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Joe Biden’s Purebred Puppy in the News

Written by PETA | April 10, 2009

Vice President Biden and his purebred German shepherd puppy, Champ, have been all over the news this evening in reports about how the breeder who sold him the puppy has fallen on hard times, saying that she would “never, never, never again” sell to someone with a high profile. But we have a better idea: How about not selling to … oh, I don’t know … anyone? With shelter dogs dying every day for lack of a good home, it’s completely irresponsible to breed dogs for profit. Period.

When we initially got the news that the Bidens had naïvely purchased Champ from a breeder, we ran one of our popular television ads in his home state of Delaware titled “Buy One, Kill One,” which reminds viewers that every time you buy a dog from a breeder, a dog in an animal shelter dies. We think it gets the point across nicely. Check it out here:



This past December, though, Mr. Vice Prez himself made positive headlines in The PETA Files when he announced that his plans also included adopting a dog in the future from an animal shelter. We even sent Biden presents in honor of the good news, including a doggy gift bag, spay-neuter certificates, and promises of more goodies to come when the new pup arrived. We hope he’ll stay true to his word and make some pup lucky!

The Biden’s high profile could shower positive media attention on abandoned dogs and shed light on the overpopulation crisis. Fingers crossed!

Written by Christine Doré

Commenting is closed.
  • Mark Robson says:

    My 2 cents worth. We should be going after the people who neglect thier animals and over breed. The President and VP are victims of this and its not thier fault that the system failed. I think if they wanted pure breed thats fine and someone could have located them some from a Kennel? this was not done. What a sad world we live in..

  • Sianna says:

    Obama didn’t actually go to the breeder and purchase an eight week old puppy. It’s a six month old puppy who’s previous owner fell through and brought it back to the original breeder. Had the previous owner not done that and instead took the dog to a shelter it might have been adopted but probably by another PWD breeder. Maybe it would have been euthed. Maybe Obama would have adopted the same dog. There are very few PWD’s in shelters and I’m sure nearly none in the DC area. At least they didn’t go to a pet store to look for a puppy. They could have rescued a Labradoodle and so all of these people could have a dog identical to the Obamas they just would have had to go to the nearest pet store. Just look at the bright side.

  • Justine says:

    I would just like to say that not every dog in the shelter is a “mutt”!!!!!! Many are “pure bred”. I want people to know that by implying that every shelter dog is a “mutt” only pushes people to their nearest pet store or breeder so they can purchase a “purebred”! By saying this YOU are fueling the desire for pure bred dogs! I don’t really care about the breed of dog but some people do. If you prefer a certain breed there are breed rescues so get your dog from there.

  • Grace says:

    If you go out there to protest it will only make it worse. The only way to do things is to do it passivelyespecially when it evolves animal lover’s.

  • Gerry says:

    The way Peta so excellently mobilized large protest groups with the Michael Vick story they should also do the same at the White House. Imagine NOW all the thousands of people who will ACTIVELY want a dog that is identical to Obama’s. Peta should protest specifically pointing out Obama’s LIE which it is.

  • kelly says:

    And the AKC wants YOU to pay for spaying and neutering their sold dogs! They sell for dogs for thousands of dollars but they don’t spay and neuter first because that cuts into their profits Profits they usually never report as they cheat on their taxes Most of these AKC breeders are unlicensed have no sales tax number and are Class A Tax Cheats.

  • kelly says:

    “I believe the focus should change to RESPONSIBLE pet ownershipguardianship” This is PROPAGANDA from Didi the AKC dog breeder. All this “responsible pet ownership” stuff is lobbying from the AKC AGAINST humane laws. The AKC says pets are property and property owners should be able to do whatever they want with their property including torture them starve them kill them inhumanely shove them in cages outddors. Why does the AKC support dog abuse? BECAUSE THE AKC MAKES MOST OF ITS INCOME FROM REGISTERING PUPPY MILL DOGS! httpwww.bogartsdaddy.comBouvierBouvPagesarticleinquirepuppymillsAKC.htm When ever you hear this “responsible pet ownership” stuff you’ve got yourself an AKC breeder promoting the sleazy and cruel world of AKC purebred dog breeding. Didi also pulls her breeder cheap stunt of “demean the shelter dog and encourage people to buy purebreds” so she and her friends can make more money If you want to see the true face of the Didis of the world here is another DiDi httpwww.sourcewatch.orgindex.php?titlePattiStrand

  • Dolly Austin says:

    That video…is right on!!!

