Much has been made of the fact that dogs are returning to the White House, courtesy of the Bidens and their two German Shepherds, Champ and Major; a cat is also rumored to be joining the Biden menagerie. Many will welcome the sight of pets roaming the presidential residence and grounds once again, not only for the endearing photo ops but, more importantly, for the positive impact their presence will have on the public.

Major, the younger of the two dogs, will be the first shelter dog to call the White House home. This is an important landmark, according to Stephanie Shain, chief operating officer for the regional sheltering organization Humane Rescue Alliance, who believes having a shelter dog in the White House is “an incredible thing.”

“Why not a rescue? Why not a shelter? There remains a lot of misconceptions about animals in shelters still today, and the biggest hurdle…

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