US & World

Biden’s adopted new dog – and other political pets

Biden with MajorImage copyright Delaware Humane Association
Image caption Joe Biden adopted his new dog, Major, from the Delaware Humane Association

Former US vice-president Joe Biden has adopted a dog from a shelter in the state of Delaware.

The Bidens have been fostering Major the German Shepherd and are now giving him a permanent home, the Delaware Humane Association said.

The association posted photos of the adoption on social media.

Mr Biden has adopted dogs before – in 2008 he adopted a puppy called Champ after being promised a dog by his wife Jill if he and Barack Obama won office.

Mr Biden is one of many animal-loving politicians.

Mr Obama has two dogs, Bo and Sunny, who are Portuguese Water Dogs. In 2016, police arrested a man suspected of plotting to kidnap one of them.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Obamas pictured with Bo in 2009

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has also adopted a dog, Tory, from an animal sanctuary.

The four-year-old black mongrel was the first “First Dog” to come from a shelter and joined the president’s two other pets – a dog called Maru and a former shelter cat named Jjing-jjing who was first adopted by Mr Moon’s daughter.

Image copyright Cheong Wa Dae handout
Image caption President Moon presents the new “First Dog”

Mr Moon won praise for adopting a shelter dog. His predecessor Park Geun-hye was accused of abandoning her nine Jindo dogs when she left the presidential palace.

French President Emmanuel Macron has a black Labrador-Griffon cross, Nemo, who found fame last year when he was captured on video urinating on a fireplace in the Elysée palace.

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Media captionLocal television catches Nemo the dog in the act

He was just the latest French presidential pooch to cause trouble for its master.

Nicolas Sarkozy’s dogs were reported to have damaged valuable furniture in the palace while Jacques Chirac’s miniature white Maltese, Sumo, reportedly became unhappy at having to leave the Elysée with its spacious garden and began attacking Mr Chirac.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is another dog-lover. He has received gifts of dogs from Japan and Turkmenistan.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Japan gave Yume (left) to Mr Putin in 2012 – also pictured: Buffy

In 2016, however, he refused a second female Akita offered by Japan as a companion for the first.

He has also denied having allowed his black Labrador Connie to wander into the room during a 2007 meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel even though he knew that she had a profound fear of dogs.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, meanwhile, had a First Cat, Paddles, who died last November.

Image copyright Twitter: FirstCatofNZ
Image caption New Zealand’s First Cat Paddles captured the hearts of many online

Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen has a well-documented love of felines and has two adopted cats of her own named Think Think (a grey tabby taken in after a typhoon) and Ah Tsai (a farm cat and gift during the presidential election).

Image copyright Facebook: Tsai Ing-wen
Image caption Ms Tsai with her beloved farm cat Ah Tsai

Meanwhile in the Netherlands last year, it was the politicians themselves who became the pets – voters were able to keep them as virtual pets ahead of the general election.

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Media captionThe Dutch App that lets you keep politicians as virtual pets

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-46253590

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