  • Joanne Sheaffer says:

    President Obama you squandered an incredible opportunity. This is not a “mutt like you” sir. This dog was given to you by an American aristocrat. Ted Kennedy is a fine man no doubt and it would be difficult to refuse him but you should have. There were SO MANY other ways to go. I work in a shelter smackdab in the middle of Lancaster County PA puppy mill capital of the East. Each day I spend in the shelter is an eyeopening experience. We get to smell and touch and see and these abandoned animals. How great it would have been if you had actually gone to a shelter after you had picked out your new dog showing us where it came from how such a place operates. Maybe this isn’t as important as Somalia or the economy but it could have made such a huge difference in the lives of animals in America and around the world. I can’t help thinking of your donation to a shelter as an insult when you could have made such a sweeping difference by doing the right thing. By keeping your promise. Joanne E.

  • David says:

    “For all of you saying that you don’t understand why people have issues with people buying dogs from breeders you are obviously missing the point. The POINT is that there are millions of dogs currently homeless and in shelters all around the United States. Breeders selling dogs is just making the problem larger. For every dog that is purchased from a breeder another dog at a shelter dies. THAT is the point. Some of you people are so ignorant. You make up your lame excuses to make yourself feel better about having dogs that you purchased from breeders…all you are doing is increasing the dog overpopulation crisis.” Or another equally correct way to look at this is people who do not get their dogs spayed or neutered and then allow them to breed without providing a home for the offspring are the ones creating the problem. Not to many breeders that I have ever heard of would follow this practice. Most would not breed dogs unless they had a reasonable chance of selling the dog.

  • whitney wilson says:

    For all of you saying that you don’t understand why people have issues with people buying dogs from breeders you are obviously missing the point. The POINT is that there are millions of dogs currently homeless and in shelters all around the United States. Breeders selling dogs is just making the problem larger. For every dog that is purchased from a breeder another dog at a shelter dies. THAT is the point. Some of you people are so ignorant. You make up your lame excuses to make yourself feel better about having dogs that you purchased from breeders…all you are doing is increasing the dog overpopulation crisis.

  • Grace says:

    I found a great story about a pet store puppy. That fits quite well for the education purposes of puppy mills.It’s called “The Pet Store Story” I don’t remember much from the place I was born. It was cramped and dark and we were never played with by the humans. I remember Mom and her soft fur but she was often sick and very thin. She had hardly any milk for me and my brothers and sisters. I remember many of them dying and I missed them so. I do remember the day I was taken from Mom. I was so sad and scared my milk teeth had only just come in and I really should have been with Mom still but she was so sick and the Humans kept saying that they wanted money and were sick of the “mess” that me and my sister made. So we were crated up and taken to a strange place. Just the two of us. We huddled together and were scared still no human hands came to pet or love us. So many sights and sounds and smells! We are in a store where there are many different animals! Some that squawks! Some that meow! Some that Peep! My sister and I are jammed into a small cage I hear other puppies here. I see humans look at me I like the ‘little humans’ the kids. they look so sweet and fun like they would play with me! All day we stay in the small cage sometimes mean people will hit the glass and frighten us every once in a while we are taken out to be held or shown to humans. Some are gentle some hurt us we always hear “Aw they are so cute! I want one!” but we never get to go with any. My sister died last night when the store was dark. I lay my head on her soft fur and felt the life leave her small thin body. I had heard them say she was sick and that I should be sold at a “discount price” so that I would quickly leave the store. I think my soft whine was the only one that mourned for her as her body was taken out of the cage in the morning and dumped. Today a family came and bought me! Oh happy day! They are a nice family they really really wanted me! They had bought a dish and food and the little girl held me so tenderly in her arms. I love her so much! The mom and dad say what a sweet and good puppy I am! I am named Angel. I love to lick my new humans! The family takes such good care of me they are loving and tender and sweet. They gently teach me right and give me good food and lots of love! I want only to please these wonderful people! I love the little girl and I enjoy running and playing with her. Today I went to the veterinarian. it was a strange place and I was frightened. I got some shots but my best friend the little girl held me softly and said it would be OK. So I relaxed. The Vet must have said sad words to my beloved family because they looked awfully sad. I heard severe hip dysplasia and something about my heart… I heard the vet say something about back yard breeders and my parents not being tested. I know not what any of that means just that it hurts me to see my family so sad. But they still love me and I still love them very much! I am 6 months old now. Where most other puppies are robust and rowdy it hurts me terribly just to move. The pain never lets up. It hurts to run and play with my beloved little girl and I find it hard to breath. I keep trying my best to be the strong pup I know I am supposed to be but it is so hard. It breaks my heart to see the little girl so sad and to hear the Mom and Dad talk about “it might now be the time”. Several times I have gone to that veterinarians place and the news is never good. Always talk about congenital problems. I just want to feel the warm sunshine and run and play and nuzzle with my family. Last night was the worst pain has been my constant companion now it hurts even to get up and get a drink. I try to get up but can only whine in pain. I am taken in the car one last time. Everyone is so sad and I don’t know why. Have I been bad? I try to be good and loving what have I done wrong? Oh if only this pain would be gone! If only I could soothe the tears of the little girl. I reach out my muzzle to lick her hand but can only whine in pain. The veterinarians table is so cold. I am so frightened. The humans all hug and love me they cry into my soft fur. I can feel their love and sadness. I manage to lick softly their hands. Even the vet doesn’t seem so scary today. he is gentle and I sense some kind of relief for my pain. The little girl holds me softly and I thank her for giving me all her love. I feel a soft pinch in my foreleg. The pain is beginning to lift I am beginning to feel a peace descend upon me. I can now softly lick her hand. My vision is becoming dreamlike now and I see my Mother and my brothers and sisters in a far off green place. They tell me there is no pain there only peace and happiness. I tell the family goodbye in the only way I know how a soft wag of my tail and a nuzzle of my nose. I had hoped to spend many many moons with them but it was not meant to be. “You see” said the veterinarian “Pet shop puppies do not come from ethical breeders.” The pain ends now and I know it will be many years until I see my beloved family again. If only things could have been different.”

