A US Secret Service dog has been honoured today (Friday 4 October 2019) with a Medal for devotion to duty by the UK’s leading veterinary charity, PDSA, for protecting the then President and First Family from an intruder who attempted to gain access to the White House.
Special Operations Canine, Hurricane, who worked with his handler Officer Marshall Mirarchi for four years, received the PDSA Order of Merit* – known as the animal equivalent of the OBE.
Hurricane was trained as part of the USSS Emergency Response Team and provided specialist protection to the White House and its grounds.
Now retired from service, Hurricane flew to the UK from Washington in style courtesy of British Airways. He will receive his Medal from PDSA at a special ceremony at the House of Lords.
He is the first international animal to receive the honour, which was instituted in 2014 and has been awarded to just 30 other recipients.
Commenting on the award, PDSA Director General, Jan McLoughlin, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Hurricane and Marshall to the UK for today’s presentation. Hurricane had a truly outstanding career with the US Secret Service, and went above and beyond the call of duty when an intruder tried to gain access to the White House. Despite suffering a ferocious assault he never faltered from his duty.
“Through our Animal Awards programme, PDSA seeks to raise the status of animals in society and honour the incredible contribution they make to our lives. The PDSA Order of Merit was introduced to recognise animals for the exceptional devotion to duty.
“Hurricane’s achievements certainly fulfil this criteria and warrant the highest recognition. We are thrilled that he has become the latest recipient of the PDSA Order of Merit.”