INNISFAIL, Alta. - Thirteen puppies in training to be police dogs now have names.
There were more than 21,000 entries from across Canada to this year's RCMP Name the Puppy contest.
Because of the unprecedented response, Inspector André Lemyre, who is in charge of police dog services, chose 13 winners representing every province and territory in Canada, not just 10 as originally planned.
All names had to start with the letter H and for multiple entries of the same name, winners were selected at random.
The 13 winners will each receive a certificate, a laminated photo of the puppy they named, a plush German Shepherd toy dog named Justice and an RCMP cap.
The winning names are Haley, Hammer, Hannah, Haven, Hawk, Herc, Hero, Hector, Hitch, Hooper, Hope, Hulk and Hunter.
“Everyone at the centre was blown away by not only the number, but also the creativity of all the entries,” said Lemyre.
“Congratulations to the 13 winners and my sincere thanks to every boy and girl who suggested a name.”
RCMP police service dog teams search for missing or lost people, track and apprehend criminals, remove illicit drugs from the streets, detect explosives and search for and recover evidence used in crimes.
The Police Dog Service Training Centre is the national training centre in Canada for all RCMP police dog teams.
Ninety-three per cent of the German Shepherds working as RCMP service dogs were born at the centre as part of the RCMP Police Dog Breeding Program.