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FOIA Request In WH Dog Issues

President Biden’s German shepherd, Commander, has been involved in a series of biting incidents, resulting in mounting frustration among Secret Service members and calls for safety measures. Newly surfaced records reveal that the president repeatedly witnessed these attacks, prompting concerns about workplace safety and the handling of the dog.

In February, the White House announced that Commander was given away after more than two years of aggressive behavior. The records also suggest that attacks involving Commander and the former first dog, Major, who was rehomed in 2021 for similar reasons, may exceed three dozen.

The 81-year-old president reportedly accused a Secret Service member of lying about being attacked by Major during his first year in office. However, he was present for at least three attacks involving Commander, according to files released to Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act.

One such incident occurred on September 12, 2023, when Commander bit a Secret Service member twice while Biden took him for a walk in the Kennedy Garden. The special agent’s report described how Commander tore holes in the agent’s suit, prompting Biden to call the dog and leash him. Photos in the report show the damage to the agent’s suit and shirt, for which they sought reimbursement.

The records reveal growing frustration among Secret Service members. Following another attack on September 25, 2023, a sergeant wrote to a colleague about an officer potentially needing hospital treatment, wishing them a “safe shift.” Two days later, an official from the agency’s Safety, Health & Environmental Division suggested muzzling Commander to prevent further incidents.

Biden’s personal presence during some attacks was already known. On October 2, 2022, Commander bit an agent holding the door for Biden near the Rose Garden. Another instance on December 11, 2022, involved Biden taking Commander off-leash in the Kennedy Garden, leading to the dog biting another agent.

While Biden was not present for the most severe attacks, the records document significant injuries. On November 3, 2022, Commander sent a uniformed Secret Service officer to a DC hospital with arm and thigh wounds. On July 29, 2023, Commander caused a female agent to suffer a “severe deep open wound” requiring stitches after biting her arm at Biden’s Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, vacation home. Another attack on June 15, 2023, left an agent with a “deep bite” requiring stitches, halting East Wing tours due to blood on the floors.

These biting incidents were initially downplayed by the White House. However, the new records paint a troubling picture of the situation, highlighting the need for stricter safety measures to protect Secret Service members and others interacting with Commander.

The White House and the Secret Service have not yet commented on the latest documents. Meanwhile, the series of attacks raises important questions about the handling of aggressive pets in high-security environments and the protocols in place to ensure the safety of personnel.

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