MORE than half of all pets are given a person’s name or nickname. Max, Jessie, Molly, Sam and Jack remain fi rm favourites for our Aussie dogs.
Internationally, the name Charlie tops a list compiled by website doggienames.com, which uses data from the US, UK, New Zealand and Australia. The most popular name for female dogs is Bella, which translates as “beautiful” in Italian. The second favourite female dog name is Molly.
Pet dogs’ names refl ect their status as part of the family and working dogs are receiving respectful monikers too.
A rising star in the working dog world goes by the name of Missy, a springer spaniel who is training to sniff out the invasive hawkweed plant in high country in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.
As far as canine names go, nowhere are they more smart- alecky than for racing greyhounds.
Spare a thought for these animals often saddled with irreverent names and caught up in an industry where horror stories of abuse and mistreatment abound. Names like Ard Boiled Egg, Bag of Sand, Big Boy on Air, Boozed Miranda, Hoy Hoy Hoy and Whambam- thank- u- mam are the least of the problems for racing greyhounds.
The situation is especially dire for the hundreds exported by Australian breeders to racetracks in Macau and mainland China each year.
The majority go to a racetrack in Macau known as the Canidrome, where the policy is to euthanase any dog that doesn’t perform on the racetrack.
There is no safety net, no greyhound adoption program.
The only way to protect these dogs is to legislate against their export.
Dr Sam Long, veterinarian and senior lecturer at University of Melbourne’s Veterinary Hospital has mounted a petition calling on the Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, to ban the export of greyhounds to overseas racetracks.
Find the petition by entering the words “greyhounds” and “Barnaby Joyce’ in the search bar at www. change. org/ petitions/ and add your name in support.