The new dog needs a name.
So the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office turned to Facebook and suggested to users they come up with a few names for the 19-month-old male German shepherd that is the newest member of the sheriff’s patrol division, said Capt. Annette Haga.
Twenty-four hours later, there were 102,000 views, 379 comments and many, many names: Gunner, Bullet, Duke, Radar, Rookie …
The dog and Deputy Sarah Sinnett will be paired together and, on Sept. 10, will start training.
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That’s why a good name is important, Haga said. There is no official contest for the dog naming, but names keep popping up on the Sedgwick County sheriff’s Facebook page: Gabriel, Vic, Shocker, Sergeant …
“He comes to us with a long, very complex German name,” Haga said. “Typically when we get one of these dogs, the handler chooses a name for the dog. They work with them every day and live at their home.
“Sarah had no idea, so we went to Facebook to introduce them and solicit ideas for what people think we ought to name the dog.”
The dog was purchased through the Hill Country Dog Center in Pipe Creek, Texas, Haga said. It originally came from Europe and arrived in Wichita last week.
“These dogs are bred and raised to be police dogs in a large kennel atmosphere,” she said. “I don’t know how much interaction they’ve had in terms of name recognition.”
The dog will be used to find illegal drugs, do building searches for fugitives and to do tracking. That’s if it completes training.
“Just like a patrol deputy, sometimes they don’t make it all the way through training,” Haga said. “We have high expectations and if he doesn’t make it, we will send him back to the company and get another and start over.
“We are looking for a good police dog.”