A POLITICAL pooch is being entered in the Westminster Dog of the Year competition by his owner Gregory Barker, the MP for Pevensey and Westham.
Otto, the seven-month-old Miniature Dachshund, belongs to Mr Barker who will be hoping for a decisive Conservative victory in the 20th competition on October.
Organised jointly by Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club, it aims to highlight dog welfare issues and the unique relationship between man and dog.
Canine companions of MPs from all over the UK strut their stuff in a bid to take the coveted title.
Proud owner Mr Barker said, “I am extremely excited to be representing my constituency and going head-to-head with my fellow MPs at this year’s Westminster Dog of the Year.
“I have every faith that Otto will give the other dogs a run for their money as he is very loving and sociable with an inquisitive nature which I’m hoping will wow the judges and make him a hot contender for the title.”
The Westminster Dog of the Year competition is open to all Parliamentary pooches.
The competition rewards contestants for being responsible dog owners and judging criteria includes heroic doggy deeds, winning personalities and acts of dogged devotion.
In the lead-up to the competition, MPs will take to social media to rally support from their constituents and encourage them to vote for their canine companion.
At this year’s event, a Doggy Dash will take place for the very first time, which will see the pups parading their speed and agility across the finish line in a bid to be crowned Westminster Dog of the Year.
Clarissa Baldwin, CEO of Dogs Trust, said, “We are delighted to hold the 20th Westminster Dog of the Year competition giving MPs a unique chance to show off the four-legged friends who support them on the political trail, as well as the opportunity to promote responsible dog ownership and canine welfare.”
r To vote for your favourite visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/westminsterdogoftheyear.