Bomb-Sniffing Dog Falls to its Death During 'Sweep' to Protect VP Joe Biden

| by Denise A Justin
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A Secret Service dog fell to its death in New Orleans while doing a “sweep” to protect Vice President Joe Biden, who was at the Ritz Carlton Hotel next door.

On Jan. 27, CNN reported that the dog was "doing a sweep of a multi-story parking deck near a hotel where Vice President Joe Biden was speaking."

The bomb-sniffing dog, a Belgian Malinois, fell from the roof of the six-story at approximately 6 p.m., New Orleans police told WWL-TV. Biden was speaking at a fundraiser for Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu's re-election campaign.

Federal agents rushed the black and brown shepherd to Metairie Small Animal Hospital via motorcade, but veterinarians were unable to save its life, WWL-TV reported.

Secret Service dogs are well trained and sure footed, so this type of accident is rare. Belgian Malinois is a breed particularly well suited to sniff out bombs and explosives because they are small, agile and have short hair, making it easy for them to work in heat or closed-in areas. They are also very sociable.

Each Secret Service dog and its handler complete a 20-week 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.

The name of the dog and handler have not been released to provide privacy because of this close professional and personal relationship in what Secret Service spokesman Max Milien called a "tragic accident."