The third audience was the public. The best outcome for a name was that it conveyed a serious story regarding animal welfare while being playful enough to be shared. The names often became the reason why people read further than the captioned photo in the newspaper. A successful name meant that a reader or viewer would spend a few seconds more on an animal's story before clicking through to another headline. If it really hit home it would mean that our switchboards would light up with potential adopters. It's exactly why I named a six-week-old kitten Newton after staff members discovered that his bruises resulted from tumbling out of a window and falling three stories.
Given the extreme levels of cruelty that we saw, these names would many times take on the necessary gallows humor. It is a trait among many pet owners as well to take away the power from a moment of suffering.
With that in mind, a few of the more memorable names that turned hugs into coverage and coverage into homes were Edison, a six-week-old kitten that suffered injuries after being "cooked" in a microwave, Nemo, a two-month-old Chihuahua mix that nearly drowned in the ocean, Elma (pictured above), a four-week-old kitten that weighed only 12 ounces after starving and becoming dehydrated while stuck in a glue trap, Postina, a two-pound kitten found by a postal worker in a city mailbox, Nubbins, a four-month-old kitten born without hind feet, and Trent, a snake found nailed to a telephone pole (that one took the press a few hours to make the connection).