Hurricane, a former Secret Service K9, was recently honored for putting his life on the line to protect others.
The retired K9 officer became the first dog to receive the Distinguished Service Medal, the first medal of its kind for military dogs in the United States.
For four years the Belgian Malinois worked alongside his handler, Marshall Mirarchi, guarding the White House. The partners worked together keeping the White House safe while Barack Obama was president.
In 2014, Hurricane put his life on the line when he attacked and took beating from someone who jumped a fence at the White House.
“Hurricane met him halfway on the lawn and engaged the individual and he and him got into an intense battle,” Mirarchi said, according to WJLA.
Thanks to his training and titanium teeth, the K9 was able to subdue the intruder, however Hurricane sustained career-ending injuries.
“It was very hard to watch,” Miraichi said. “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.”
The attack forced Hurricane into early retirement. Without much thought, Miraichi adopted him.
In his retirement, Hurricane was recognized for his act of bravery. In 2019, the former K9 became the first international dog to receive the UK’s Order of Merit from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals.
The award, which is the animals’ equivalent to the Royal Order of the British Empire (OBE), is given to animals that show extreme companionship and animal acts that showcase their relationship with humans.
In the time after the attack, Mirarchi and his girlfriend Lisa Woods also started a nonprofit to help other retired K9s.
Their nonprofit, K-9s Hurricane Heroes, provides subsidized veterinary care for retired law enforcement and military dogs so they are able to live a happy retired life.
Now, nearly eight years after Hurricane’s heroic act, he’s still receiving accolades. He, along with six other dogs, was recently honored with the Distinguished Service Medal, the first of its kind and highest medal an animal can receive in the United States, from Animals in War and Peace.
Smoky, a tiny Yorkshire Terrier who was responsible for saving lives during WWII, was also honored with a medal during the ceremony.
Congratulations, Hurricane! I can’t wait for more deserving animals to be honored.
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