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50 years of… Pet Names! How these have transformed over the decades

This year NAWT is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and we want you to come on a journey down memory lane with us! Each month we’ll be bringing you a special blog that looks at various topics that have impacted animal welfare over the past 50 years.

Keep an eye out on the website each month for the latest ’50 years of…’ post! For this month, we have gone back through the decades and explored popular pet names. 

We all know that the names we choose for our pets are influenced not only by popular names of all time (such as Spot, Rex or Lucky), but also by things going on around us at that point. Popular film characters or TV shows all drop into our consciousness and provide hints and suggestions for what we want to call our four-legged furry friend.

Here at NAWT, we thought it would be fun to look back at popular pet names over the last five decades, and remember the TV shows and films that spawned a thousand namesakes…


Does anybody remember having pets called ‘Brady’ (from The Brady Bunch), a ‘Charlie’ (from Charlie’s Angels), did ‘Mowgli’, ‘Baloo’ or ‘Bagheera’ (from The Jungle Book) get any mention, or how about a ‘Fonzie’ from Happy Days? You may notice on the NAWT website that we have our very own Charlie the Collie Cross, who is available for rehoming at the Cornwall centre!

Then who can forget the famous ‘Lassie’ from, you guessed it, Lassie, or a ‘Duke’ from Hawaii-Five-O or ‘Radar’ from M*A*S*H. 

Then we have almost too many to name from The Muppet Show (‘Kermit’, ‘Miss Piggy’, ‘Fozzie Bear’, ‘Animal’ or ‘Rizzo’) or even a ‘Petra’ or ‘Shep’ (from Blue Peter) or a ‘Black Beauty’ (from the 70s film, Black Beauty).


Does anybody remember having pets called ‘Hannibal’ or ‘BA’ (from The A Team), a ‘Woody’ from Cheers or even a ‘JR’ from Dallas? 

How about a ‘Bo’, ‘Duke’, ‘Daisy’ or ‘Roscoe’ (from Dukes of Hazzard). You may have heard a ‘MacGyver’ (yes, you guessed it, from MacGyver) or a ‘Del Boy’ or ‘Rodney’ (from Only Fools and Horses). Does a ‘Baldrick’ (Blackadder), ‘Basil’ (Fawlty Towers) or even ‘Neil’ (The Young Ones) ring any bells? We also have a cat called Daisy looking for her purrfect home at our Cornwall centre.

How about a ‘Goldie’ or ‘Bonnie’, ‘Willow’ or ‘George’ (the Tortoise) (from Blue Peter), or a ‘Hooch’ (from the film Turner & Hooch)? All were very popular names during the 1980s.


How about hearing of a name ‘Lister’, ‘Cat’ or ‘Kryten’ (Red Dwarf), was there ever a ‘Joey’, ‘Ross’ or even ‘Marcel’ (the monkey) (from Friends) in your life, or an ‘Eddie’ (from Frasier) or a ‘Salem’ (from Sabrina The Teenage Witch)? 

How about a ‘Pongo’ or ‘Perdy’ (from 101 Dalmatians), a ‘Babe’ (from, yes you guessed it, the film Babe) or even a ‘Simba’ or a ‘Rafiki’ (from The Lion King)? This inspired the name for our very own greyhound Rafiki, who is currently looking for his forever home at our Hertfordshire centre.

Then there was ‘Buffy’, ‘Willow’ or ‘Angel’ (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) or a ‘Bart’ or ‘Homer’ (from The Simpsons).

2000s and 2010s:

In later years, does anybody remember having a ‘Marley’ (from the film Marley and Me), or a ‘Doug’ (from Up). Marley may have been a dog in that film, but this is still a great name for a cat! Which is exactly why Marley at the Hertfordshire centre was given his name!

How about a ‘Bruiser Woods’ (from Legally Blonde), a ‘Mrs Norris’ or ‘Crookshanks’ (from the Harry Potter films), a ‘Wellard’ (from Eastenders) or a ‘Lady’, ‘Nymeria’ or ‘Summer’ (from Game of Thrones)?

There are so many interesting and different names available to call our pets. Do these names make you remember some of the pets that you’ve been lucky enough to share your life with over the years? What do you remember as your best ever pet name? 

Please share with us on our social media channels and join in with the fun!

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