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White House Guard Dog Honored With Medal For Protecting Obama Family From Intruder

A Secret Service dog who protected then-President Barack Obama and his family from a White House intruder has now been honored with a medal for his devotion to duty, ABC News reported.

Hurricane is a black Belgian Malinois, a Special Operations Canine, part of the USSS Emergency Response Team, and is also what you would call a very good boy.

On the night of October 22, 2014, an intruder managed to hop the north lawn fence at the White House.

Unsplash | David Everett Strickler

The man then began sprinting towards the area where President Obama and his family were.

Without missing a beat, Hurricane sprang into action and leaped at the man, who fought back against the guard dog by kicking and punching him.

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At one point, he even swung Hurricane through the air, but the pup persisted and manged to knock the intruder off his feet, keeping him on the ground until officers arrested him.

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"It was very hard to watch," said Hurricane's handler, Officer Marshall Mirarchi. "I've never had to see my dog get hit like that, slammed like that, kicked, punched. He was cut up pretty good from the fight. I knew it was bad. Hurricane went in and did that so we didn't have to."

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Mirarchi said Hurricane showed incredible bravery during the incident.

Twitter | @hurricane_k9

"That night, he stepped up and delivered under circumstances that no amount of training could prepare him for," Mirarchi said. "I have never witnessed such violence towards a dog before, but it didn't stop him from doing his job."

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Now, in recognition of that bravery, Hurricane has been awarded the PDSA Order Of Merit in London, England.

The UK medal is basically the animal equivalent of the Royal Order of the British Empire (OBE).

According to the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, the medal is meant to recognize "animals that display outstanding devotion to their owner or wider society, above and beyond normal companionship – and represents an exceptional example of the special relationship between animals and humans."

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Hurricane traveled to London to receive the award with his handler Mirarchi, who has stayed with him since he retired from service in 2016.

The pair worked together from 2012 to 2016, and Mirarchi said Hurricane's time in the service has made him a "legend."

“He loved working and his talent for the job impressed me every single day," he said.

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Mirarchi said he couldn't be more proud of the honor.

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"Hurricane receiving the PDSA order of merit is absolutely an incredible honor," he said. "He stopped someone getting in the front door of the White House where the president and his family were right there."

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"If I ever had to choose between me or him, I would choose him. And that's an easy choice to make because he would choose me — he did choose me."

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Hurricane is the 31st animal to receive the prestigious award, the second service dog, and the first animal from outside of the U.K. Past winners have included 19 dogs and 12 horses.

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The PDSA's director general Jan McLoughlin said Hurricane certainly earned the award.

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"The PDSA Order of Merit was introduced to recognise animals for the exceptional devotion to duty. Hurricane's achievements certainly fulfill this criteria and warrant the highest recognition. We are thrilled that he has become the latest recipient of the PDSA Order of Merit."

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This isn't the first time Hurricane has received an award for his heroism.

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In 2016, he was named Top Dog by the Animal Medical Center, and in 2017, he received an award for valor from the Department of Homeland Security and the USSS Award for Merit.

A very good boy indeed!

h/t: ABC News, Standard

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