Te Mata student Annika McLeod has kickstarted her future career with the police by winning a Name a Puppy competition.
The 11-year-old hopes to combine her love of dogs and dreams of joining the police by becoming a police dog handler in the future.
“I started watching police shows and realised what they are doing is good for the country,” she says.
At a recent Waikato Police open day, Annika was one of thousands who attended and entered the competition.
The pups are from a ‘J’ litter which determines what they are named and coming up with the name Justice was an obvious choice for Annika.
“Justice is a strong name. The handler can yell out (to the offender), stand down I’m going to release Justice.”
This determined youngster has already figured out the skills she will need to become a police dog handler.
“You need to be fit to be able to run after the dogs and strong to lift the dog over fences and fast to catch up with your dog.”
Te Mata School students were treated to a police dog display during a visit to present Annika with a police dog mascot and to meet Justice for the first time.
Only a few months old, the dog handling unit are yet to decide if Justice will make the grade but foster dad, Constable Ian Archibold, says they usually know if the puppy is up to the job at around six months old.
Annika is enjoying keeping up with Justice on the Waikato Police Facebook page, where updates on how he is doing are posted weekly.