A competition aims to find out who the top dog in Westminster is, and MP Ben Bradley reckons his dog, Dexter, is in with a chance.
Mansfield MP Ben Bradley and Dexter will compete for the prestigious Westminster dog of the year 2018 title against other MPs and their four legged friends.
Dexter, a ten-week-old Cavachon will take part in the competition on September 6 at Victoria Tower Gardens in London.
Mr Bradley said: “Dexter is a great new addition to the family and already my biggest supporter.
“This award in Parliament is meant to highlight the problems that exist for dogs in terms of illegal breeders, puppy smuggling and other welfare concerns.
“We all love our pets but some people use that to make money, or breed animals on the cheap without looking after them properly.
“It’s good to be able to help highlight these issues as part of the Dogs Trust and Kennel Club’s national campaign, and also have a bit of fun showing Dexter off.
“He’s only 10 weeks old, and he’s pretty cute!”
Every year the competition has a theme, and this year it will be the negative effect fireworks can have on dogs, how owners can minimise this stress felt by their pets, and what the government can do to better regulate the use of fireworks.
As well as the light-hearted competiton, the event wants to encourage an open dialogue on important dog welfare issues.
MPs will also be calling for their supporters to vote for their four-legged friends in a bid to win the public vote, with additional judging on the day by representatives from Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club, which will review the contestants on their heroic doggy deeds and winning personalities.
Adrian Burder, Dogs Trust, chief executive said : “The Westminster Dog of the Year competition is a highlight for the Dogs Trust each year, providing an opportunity to raise awareness of key dog welfare issues.
“The competition is strictly apolitical and a chance for judges to look at the interaction between MPs and their four-legged friends.”
“The competition itself is light-hearted and an entertaining day out - not least because of the unusual criteria on which the dogs are judged!”
The Dogs Trust care for nearly 15,000 stray and abandoned dogs each year.
Voting for Dexter is now open here