Hurricane, a Special Operations Canine who worked for the US Secret Service, is the first non-UK dog to receive the Order of Merit from charity People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA). The award is widely regarded as the animal equivalent of the Order of the British Empire.
The all-black Belgian Malinois undoubtedly deserves the prestigious honor for his steadfast dedication to his job. On October 22, 2014, Hurricane successfully stopped a White House intruder despite his best efforts to knock the dog down.
The intruder scaled the fence and dropped onto the lawn. A Secret Service canine team attempted to stop him from going any further, but the man’s dogged determination made their task difficult.
Fortunately, Hurricane and his handler, Officer Marshall Mirarchi — both part of the Secret Service Emergency Response Team — were on duty that night. Once they spotted the trespasser running toward the White House, Officer Mirarchi commanded Hurricane to attack.
The Belgian Malinois leaped into action. He launched his body against the intruder, trying to push him back against the fence.
The trespasser wouldn’t give up without a fight, though. He repeatedly kicked and punched Hurricane, throwing the dog around. Still, Hurricane kept his jaws locked tight on the man’s arm.
The Belgian Malinois must have been in excruciating pain by then, but he never wavered in his duty. Eventually, armed officers arrived to seize the intruder.
President Obama and his family were at home at the time. Thanks to Hurricane, the trespasser wasn’t able to come near them.
Hurricane withdrew from the Secret Service two years later at eight years old. Officer Mirarchi, who’s now his fur dad, suspects that the health issues that led to the dog’s early retirement stemmed from that 2014 attack.
But he’s immensely proud of Hurricane, who has always demonstrated an aptitude for the job. The fur dad shares that no training could’ve prepared the Belgian Malinois for that level of aggression he experienced on October 22, 2014, but he still stepped up to the plate.
The Secret Service canine got two cheeseburgers that night as a reward for a job well done. Now, he’ll be getting the full VIP treatment when he and Officer Mirarchi go to London in October for the award ceremony. Watch Hurricane in the video below: