A specially trained bomb sniffing Belgian Malinois was performing his duty Saturday evening when he fell from the roof of a six-story parking garage. The black and brown dog and his handler were in New Orleans to protect Vice President Joe Biden, who was staying at an adjacent Ritz Carlton.
The dog and Secret Service staff were performing a bomb sweep of the parking garage at approximately 6:00 p.m. when the dog fell to his death, New Orleans police told WWL-TV.
Agents rushed the dog to a veterinary hospital via motorcade, but hospital personnel were unable to save him.
It [The Secret Service] uses Belgian Malinois because they are small and have short hair—making it easy for them to work in the heat. They are also very sociable. Each dog and its handler has to complete 20 weeks of training before beginning work, the agency said. When it’s time for a dog to retire—usually after about 10 years—it is retired to its handler. (CNN)
The agency began using canines in 1975 to assist in explosives detection.
Secret Service spokesman Max Milien told the network the dog’s death was a “tragic accident.” (WWL-TV)
Vice President Biden was attending a fundraiser for Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu’s re-election campaign.