens’ rescue dog Major had been sent to a new home after a recent biting scandal. “Major, who made history in January as the first rescue dog to come live at the executive mansion, was sent to live with unidentified friends of the Biden family. He bit a Secret Service agent and a National Park Service employee during his time at the Executive Residence,” the Daily Mail reported.
“‘After consulting with dog trainers, animal behaviorists, and veterinarians, the First Family has decided … it would be safest for Major to live in a quieter environment with family friends,’ the first lady’s spokesman Michael LaRosa confirmed to New York Times reporter Katie Rogers on Monday,” the Mail said.
“This is not in reaction to any new or specific incident, but rather a decision reached after several months of deliberation as a family and discussions with experts,” LaRosa added.
The new puppy comes about six months after the Bidens’ 13-year-old German Shepherd Champ passed away.
Major was reportedly involved in two biting incidents, with one requiring medical attention. One incident, “which involved a National Park Service employee, took place on the White House South Lawn,” CNN reported in March, citing two people with knowledge of the incident.
The employee was working at the time and needed to stop for treatment from the White House medical unit, the cable TV network also reported.
The first lady’s press secretary, Michael LaRosa, confirmed the incident with CNN: “Yes, Major nipped someone on a walk. Out of an abundance of caution, the individual was seen by WHMU and then returned to work.”
Major, a 3-year-old German shepherd, was adopted from a shelter by the Bidens in 2018. Earlier in March, Major was involved in another biting incident.
After the incidents, Major and Champ were sent back to the Bidens’ home in Delaware.
Shortly after Biden won the White House, the Associated Press wrote a fluff piece headlined, “It’s Major: Pets poised for a return to the White House.”
“In a few weeks, Major, fellow German shepherd Champ and the TBD feline are expected to make the move to the White House. Presidential pets provide their owners with a source of comfort, entertainment, occasional drama and generally good PR,” the wire service reported.
Before that incident, the first lady had already made excuses for the dogs.
“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,” she said in February on “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”