  • Erin says:

    I am so sad today that the Obamas got a purebred dog to be the “first dog”. I am so disappointed….very very disappointed and sad. He could have set an example and potentially started an adoption crazebut instead will probably start a PWD craze and enable irresponsible breeding puppy mills etc. for that breed. For companion animals breeders are completely obsolete and make dogs into nothing more than a status symbol and fashion accessory. Dogs are God’s handiwork and have souls can feel pain and suffer and love unconditionally. I’m lucky enough to be a mom to two rescue dogs and wish I had room for more. I’ve never known unconditional love until I adopted my two. Good work on getting the message out there PETA. Keep it up!!!

  • Didi says:

    Yes we should focus on closing irresponsible puppy mills but frankly it does no good to get hysterical about where people get their pets from. I believe the focus should change to RESPONSIBLE pet ownershipguardianship no matter where the dog comes from. Animals from the shelter can present special challenges that many people are not equipped to deal with and the dog may end up back on the streets or back at the shelter. Education is key. I’ve had two shelter dogs one worked out beautifully the other had aggression issues that proved to be unsurmountable and after several weeks I had no choice but to return it to the shelter. At adoption the shelter had also misrepresented the scope of the animal’s behavior problems. Many people want to do the right thing but going into an situation like this you are unprepared for just makes matters worse for everybody including the animal. Sure we should be trying to save pet lives but the right focus for the solution to the feralunwanted pet population does goes back to 1 spayneuter 2 responsible ownership education no matter what the source of the pet and 3 PLANNED breeding just like family planning and screening of potential pet owners for aptitude. Now I have a beautiful 2 year old easy and even tempered purebreed who I personally raised from puppyhood well socialized and with his health constantly monitored. He is also neutered. Unless I die there’s no chance my dog is ever going to be unwanted on the streets or be abused.

  • Stacey says:

    I’m sending this article to a local “Hunt Club” who has been sending me emails about getting me to become a part of their club. Not only do they breed over 50 new Beagles a year but they spend their weekends chasing and shooting foxes on horseback. I think they could find a new way to spend their time. I know I can’t eliminate their sport but I might be able to get them to adopt dogs since our local humane society always has at least 5 beagles in their program. Thanks Peta

  • Missy says:

    I think what sickens me the most about Obama is how fake the whole thing is. I read this puppy has been in training for week in preparation for this. Now I read the Humane Society congratulating him for giving a dog a “second chance”??? LOL maybe that donation he promised them has blinded them to the fact that he got a dog from Teddy Kennedy’s breeder. It’s a “gift” from Kennedy of course Obama can’t refuse that…. It’s a “rare” breed so of course he can’t find one from a rescue…The whole this is phony and it shows how Obama is all talk. This has been planned from the getgo I have no doubt about it. Sad day for true rescue dogs. Obama the man of “change” is the same old thing. He had no pressure on him to get a purebred whatsoever but he had the whole animal welfare community counting on him to make an amazing symbolic gesture and what did he do? Let us all down. Shame on the Humane Society too justifying and touting his selfish feat.

