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President-elect Joe Biden's dog, Major, to become first shelter dog in White House

Harbor Humane Society hopes Major will encourage more people to adopt dogs from a shelter.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — When President-elect Joe Biden takes office, his dog will be making history. 

His German Shepard, named Major, will become the first dog from a shelter in the White House. 

In 2018, Biden and his wife Jill fostered Major from the Delaware Humane Association. Shortly after, they officially adopted Major into their home. The Bidens also have another dog, named Champ. 

RELATED: Joe Biden adopts Delaware rescue dog after fostering him for months

Harbor Humane Society in Ottawa County hopes having a shelter dog in the White House will encourage more people to adopt their pets. 

"It’s very exciting," said Ashton VanKoevering, with Harbor Humane. "We’ve always encouraged people to adopt. Seeing our President-elect adopt, that’s big news for us."

Harbor Humane has more than 300 animals in their care, some in foster homes and some at the shelter. 

VanKoevering said she hopes Major brings a spotlight to the great pets available at local shelters. 

Credit: Delaware Humane Association
Joe Biden poses with his dog, Major, at his adoption.

"People come in with preconceived notions of what a shelter dog is," said VanKoevering. "We want people to know there’s not that stigma. Our animals are wonderful. You’re taking these dogs that maybe have not come from the best situations, and giving them a second chance at life and a second chance at love."

Harbor Humane takes in animals from all over the country. VanKoevering said overcrowding is an issue at shelters everywhere. Adopting a dog or a cat from a shelter is helping that problem. By adopting from a shelter, a person is giving a pet a home, even if it's not at the White House.

"By adopting, you are helping not only these animals here, but allowing us to take in other animals and be able to give them homes as well," said VanKoevering. "So you're not only saving the life of the animal you’re adopting, but additional animals who get to come here and take their place."

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