Jake

Jake

Condor girl among lucky Canadians chosen to name RCMP puppies

Future Const. Jude, your picture is on its way to Condor, home of the schoolgirl who named you.

Future Const. Jude, your picture is on its way to Condor, home of the schoolgirl who named you.

Lacey Eldridge, who lives in the rural community about 50 km west of Red Deer, is among 13 Canadian children announced as this year’s winners of the RCMP’s puppy naming contest — one from each of the country’s provinces and territories.

Every year, the Innisfail-based Police Dog Service Training Centre invites children from throughout the country to submit names for its new puppies, especially bred for duty with human members of the RCMP. Suggested names were to begin with the letter J, indicating that they were born in 2016.

This year, the centre received almost 16,000 entries, narrowing the list of puppy names to Jango, Jolt, Jade, Jorgia, Jix, Jett, Jax, Juno, Java, Jinx, Jazz, Jake and, of course, Jude. Where a suitable name was suggested in more than one entry, the winner was drawn from among those entries.

Like her fellow winners, Eldridge receives a package of goodies from the Dog Centre, including a certificate, a laminated photo of the puppy she named, a toy German Shepherd named Justice and an RCMP ball cap.

Police service dogs play a vital role on the front line, tracking lost people, apprehending suspects, detecting drugs and explosives and helping search for evidence, says Insp. Akrum Ghadban, officer in charge of the Dog Centre, located on east of Innisfail alongside Hwy 2. More than 90 per cent of the RCMP’s police dogs were born and trained there, says Ghadban.