  • shannon says:

    I’m not 100 opposed to breeders but I do see them only as a last resort. Of course shelters are the best way to go to bring an animal into your life. But sometimes the “right” animal isn’t there. And if you’ve got your heart set on a purebreed check breedspecific rescue groups to see how they can help and if any dogs are available. Of course pet stores are a bad idea no matter how you slice it. It’s only in these circumstances that I would consider going through a breeder but even then there must be careful scrutiny. The Humane Society of the United States has an excellent checklist of what to look for in a breeder. Can you see where the dogs are kept? Do they stay in the house? Are they clean? Are they limited to one litter per year per dog? Is there a waiting list? Is the dog’s health a top priority? Does the breeder screen potential clients? Will the breeder insist on having the pup sterilized?

  • Heather says:

    I am a shelter dog owner and the owner of other pets as well so I believer in buying what you want but understand the importance of shelter dogs. I believe someone said that they didn’t understand why someone would spend so much money on a pure bred dog when you can get dogs who need homes. I don’t know what sort of places your going to for dogs but shelter prices are steep these days and so are the prices of dogs found on If money were focused on spay and neuter programs and supporting shelters maybe reproduction rates would decrease and prices of pets would go down. Allowing people to adopt from shelters. Why spend $200 on a shelter dog that may have poor qualities when you can pay for a well bred dog and at least know to a certain degree what you are getting out of the breed. And I agree with a previous post that we should stop attacking those who purchase from breeders and start attacking those who are irresponsible with their pets.

  • Karla says:

    Look this is actually ridiculous although I do NOT support the inhumane treatment of Dogs in Puppy mills it still doesn’t mean that they are all like this I have friends who their parents breed their little pair of puppies. They have a good home and they sell them just for a low price…also its true about the pounds and ridiculous rules… we put an application for a cat and a dog either one and that was months and months ago …I’m still waiting for a response… If all these dogs needed a home so bad they would make an effort to contact people who are trying to help… I don’t think you should blame people but the shelters that are doing a poor job…

  • Lee Anne says:

    I agree with the previous poster. Obama and his family truly disappointed me also. He obviosly just doesn’t get it. And a search on petfinder yielded about a dozen PWDs available for adoption across the country.

  • Andrew says:

    I’m disappointed in the Obama decision to get a pet from a breeder. Hopefully Biden makes a positive step and adopts.

  • Patricia says:

    well well well. things are not looking up with President Obama. As an avid supporter of his….I am becoming more and more disappointed in him and wonder if he will be more of the same. He buys a dog from a breeder…there are many Portuguese Water Dog rescue sites as well as Labradoodles. Dreadful dreadful example to give. And then the continuance of the Patriot Act. Were my friends correct and I wrong about Barak Obama. Well well well.

  • Miss Dena says:

    I am totally in support of purchasing animals from reputable breeders yes PETA they do exist. Before I adopted my dog I did a lot of research on dog breeds and I knew the exact size and temperment that I wanted in a pet. I wanted a smallmedium dog with a mellow easygoing personality that wouldn’t shed a lot. I narrowed down the breeds to either an English Bulldog Lhasa Apso or Havanese. Each week I went to the SPCA and the county animal shelter. Once there I discovered that there were very few small dogs for adoption and the ones available would only be adopted to families with children over 12 years old which left my family out of the process because my son was only eight. MOST of the dogs were pitbulls or American Stafforshire Terriers which terrify me. I then scoured Craigslist and found a female Lhasa Apso for adoption. That was 2 years ago and she is the most wonderful pet ever!! She fits in quite well with our family and lifestyle. We will keep her forever because she is the perfect dog for us and had I not found her I would have definitely gone to a breeder.

  • brandy says:

    I am kind of sadened that Obama has not taken steps to stop the overpopulation. And now he is getting a dog from a breeder?? Very sad! I just don’t get it here is what I want to see happen. Breeders must have a license. Pay 1000.00 every 2 yrs PER BREEDING DOG for it. Must have a home visit by an ACO and a vet refernece. Can’t even place an ad without it and if a paper is caught with an ad with no license they should have a HUGE fine. You can’t even own a dogcat over 7 months that is not fixed. Tax credit for adopting from a shelter or 501c. Oh I could go on and on. The overpopulation is just frustrating. And even those ideas would have created more jobs!!!! Thanks for listening just had to vent.

