POLITICS

Secret Service Dog Falls, Dies While Working Joe Biden's New Orleans Appearance

01/28/2013 11:29 am ET | Updated Jan 28, 2013

A Secret Service dog tragically died over the weekend while in the line of duty.

The Secret Service dog fell to its death on Saturday night while investigating a six-story parking lot across the street from the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans, where Vice President Joe Biden was speaking, CNN reports.

Federal agents and police rushed the dog, a Belgian Malinois, to a Metairie veterinary hospital around 6 p.m., according to WWLTV. Despite the efforts of the veteranarians, the dog could not be revived.

The Secret Service dog and its handler were working security for Biden's appearance at a fundraiser for the reelection campaign of Sen. Mary Landrieu.

Secret Service spokesman Max Milien called the dog's death a "tragic accident." According to the Hill, officials will not be releasing the name of the dog.

The Secret Service began its canine program in 1975 as an effective means to detect explosives, according to the agency's official website. The Belgian Malanois, from Holland, is the chosen breed of the agency because the dogs are small, fast, capable of working in the heat and very sociable.

Jezebel's Laura Beck, who said she has worked with animal rescues for about a decade, had this to say about the dogs:

[...] Belgian Malinois are real tough cookies. They're filled with energy, are incredibly smart, and have a predisposition to extreme loyalty. They're great agility dogs, and I'm not surprised they're the Secret Service's dog of choice because they can get a little nutso if they're not working. They are truly "dogs with jobs".

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