A cafe which has been open for less than 18 months has been named top dog for the welcome it gives to its canine customers and their owners.
Paws for 5, in Marlborough Street, Seaham, first opened its doors in May 2017 and has since proved a hit with people in the area.
The venue caters for dogs and humans with its different food menus and has up to 40 regulars visiting each week.
It has now won the best cafe/restaurant at the DogFriendly Awards - with owner Anne Seymour taking home a trophy and certificate from the glittering bash.
Anne spoke of her delight at taking the accolade.
She said: “One of the customers nominated us in July and we went down the Excel in London for the awards night.”
The 55-year-old, who used to work as a Stagecoach bus driver, added: “I took one of my regular customers along and, to be honest, I was totally overwhelmed when I heard we’d won.
“I started crying. We’ve only been open since May 2017 but it has been absolutely fantastic ever since.
“We’ve got our regulars who support us and loads of new people coming in every day.”
Anne says that the cafe has an informal vibe, with visitors encouraged to mix with other people when coming in.
“We’re a doggy cafe, not just a dog-friendly one,” she said.
“We sell doggy treats but there’s also a human menu. People who don’t even have dogs are welcome to come in if they like.
“There are no spare tables and everyone can sit and chat with each other so it’s like one big family.
“We even have birthday parties for humans and dogs.
“It’s a really fantastic place to be.”
Anne paid tribute to her customers for their help in making the venture a success.
“If it wasn’t for the customers we would not be here,” she said.
“They make the place and I can’t thank them enough.
“Seaham is a great place to live and work in and that’s why we’re doing really well.”