For the seventh time this year, someone has jumped the fence surrounding the White House. But the latest trespasser, Dominic Adesanya, didn’t get very far yesterday. Secret Service dogs Hurricane and Jordan immediately chased him down.
When the dogs confronted him, Adesanya punched and kicked them — one of them severely. So, along with other charges, he is also facing two felony counts for animal assault, thanks to the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act of 2000. This act makes it a federal felony to kill or inflict serious bodily injury on any federal police dog or horse.
“This person didn’t just illegally enter White House grounds — he attempted to seriously injure two law enforcement animals doing their duty,” Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle stated today in a press release.
“We support his prosecution under the Federal Law Enforcement Animal Protection Act, and hope that a conviction and prison sentence deters other would-be criminals from hurting dogs or horses doing their work to protect our country.”
After being treated by a veterinarian for minor bruising, Hurricane and Jordan are doing fine. “Both K-9s were cleared for duty by the veterinarian,” Edwin Donovan, a Secret Service spokesman, wrote in an email to the Washington Post.
Like all 25 Secret Service dogs, Hurricane and Jordan are Belgian Malinois. The agency prefers this breed because they are intelligent, strong and obedient, and can run twice as fast as a human. Plus, the agency says on its website, these dogs are more agile and have more energy than German Shepherds, another popular K-9 breed.
According to the @SecretService Twitter account, Hurricane is 6 years old and “enjoys playing with his Kong toy.” Jordan is 5 and “enjoys walks around White House.”
So where were Hurricane, Jordan and other Secret Service dogs last month, when Omar J. Gonzalez jumped the White House fence and made it all the way inside to the East Room?
The dogs were not released during that incident, the Washington Post reports. That decision is part of the review of Department of Homeland Security breakdowns that is currently being conducted by security and operations experts.
The Secret Service started using dogs in 1975. The dogs and their handlers train for 20 weeks at a facility in Maryland. As part of the agency’s Uniformed Division, each dog is trained for a specific skill, such as bomb sniffing.
The only duty of Hurricane, Jordan and other dogs who work on the grounds of the White House is to subdue intruders.
“Once you release the dogs to their objective, there’s not much that can stop them,” former Secret Service Director Ralph Basham told the Washington Post. “Take them down, slam into them. There are certain parts of the body they are trained to attack. They are trained to stop the intruder and give the handler time to respond.”
Photos via Twitter