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First shelter dog heads to the White House


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Major the German Shepherd spent his puppyhood in an animal shelter. In January, he’ll move into the White House.


After four years without a presidential pet at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, dogs are coming back. Major, who President-elect Biden and his wife Jill Biden adopted from the Delaware Humane Association three years ago, will be the first shelter dog ever to live in the White House. With him will be 12-year-old Champ, the Bidens’ other German shepherd.

This news has been met with elation on social media, reflecting a growing embrace by Americans of shelter dogs—more than 1.6 million dogs were adopted last year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).


While there’s no official tally of how many pets are purchased versus adopted in the U.S., the American Veterinary Medical Association estimated in a 2018 report that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States, and that shelters and rescue groups source the largest share of those animals.

Over the last decade, awareness around adoption as an option for prospective dog owners has grown significantly, says Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.


“People used to think that dogs were in a shelter or surrendered there because something was wrong with them,” Block says. She attributes much of the problem with dogs ending up in shelters to puppy mills, commercial-scale operations that breed solely for profit, often without ensuring proper health checks, welfare standards, or buyer education, leading to a glut of dogs ending up in shelters.

“Once people realized that they weren’t in shelters because they’re broken or misfits, but because there are too many of them, it really helped turn public perception,” she says.


Edited by FfFfFfFF
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20 minutes ago, River said:

ahhhhhhhhhhh he's so cutie

Jill for president 2024 :firega:

I have been investigating her via interviews and just picked up her book, "Where the Light Enters."  She appears to be such a class act! :diane:



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The last part was so interesting! I never consciously realized my perception of shelters changed, because as a kid I thought there was something wrong with the dogs, anger issues, etc. 

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