Dog who stopped White House intruder given ‘animal OBE’

Handler Officer Marshall Mirarchi with US Secret Service dog, Special Operations Canine, Hurricane, who has received a PDSA Order of Merit a Credit: Yui Mok/PA

A dog has been given a special award for thwarting a possible attack on President Barack Obama.

United States Secret Service dog Hurricane and his handler Officer Marshall Mirarchi were in London on Wednesday to receive the PDSA Order Of Merit – sometimes referred to as the animal equivalent of an OBE – after he stopped an intruder at the White House in 2014.

Mr Mirarchi, now Hurricane’s adoptive dad, said: “Hurricane was such a legend within the Service. He loved working and his talent for the job impressed me every single day.

“That night, he stepped up and delivered under circumstances that no amount of training could prepare him for.

"I have never witnessed such violence toward a dog before but it didn’t stop him from doing his job."

He added: "I am so proud of him and extremely thankful to PDSA for honouring his service and actions in this way.”

Belgian Malinois Hurricane, who was trained as part of the USSS Emergency Response Team, leapt into a action when a man jumped the White House fence and sprinted towards the area where President Obama and his family were.

Hurricane is ‘a legend’ within the Secret Service, according to handler Marshall Mirarchi Credit: Yui Mok/PA

The intruder struggled, kicking and punching Hurricane as well as swinging him through the air, but the dog eventually managed to knock him to the ground, allowing officers to apprehend him.

PDSA director general Jan McLoughlin said: “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.”

Hurricane retired from service in 2016.