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Coffee Break: Naming Adoptable Animals

How does your organization handle naming adoptable animals? Who does it? Are any names forbidden? Do any names seem to have more appeal to adopters? That was the question we asked you for this issue’s Coffee Break, and you responded with a roll call of great names, some funny, some sweet.

The foster parents name their foster kittens. Many use TV shows (Leonard, Sheldon and Penny from The Big Bang Theory), singing groups (John, Paul, George, and Ringo), movies (Butch and Sundance), a name that fits the cat (Bobby for a bobtail, Calli for calicos, Cinnamon for Siamese, Domino for black and white). Or they name them with a theme in mind: the French duo Babette and Pierre, presidential candidates Barack and Hillary, or football players Eli and Peyton Manning. ... We encourage people not to name them anything that would give someone a negative impression of the kitten (such as Crybaby for a kitten that meows a lot).

Julie Bowen, volunteer, Friends of Jefferson Animal Shelter, Metairie, Louisiana

Several years ago we started assigning a letter of the alphabet to each month, so that all the animals that come in to the shelter on any given month have a name that starts with the same letter. This helps us to know right away approximately how long an animal has been with us, and it’s fun too. There are websites dedicated to dog names. My favorite is I print the list and cross off all the undesirable names such as Kujo, Hurricane, and Fangs and the much-overused names such as Bella, Oreo, Lady, and King. We also retire the names of the animals who had to be euthanized for behavioral or health reasons (we are a no-kill shelter). Try it!

Manon Fortier, vice president, Sullivan County SPCA, Rock Hill, New York

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