KEY POINTS

  • Joe Biden will bring two German shepherds to the White House
  • Major Biden will be the first rescue dog to live in the estate
  • The Delaware Humane Association held a fundraising event in Major's honor

President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to move into the White House on Wednesday, and accompanying him will be the Biden family’s dogs, Major and Champ. 

The arrival of the Bidens and their beloved pets this week would mark the return of a long-standing tradition of presidents welcoming new furry companions to the 18-acre White House estate. 

The tradition began when John Adams, the second president of the United States, brought his horses and a pair of dogs to live at the White House. The tradition has since been observed, except by two presidents: Andrew Johnson and outgoing POTUS Donald Trump. 

The Biden family is expected to bring Champ and Major to the White House on Jan. 20. The family adopted Champ, a German shepherd, in 2008. 

Mark Tobin, a Delaware dog trainer who previously worked with the president-elect’s dogs, described Biden as a hands-on dog owner who is passionate about taking care of his pets. 

“He’s passionate about dogs because he loves them,” Tobin said. “He’s going to do it himself. He’s going to walk the dog.” 

Champ, 12, has since been joined by another German shepherd, Major — the first rescue dog to ever live in the White House. The Bidens adopted Major in November 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association (DHA). 

“From shelter pup at the Delaware Humane Association to First Dog at the White House, Major Biden is barking proof that every dog can live the American dream,” according to the DHA, a nonprofit no kill animal care and adoption center, which serves a four-state area.

On Sunday, the DHA hosted a virtual “indoguration” event for Major in which organizers recounted the rescue pup’s rise from a shelter dog to the future First Dog. 

Major was not in attendance, but human celebrities, including Josh Groban, showed up at the fundraising event. More than 7,400 animal lovers attended the fundraiser, which raised over $200,000. 

The DHA plans to use the donations to help struggling pet owners care for their animals amid the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the donations will also be used to help adoptable pets find homes. 

“Our DHA Team is truly astounded by the love and support we have received, in honor of Major,” DHA’s executive director, Patrick J. Carroll, said in a statement. “We celebrate each and every time one of the animals in our care finds its forever home, and this one calls for a special celebration! They will enable DHA to start this new year in a strong position and will help so many animals and people. We are incredibly grateful.” President-elect Joe Biden is bringing not one, but three pets to the White House: German shepherds Champ (pictured 2012) and Major, and a cat whose name and breed have not yet been revealed President-elect Joe Biden is bringing not one, but three pets to the White House: German shepherds Champ (pictured 2012) and Major, and a cat whose name and breed have not yet been revealed Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / WIN MCNAMEE