Avon renames new K-9 police officer ‘Nova’

The Beagle’s new name was selected based on community member input

Colleen Gaspard of the Avon Police Department poses with the newly renamed emotional support police dog, Nova, in March 2022.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily archive

The Avon Police Department’s newest K-9 officer will officially be known as Nova beginning Friday, April 29. The name is the backwards spelling of “Avon,” and is also a type of bright star, befitting the luminous personality of Avon’s newest four-legged staff member.

Nova is a 4-year old Beagle who joined the Avon Police Department in March as a partner to two-legged officer Colleen Gaspard. Nova is trained in providing therapy to individuals in crisis as well as day-to-day engagement with Avon Elementary School students that supports Gaspard’s work as the school’s resource officer. Nova is the first police therapy dog in Eagle County.

Avon Elementary students came up with many excellent name options for their new K-9 companion, and the public was able to vote on their favorite in a survey hosted by the town of Avon. The survey received 768 responses and Nova was the clear winner with 55% of the votes. The other options were:

  • Dottie – 139 votes
  • Bagel the Beagle – 117 votes
  • Nova – 420 votes
  • Avi (short for Avon) – 60 votes
  • Cubbi (AES’s mascot) – 32 votes
Avon Police Officer Colleen Gaspard poses with Avon Elementary students and the newly named K-9 officer, Nova.
Town of Avon/Courtesy Photo

The Avon Police Department would like to thank the students of Avon Elementary School for coming up with so many name ideas as well as the community for participating in the survey. Armed with her new name, Nova is ready to serve the Avon community.

As Gaspard put it: “The best therapist comes with fur and four legs.”

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