Meet our adorable Santa Paws winner Alfie

Santa Paws winner Natalie Stewart with dog Alfie the King Charles Cavalier

Santa Paws winner Natalie Stewart with dog Alfie the King Charles Cavalier

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Meet our new friend Alfie, who is ringing in the New Year as the winner of this year’s Santa Paws competition.

The eight-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from Hebburn was named the winner after receiving lots of love from the public - 37% of the vote and 1208 votes - to take the top spot.

Alfie's winning Santa Paws picture.

Alfie's winning Santa Paws picture.

In the run up to Christmas we asked our readers to send in their best festive photos of their beloved pets including dogs, cats, rabbits and even tortoises, to be displayed both in print and online across the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail.

The top 10 cute pets were then chosen as part of a final shortlist and we then asked our animal-mad readers to vote for their favourites to win a prize.

Proud owner Natalie Stewart, 22, said she was delighted Alfie had won the competition and put his success down to his gorgeous puppy-dog eyes.

The trainee dental nurse from the Cornfields in Hebburn, said: “I have had Alfie since 2009 and he is my first dog.
“I begged my parents Joanne and Peter to let me get him and then travelled down to Oldham near Manchester to collect him.

“He is very chilled out, but has a lot of energy and loves going for walks.”

The competition received hundreds of entries from proud owners, who dressed their pets in a variety of outfits ranging from elf and Santa suits to festive jumpers and even tinsel scarves!

Alfie melted readers’ hearts with his huge brown eyes and cute green and red striped suit complete with matching hat.

A close second for the top spot was cool cat Marnie who was dressed in a festive Santa jumper and scored 1,010 votes.

Natalie added: “This is the fist time I have entered the Santa Paws competition.
“I decided to enter Alfie because I had bought him a little outfit and took this cute photo of him.

“I am really pleased he has won and will be giving him some treats to celebrate!”

For this year’s Santa Paws, we teamed up with Seaham Vets who will provide our winner Alfie with an annual health check and booster, as a prize.

Natalie Land, practice partner from Seaham Vets, said she was delighted to give Alfie the prize.

She said: “We are really pleased Alfie has won the competition as he was a very deserving winner.
“We look forward to seeing him in the practice.”