Joe Biden was victorious in the 2020 presidential election which means he and his family will be moving into the White House — including his dog Major, who will be the first dog adopted from a shelter to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The Biden family first fostered the dog in 2018 and later adopted him. However, Major is not the first rescue dog to join the first family in the White House. President Lyndon B. Johnson’s dog, Yuki, was the first sitting president to have a rescue pup. Yuki was found by his daughter at a Texas gas station and later given to her father as a gift.
According to the Review, Major was adopted from the Delaware Humane Society when his daughter, Ashley, came across a social media post about a litter of puppies that consumed toxic materials. “Having played a part in Major Biden’s story is an honor,” Cory Topel, a marketing manager at the Delaware Humane Society, told CBS News. “This is what we strive for when animals come into our care: to help them find their happy ending.”
Major and his other German Shepherd that came from a breeder after the 2008 election have been featured in press for his re-election campaign. In a recent campaign video, Biden made the distinction between him and his competitor, President Donald Trump, known by pointing out he is the first president in a century who does not own a dog.
“Pets have played an important role in the White House throughout the decades,” Jennifer Pickens, author and White House traditions historian said to CBS News, “not only by providing companionship to the presidents and their families but also by humanizing and softening their political images.”
She continued, “President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush’s pets were true ambassadors of the White House, appearing on Christmas cards, as tour guides, and even participating alongside children in the Easter Egg Roll. The first lady recognized their pets as a means to create a more welcoming environment to the White House and increase interest and visitation. Major and Champ Biden will no doubt carry on their predecessors’ examples of fostering a welcoming environment to the first family’s home, which will be wonderful to see.”