POOCHES put their best paw forward in a cutest canine competition for a good cause.
More than 60 dogs were entered into the St Cuthbert’s Hospice Cutest Dog Contest in Durham over the weekend.
With the results still eagerly awaited, the canines are battling it out to be crowned Durham’s cutest and get a professional photoshoot with photographer Alan Clarke.
The dogs and owners that took part were given a goody bag, a print of the pooch and entry into a sponsored charity dog walk, Paws for a Cause, which will take place next month to raise funds for the hospice.
Gemma Luke, of Sacriston, was the first to enter with her dog Poppy, a 14-week-old springer spaniel.
Gemma said: “I’ve done fund-raising for the hospice in the past, so when I found out about Paws for a Cause and the Cutest Dog Contest I thought it would be the perfect event for me.
“I think the contest is fantastic and I’m really looking forward to the walk.”
The hospice, in Merryoaks, opened 24 years ago and provides care and support services for people with life-limiting illnesses such as cancer and heart failure.
The charity has to raise £1.2million to meet its annual running costs and the Paws for a Cause walk is one way that caring dog-owners can get involved and raise much needed cash for the hospice.
Laura Barker, development manager at the hospice, said: “Last year was the first time we had run this contest and, judging by the response to both years, there are a lot of proud pet owners in Durham.
“The Cutest Dog Contest and Paws for a Cause are two very fun ways to touch the lives of people at St Cuthbert’s Hospice.”
Dog owners and their pets can register for the dog walk at www.stcuthbertshospice.com.
Entry is £10 per dog and they can take either a one-and-a-half-mile or three-mile route around Houghall Woods in Durham.
Voting for the Cutest Dog Contest starts tomorrow and runs until September 28 at www.alanclarkephotography.co.uk.
The dog with the most registered votes will be announced at Paws for a Cause on October 7.