Champ and Major: Meet the four-legged members of the Biden family

 
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama (L) and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, walk out with Biden's family dog Champ to host a Joining Forces Service event at the Naval Observatory in Washington May 10, 2012. (photo credit: YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS)
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama (L) and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, walk out with Biden's family dog Champ to host a Joining Forces Service event at the Naval Observatory in Washington May 10, 2012.
(photo credit: YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS)

Major will hold the distinction of being the first rescue animal in the White House, and will be a contrast to Donald Trump's notable lack of pets during his tenure.

Americans are excited to meet their soon-to-be first family, following President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the US elections. But arguably the most exciting new residents of the White House aren't Biden or even the soon-to-be first lady Dr. Jill Biden, but the first dogs-elect, Major and Champ Biden, the former of whom will hold the distinction of being the first rescue animal in the White House.
The two German Shepherds have been with the Biden family for years, with Champ first joining them on Christmas in 2008, shortly before Biden was inaugurated as vice president under president Barack Obama, according to People Magazine.
Major joined the family in 2018, after being adopted by the Bidens from the Delaware Humane Association. The dog was "from the litter of German shepherd pups that were surrendered and not doing well at all,” the association said on Facebook at the time.
“Once we posted about them for your help, Joe Biden caught wind of them and reached out immediately. The rest is history."
“We are so happy to welcome Major to the Biden family, and we are grateful to the Delaware Humane Association for their work in finding forever homes for Major and countless other animals,” the Bidens said in a statement at the time, according to People.
The two four-legged members of the Biden family will be a welcome addition to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a residence that has been devoid of pets throughout Donald Trump's tenure in the Oval Office. This was something Biden was well aware of during the campaign, and had even made campaign posts on social media with the slogan of "Let's put a dog back in the White House," alongside a video of dogs wearing bandanas or shirts with the Biden/Harris logo, for what Biden dubbed on Instagram as "paw-sitive encouragement."

Indeed, following Biden's victory, multiple dog-related social media accounts celebrated, often accompanied by the phrase "Dogs for Biden." Chief among these was the popular Twitter account WeRateDogs, which assigns ratings and humorous and adorable descriptions to pictures of dogs.
"Champ has already been to the White House, but Major hasn’t yet. Champ can’t wait to show him around," WeRateDogs tweeted. "Both 14/10 would be an honor to pet."

Most presidents have had a pet or multiple pets in the White House, with some like Theodore Roosevelt having a penchant for more exotic animal companions. However, this was a tradition eschewed by Trump, who did not allow any pets in the White House, though he did give the Medal of Honor in 2019 to Conan, the Delta Force dog who helped take out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.