British Columbia

Sit, Twyla. Stay, Alexis! Schitt's Creek characters top favourite pet names of 2020

As pandemic pet adoptions soared in 2020, so too did the conundrum of how to choose the perfect name for that new fur baby. One major source of inspiration, the hit TV series Schitt’s Creek.

Looking for a COVID companion? The SPCA says it has you covered

Despite a surge in demand, the B.C. SPCA says there are no wait times for pet adoptions, thanks to a streamlined online application process. This little one was adopted in May. (BC SPCA)

As pandemic pet adoptions soared in 2020, so too did the conundrum for new owners trying to find the perfect name for that new fur baby.

Some looked to old family favourites, others to pop culture when trying to match the pet's name with its unique personality.

One major source of inspiration in 2020 was the hit TV series Schitt's Creek. In a recent poll, the name Twyla jumped 93 per cent in Canada, while Alexis rose (get it?) 38 per cent, and David climbed 20 per cent over last year.

"The things we care about and interest us as a society are reflected in the names we give our pets. It's really no surprise that Canadians have named their pets after such a beloved show," said Kristin Sandberg, PR manager with Rover.com.

Not only are pets named after favourite characters from Schitt's Creek, they also made popular Halloween costumes this year. Eugene Levy, who plays patriarch Johnny Rose, at right. (CBC)

The Seattle-based website collected pet names from 35,000 owners who are registered in its database, breaking them down to reflect communities in Canada and the U.S. to identify emerging trends year over year.

Drum roll please

The top five female dog names in Vancouver in 2020 were Bella, Luna, Daisy, Lola and Lucy.

While the top male dog names were Charlie, Milo, Cooper, Rocky and Leo.

The top female cat names were Luna, Bella, Willow, Charlie and Frankie.

And the most popular male cat names were Basil, Leo, Loki, Oscar and Max.

COVID companions 

As COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise, and health authorities urge the public to stay home, many of us will look to a new furry friend to help keep anxiety or loneliness at bay.

B.C. SPCA says it is seeing five times the demand for pet adoptions over last year — a good thing because it means the animals are finding homes much faster than in the past,  and are therefore spending less time in shelters.

"That has been a great benefit to the animals' well being," said Mark Takhar, COO of B.C. SPCA.

Takhar says the organization is better able to handle the influx of applications since the process went online earlier this year. There is virtually no wait list for cats, dogs, kittens, puppies or rabbits to adopt.

Say my name

And while each animal is given a name during its time at a shelter, adoptive pet parents almost always change that name once the new family member comes home, which can sometimes confuse a pet.

"[But] animals are smart," said Takhar. "They don't take long to adjust to the name change," said Takhar.

When considering a name, the advice is to keep it  to one or two syllables, that way the animal can easily recognize its name when called.

'Here Maple Syrup'

One new name on the 2020 list is a curious exception: Maple Syrup made it into the popular food names category for the first time, alongside stalwarts like Poutine and Ketchup.

Sandberg says give your new fur baby as many names as you want, but just shorten it down to a nickname because you don't really want to be yelling "Maple Syrup" at the dog park.

Other notable names of 2020: Caesar is up 153 per cent in the dogs-named-after-a-cocktail category, and dogs named Ketchup are trending up 51 per cent.

Alas, Nelly and Drake took a bit of a tumble in the celebrity pet names category this year, while Carly and Shania became more popular with cat owners.

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