Secret Service Dog Guarding Vice President Joe Biden Falls to Its Death From New Orleans Parking Garage Roof

AP

A Secret Service dog fell to its death from the roof of a six-story parking lot while working to protect Vice President Joe Biden in New Orleans Saturday night.

The Belgian Malanois plunged off the parking lot roof around 6 p.m. near the Ritz-Carlton Hotel where Biden was speaking at a fundraiser for Sen. Mary Landrieu, WWL-TV reported.

A Secret Service spokesman told CNN the death was a “tragic accident.”

According to WWL, federal agents and police rushed the dog via motorcade to a veterinary hospital, but veterinarians were unable to revive it.

The Secret Service began using dogs in 1975 to detect explosives. The agency specifically uses Belgian Malanois because they’re smaller, faster, sociable and have short hair that allows them to work in the heat. Each dog completes 20 weeks of basic training before beginning work and retrains eight hours a week for the rest of its career, the agency said.

The dogs are retired to their handlers usually when they’re about 10 years old.

​Editor’s note: This post incorrectly stated that Secret Service dogs complete 20 hours of initial training. They complete 20 weeks of training.