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Bidens announce that their dog, Champ, has passed away

Champ was photographed on the South Lawn of the White House on March 31.
Champ was photographed on the South Lawn of the White House on March 31.Mandel Ngan/Associated Press

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden said Saturday that their dog Champ has died.

“Our hearts are heavy today as we let you all know that our beloved German Shepherd, Champ, passed away peacefully at home. He was our constant, cherished companion for the last 13 years and was adored by the entire Biden family,” the Bidens said in a statement on Twitter.

The first family said that Champ had been waning in recent months, but “when we came into a room, he would immediately pull himself up, his tale always wagging.”

President Biden bought Champ from a breeder in Pennsylvania after the 2008 election, when he won the vice presidency with Barack Obama as president. The Bidens had Champ at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., the official residence of the vice president.


“In his younger days, he was happiest chasing golf balls on the front lawn of the Naval Observatory or racing to catch our grandchildren as they ran around our backyard in Delaware. In our most joyful moments and in our most grief-stricken days, he was there with us, sensitive to our every unspoken feeling and emotion.”

The Bidens ended their statement with a sentence in bold: “We love our sweet, good boy and will miss him always.”

The Biden family has another dog, Major, also a German Shepherd, who is 3 years old.

Major had trouble adapting to the White House and bit two people in separate incidents. He and Champ were removed from the White House after the first incident on March 8 in which Major caused a minor injury to a Secret Service employee.

The dogs received training in Delaware, but Major was involved in a second minor biting incident in late March.

Meanwhile, the Bidens said they would adopt a cat at the White House.