NEWS
04/26/2016 07:11 EDT | Updated 04/27/2017 01:12 EDT

J is for jazzy names given to 13 cute, cuddly four-legged RCMP recruits

INNISFAIL, Alta. — The letter "J" figures prominently in a class of 13 RCMP canine recruits that were born at the force's dog training centre near Innisfail, Alta.

The pups now have names, thanks to almost 16,000 entries received from children across Canada in the Mounties' annual Name the Puppy contest.

All the monikers had to start with J, with winners selected at random for multiple entries of the same name.

The top selections are Jango, Jolt, Jade, Jorgia, Jude, Jix, Jett, Jax, Juno, Java, Jinx, Jazz and Jake.

There's a winning contestant from each province and territory who will each receive a certificate, an eight-by-ten laminated photo of the puppy they named, a plush German shepherd toy dog named Justice and an RCMP cap.

RCMP say 93 per cent of the German shepherds in their canine units were born at the training centre as part of the police dog breeding program.

Insp. Akrum Ghadban, who is in charge of the centre, said in a statement that he's looking forward to hearing about the success of the newest four-legged recruits.

"The training centre staff had a great time sorting through all the entries," he said. "Congratulations to the 13 winners."

The dogs are involved in a variety of police work, including searching for missing or lost people, tracking and catching criminals, removing illicit drugs from the streets, detecting explosives and searching for and recovering evidence used in crimes.