Yes. President Joe Biden’s dog, a 3-year-old German shepherd named Major, was removed from the White House in March after a string of biting incidents. The White House disclosed the “nipping” incidents at the end of March 2021, but emails obtained by NBC News suggest that Major’s biting problem was more extensive.
As one email explains:
“At the current rate an Agent or Officer has been bitten every day this week (3/1-3/8) causing damage to attire or bruising/punctures to the skin.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki shared that Major was having “challenges adjusting to life in the White House.” The Biden family took Major and their older German shepherd, Champ, to Delaware to stay with a family friend while President Biden traveled to military bases. In Delaware, however, the dog allegedly had more problems, including “3 minor incidents where Major nipped/ brushed up and nudged agents.”
Although Major received remedial training and returned to the White House multiple times, the First Family ultimately decided Major was better off in Delaware, where he was more comfortable. As First Lady Jill Biden’s press secretary explained to NPR:
“After consulting with dog trainers, animal behaviorists, and veterinarians, the First Family has decided to follow the experts' collective recommendation that it would be safest for Major to live in a quieter environment with family friends.”
Sadly, the First Family’s remaining dog, Champ, died at age 13 in June.
In December, the Biden family got a new German shepherd puppy, which they named Commander.
In January 2022, the family adopted a gray shorthair tabby cat named Willow.
Can Wounded Secret Service Agents Sue?
Secret Service agents are employees of the White House, so they may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but they cannot sue for their dog bites. Additionally, all the Major bites were minor injuries, which likely would not justify a lawsuit.
The Biden family made the best decision for their dog, their employees, and White House guests by relocating Major to Delaware full-time. The Bidens insist that Major is a sweet dog, and animal experts explain that the White House was simply too stressful for the former shelter dog (the first shelter dog in the White House).
What If Someone Else’s Dog Bites Me?
All dog owners have a responsibility to be as thoughtful about their pet ownership as the Bidens were with Major. In New Hampshire, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries that their animals cause.
If someone else’s dog bites you, and you receive a serious injury as a result, you have the right to sue for damages.
Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. can help you pursue compensation for your medical bills, missed wages, and other dog bite-related losses.
We have more than 100 years of combined legal experience, and we are ready to fight for you.
Learn more about what our firm can do for you by calling us at (603) 288-1403 or sending us a message online.