  • John Rydbeck says:

    I guess I am confused as to why people look at the people buying dogs as the problem and not the people taking poor care of dogs to create the shelter problem in the first place. But that is just my $0.02. BTW I have rescued a dog from the shelter and purchased a dog from a breeder.

  • Greg says:

    The Biden’s should be able to get any kind of dog they choose. Pure bred is fine a great if that is what they want and they give the dog a good home. They should not be critized if they chose to get a pure bred dog.

  • Justine says:

    Totally! I would never buy from a pet storeaka puppymill or breeder. I would just like to remind everyone that not every dog in the shelter is a “mutt”. Many of them are “pure bred”. I myself don’t really care if a dog is a mixed breed or not but if you prefer a particular breed there are always BREED RESCUES AND ORGANIZATIONS.

  • ABMFS says:

    Perhaps Joe should consider ADOPTING a HOMELESS pet over a BRED dog. In these difficult economic times it is hard to believe anyone is actually BUYING a pet to love…there are so many animals out there that need a good home. So typical of our throwaway society. Shame shame…

  • Karmyn O'Dowd says:

    I am so dissapointed right now with president Obama. He got the first white house dog from a BREEDER! What makes it worse is that he said he was going to adopt and then does the opposite. What kind of example does that set? It might sound corny to some but im really sad about this. I just dont understand why the Obamas did this.

  • Larry says:

    I am terribly disappointed in Obama for going back on his word to get a shelter dog. He just helped all those breeder buyers to rationalize their deadly decisions. A sad sad day . . .

  • Sally says:

    Now the supposed President of “Change” is getting a purebred too. It’s so sad that these people have a chance to set a powerful example. Obama truly disappointed me.

  • Lori Ugolik says:

    great adneeds to be aired all over the US!!!

  • erin says:

    We are here to take care of animals. Anyone who does not care to do so and hurts or otherwisw abuses them isn’t really a human being but a monster.

  • kelly says:

    Biden’s breeder was exposed as a really bad PUPPY MILL breeder who has been abusing dogs for years. These breeders get away with this abuse for profit for so long and the AKC helps them hide it so they think there will be no closer looks. They are very expert at fooling people but this breeder got caught. I hope this inspires people to check out breeders in their area see what is really going on answer some ads and do some investigating. Find out where the dogs are really kept and come from Another thing these breeders are usually guilty of is not reporting income and not paying taxes not getting sales tax ids and the rest which is all quite reportable

  • Anita50882 says:

    Is it true about Obama getting a dog from a breeder? I hope to God not but it’s all over the news. I pray it’s not true…

  • Marla K Morine says:

    Now Obama has done it too. I am so very disappointed in this. We all need to tell him what a terrible example he has set. He got a purebred Portugese Waterdog that was bred by a breeder sold returned by the buyer then “rehomed” by the breeder to the Obamas. This is the same breeders that the Kennedy’s have purchased from. This is not a rescue no matter how pretty he tries to make it! This is an action that supports breeding. What happened to “I’m going to get a shelter dog a mutt like me.”?

  • Kim says:

    Although I appreciate all PETA does for animals…I feel it would be far more productive if we target puppy mills and most of all the public who do not spay and neuter their pets. Spend the time and effort and lobby for a Law’you may not have a dog or cat in your keeping unless you spay and neuterPERIOD’. If you can’t afford it then you can’t afford the pet. I live in Ohio and am appauled and sickened by the continual abuse I see in the news towards dogs and all animals for that matter. Come check out Mountaineer Race track…or the Amish communities or the huge puppy mills in Pennsylvania…or the dog pound in Carrolton Oh where they are still gasing dogs….for lack of funds and just following the law…. Believe it or notmany people just don’t know any better…seriously…. education is where our efforts also need to be. thank you

  • Christopher O says:

    I do support going to a shelter over a breeder.My wife and I had a horrible experience during our recent adoption of our little chihuahua Ginger. “Shelters” here in Jacksonville have outrageous “rules” that demand that we give our Ginger back if they do not think we are “fit” enough. While some people are not suited to having a pet due to their lifestyles these types of actions can and do drive people to breeders simply so they do not have to fill out a four page application and have Gestapoesk rules hung over their heads. PETA call for a reform in how shelters manage their adoptions. A positive experience for adopters nationwide might save some more innocent animals lives.