Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

US Secret Service dog awarded ‘animal OBE’
Hurricane received the PDSA Order of Merit at a special ceremony at the House of Lords.

Hurricane is the first international recipient of the PDSA Order of Merit

A US Secret Service dog who foiled a serious security breach at the White House has been awarded the PDSA Order of Merit.

Special operation canine Hurricane received the award for devotion to duty at a special ceremony in London on Friday (4 October). He was joined by former handler, officer Marshall Mirarchi and nominator, New York Times bestselling author Maria Goodavage.

In October 2014, Hurricane and Marshall were on duty at the White House when a man vaulted the fence and sprinted across the lawn, towards where President Obama and his family were in residence. It is the job of the Secret Service to prevent any threat to the President, so the canine team leapt into action.

The team's first attempt to thwart the intruder was unsuccessful, but fortunately, Hurricane and Mirarchi were on standby. On Mirarchi’s command, Hurricane bounded across the grass making contact with the intruder, intending to push him back into the perimeter fence. In the ensuing struggle, however, Hurricane was kicked, punched and swung through the air.

Despite this violent, repeated attack, Hurricane kept his jaw gripped on the intruder’s arm and never gave up. He continued to push forward and finally grounded the man, enabling armed officers to take him into custody.

Now retired from service, Hurricane flew to the UK from Washington in VIP-style courtesy of British Airways. The special ceremony took place at the House of Lords and saw Hurricane become the first international recipient of the PDSA Order of Merit.

Maria Goodavage, who first met Hurricane and Marshall when she was researching her book on secret service dogs, said: “When I heard what happened that night and how impeccably Hurricane behaved, I was absolutely blown away. The skill and talent of these dog teams is second to none and I am completely thrilled to be here to see Hurricane honoured with the PDSA Order of Merit.”

Officer Marshall Mirarchi added: “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.
 
“I am so proud of him and extremely thankful to PDSA for honouring his service and actions in this way. We are very pleased to be in London to receive the honour – Hurricane has travelled in style with British Airways and is receiving the full VIP treatment, just as he deserves.”

Image (C) PDSA.

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."