NPR

Meet The Hero Dogs Of The Secret Service

Jordan, one of the dogs being hailed as a hero for attacking a White House fence-jumper Wednesday night. (Courtesy of the Secret Service)

Hurricane "enjoys playing with his Kong toy." Jordan is partial to walks around the White House. Both have brown eyes and, according to tweets from the Secret Service, are "ready to work." Meet the hero dogs, who helped take down the latest man to jump the fence at the White House.

The Secret Service is gladly highlighting its canine heroes after weeks of the drip, drip, drip of an agency in trouble. Jordan and Hurricane are highly trained Belgian Malinois — sort of a smaller, faster, more agile German shepherd. They have been described as "missile dogs," who can get to a fence-jumper in a matter of seconds. And when a 23-year-old man jumped the White House fence Wednesday night, they sprang into action, continuing to attack even as he kicked and punched them.

When it was all done, alleged jumper Dominic Adesanya was taken to a local hospital for evaluation, while Jordan and Hurricane were taken to a veterinarian to be treated for minor bruising. "Both K-9s were cleared for duty by the veterinarian," Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan wrote in an email.

And while it's totally uncool to kick a dog, it turns out kicking a canine officer is also a federal offense. Adesanya was charged with "harming animals used on law enforcement" in addition to "unlawfully entering the restricted grounds of the White House." According to the U.S. Attorney's Office of the District of Columbia, both charges are punishable by up to a year in prison.

The two pups are getting the hero's treatment this time, but last month when a man carrying a knife jumped the fence and made it all the way into the White House, they weren't deployed. The failure to use the K-9 unit was just one of many flaws in the response to that incident. Another problem: The front door of the White House was unlocked.

Last month's incident led to a full-blown scandal and prompted the director of the Secret Service, Julia Pierson, to resign. The Department of Homeland Security is currently conducting a review of White House security, which is due Nov. 1. One question that comes up again and again: Why have a fence that's low enough that people can jump over it?

Fence-jumping suspect Adesanya had been arrested twice before near the White House and trying to get in. In one incident, according to charging documents, he had jumped over a security barrier and said he was "being targeted due to his race by the Rothchild (sic) family who owned the federal reserve bank." He went on to say "the first barrier he had jumped over was easy and that the next fence to the south grounds of the White House would not be a problem as well."

Apparently the fence on the north side of the White House wasn't too much of a problem for him either, as he made it over and onto the North Lawn. However, Hurricane and Jordan were there to greet him, and they presented much more of a problem.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Most Popular