Tacoma’s animal licenses database reveals most popular pet names

The most popular name for man’s best friend in Tacoma only makes sense: Buddy. There are 178 of them licensed in Tacoma and Fircrest, according to a News Tribune anaysis of the city’s database of animal licenses.

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The most wonderful thing about Tigger is he’s not the only one.

There are 75 of those on record in Tacoma, making it the city’s most popular cat name. It’s followed closely by Smokey at 72.

But there are 202 cats licensed with no name.

Then there’s Just-A-Cat. Just-A-Cat should not be confused with the no-names. She actually has a name.

It’s Just-A-Cat.

Deborah Hamilton found her 17 years ago while attending a barbecue. Just-A-Cat was the runt of the litter, and the only kitten who had not been adopted. Hamilton saw a 5-year-old child kicking the kitten and hitting her head. She couldn’t bear to watch the assault, and decided to take the kitten home to rescue it.

Others at the party were making fun of the skinny runt. Hamilton stuck up for her. “I said, “She’s just a cat,’” she said. “That was it.”

That’s kind of how Fido got his name. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision.

For generations, the name “Fido” had served as the default dog name for journalists.

And yet there’s only one Fido in Tacoma. He’s a 1-year-old golden retriever-lab-and-chow mix who belongs to the Nugent family.

“The girls named him,” Pamela Nugent said. Her husband suggested the name, and her daughters – ages 9, 8, and 5 – quickly settled on it despite their mother’s protest.

“I said, ‘No, not Fido.’”

But Fido it was.

A joyride through the database reveals other interesting facts. Tacoma Mayor Bill Baarsma owns an akita-springer mix named Kirby – after the vacuum cleaner, not state Rep. Steve, D-Tacoma.

Someone named their dog Sammy Hagar.

Someone named their cat Dumb Sh – well, let’s just hope it responds to “Here, kitty, kitty.”

And lots of people go for walks every night with a Buddy.

Jason Hagey: 253-597-8542

Ian Demsky: 253-597-8872


Most-popular dog names

Buddy – 178

Max – 161

Molly – 135

Sadie – 113

Maggie – 102

Lucy – 102

Bear – 92

Bailey – 90

No name – 88

Daisy – 85

Most-popular cat names

No name – 202

Tigger – 75

Smokey – 72

Max – 66

Shadow – 63

Tiger – 62

Baby – 60

Kitty – 58

Missy – 52

Lucy – 51

Most-popular dog breeds

Labrador retriever – 2,299

German shepherd – 878

Pit bull – 535

Golden retriever – 505

Dachsund – 466

Rottweiler – 421

Chihuahua, short hair – 381

Pomeranian – 353

Australian shepherd – 323

Shih tzu – 313

Most-popular cat breeds

Domestic short hair – 5,506

Domestic medium hair – 1,363

Domestic long hair – 1,289

Siamese – 501

Himalayan – 82

Persian – 67

Maine coon – 55

Mix – 38

Ragdoll – 30

Manx – 27

Ian Demsky, The News Tribune