By Darla Shelden, City Sentinel Reporter –
This story first appeared online on Jan. 8, 2021.
OKLAHOMA CITY –Delaware Humane Association (DHA), where Joe Biden adopted his dog, and Pumpkin Pet Insurance will host a virtual fundraising event on Sunday, January 17 to celebrate the inauguration, or in this case, the “Indoguration” of Major Biden, the first-ever rescue pup to become First Dog.
The event will celebrate Major’s journey from the shelter to the White House, raise funds for DHA to help more shelter animals like Major find their forever homes, and spread awareness about the need to help pet owners who are financially struggling to care for their furry family members.
In November 2018, a German shepherd was waiting for his forever home at the Delaware Humane Association in Wilmington, when Joe and Dr. Jill Biden walked in and picked Major to be their new family member, according to People Magazine.
“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 shortly after the dog’s adoption.
The rescue pooch is now preparing to move into the White House along with the Bidens’ other dog Champ and the family’s future pet cat.
The move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will make Major the first shelter dog to ever live at the White House.
DHA and Pumpkin are inviting people and their pups to help set the record for the largest virtual gathering of dogs, with a goal of 1,000 attendees.
Each participant is asked to donate a minimum of $10, with 100 percent of the funds raised directly benefiting DHA to help support the shelter’s vital pet and pet owner community services.
Jill Martin, Lifestyle Contributor for The Today Show, will emcee the event. Other notable rescue dogs and/or their parents joining the festivities include American former World Cup alpine USA Ski team member Lindsey Vonn’s three rescues, Bear, Lucy, and Leo.
Participants will also have the opportunity to nominate their own pup to be part of Major’s Cabinet for the Secretary of Rescue Dogs.
The top nominees will be announced during the virtual event and the winner will be ‘elected’ by 14 year old philanthropist, animal advocate, and founder of Beaux & Paws, Sir Darius Brown.
As the pandemic continues and the unemployment rate rises, many pet parents are faced with the heartbreaking decision of whether or not they need to surrender their animals due to financial insecurity.
“We are thrilled to participate in what will hopefully be the world’s largest Zoom call for dogs,” said DHA’s Executive Director, Patrick J. Carroll.
DHA saw record demand in 2020 as the organization offers essential relief efforts through its free pet food pantry and affordable veterinary care.
“2020 was a tough year for all of us financially– both for animal shelters and pet owners alike. Here at DHA our mission is to make ‘friends for life’ by connecting people with animals, and by building strong relationships to better serve our community,” Carroll added.
“With Major heading to the White House, it’s our sincere hope that we can continue to connect more homeless animals with families than ever before,” he said. “If a shelter dog is good enough for the White House, they’re good enough for your house.”
Pumpkin’s Founder and CEO, Alexandre Douzet said, “I can’t think of a better way to kick off the new year than by hosting this Indoguration with the Delaware Humane Association.
“Pumpkin is dedicated to the health and safety of animals, and through this fundraiser, we will be able to aid in DHA’s crucial efforts to provide pet owners with the pet care support they need,” Douzet added.
“We are excited for a successful event that will continue the conversation around encouraging the adoption of shelter pets.”
The announcement that Major will be the first rescue pet in the White House has already shed much-needed attention to the value of pet adoption with TIME Magazine naming Rescue Animals as this year’s “Pet of the Year”.
To help commemorate such a milestone, Pumpkin and DHA hope to have the fundraiser recognized as the largest virtual gathering of dogs – and help more shelter pets like Major get a chance to live the American Dream.
To register for the event, click here. For more information about Delaware Humane Association, or to donate, visit delawarehumane.org.