The NSW Police Dog Unit has officially announced the names of five new canine recruits, as chosen by patients from the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.
The five German Shepherd pups – three females and two males – were born on Christmas Eve last year (Monday 24 December 2018) and will be trained as General Purpose dogs.
A list of suggested names starting with the letter ‘Z’ was provided to the hospital last month. The children researched the names, voted on their favourites and the results were tallied.
The two male pups will be called Zorro and Zoom.
Zorro was a popular choice among the children for being a “strong warrior name”, while the kids thought Zoom would be able to “run fast and catch the baddies.”
For the girls, Zara was picked because “it’s mummy’s favourite shop”, and Zala because the children liked the way the name sounded when calling out for a puppy.
The final female pup was named Zoe, meaning “life”, and was a top choice among the kids.
The name Zoe is significant to the NSW Police Dog Unit, with one of the first ever canine recruits given the same name in 1932 when the unit was formed.
The pure white German Shepherd was trained to perform 380 commands and was instrumental in the search for missing people and sniffing out criminals.
Zoe was reportedly one of the first dogs in the world to work in the force under the radio command and made headlines across the country when she died in 1946.
Patron of the NSW Police Dog Unit, Mrs Andrea Fuller, said the unit is thrilled with the names the children have selected for the ‘Z’ litter.
“We are extremely grateful to the girls and boys of the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, for playing such an important role in choosing the names for our new puppies,” Mrs Fuller said.
“Every new litter plays an incredibly important role in helping our officers fight crime, and it was a real privilege to share this experience with the children,” she added.
Dog Unit Commander, Superintendent Steve Egginton said the Dog Unit has a long and proud history within the NSW Police Force and today’s naming ceremony marks the start of their journey in the pack.
“Over eight decades ago, the Dog Unit began with only a few dogs, one of which was Zoe the German Shepherd, so it is a real honour to have the name selected by the children and once again represented in the unit,” Supt Egginton said.
“From today, the puppies will start training with their new names, and will no doubt go on to serve the community proudly.”
Director of Community Relations and Marketing for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, Ms Gilly Paxton, said the children of Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick were thrilled to join forces with the NSW Police Dog Unit.
“The children were excited to take on the important job of naming the Dog Unit’s newest recruits and thrilled to have a chance to meet the crime-fighting puppies,” Ms Paxton said.