Dogs rock bows and rosettes at polling stations on election day

Dogs rock bows and rosettes at polling stations on election day
(from left to right) Heston and Reggie are some of the dogs present at polling stations on election day (Helen Montague/Mike Birtwistle/PA)

Dogs have appeared at polling stations wearing bows, rosettes and colourful leads as the public go to vote in the General Election.

The hashtag #dogsatpollingstations has become a highlight of election days for animal lovers on social media as people share photos of themselves exercising their pets and democratic rights at the same time.

Dog outside polling stationCockapoo Clyde in St Neots (@PhilSV4/X/PA)

This year did not disappoint, with dogs on X, formerly known as Twitter, photographed in badges, bows and colourful leashes.

Mike Birtwistle, 46, took Reggie, a cavalier King Charles spaniel, to the polling station at Alexandra Park Library in north London at around 7.05am.

Reggie wore a red rosette with a “vote Labour” sticker on it as he posed for a photo.

Dog in front of polling station signMike Birtwistle’s dog Reggie outside a polling station (Mike Birtwistle/PA)

“My daughter (Lila, 12) is running for Labour in her school mock election, so she got a rosette and she decided it would be nice to pin the rosette on Reggie’s harness,” Mr Birtwistle, who is a consultant and lives in north London, told the PA news agency.

He added Reggie was “very excited” to head to the polling station and has accompanied him to vote in the past.

“I don’t think he’s been on a successful election side, so hopefully this will be the first one where his choice of party actually wins,” he added.

A dog sitting next to a polling station signSproodle Teddy outside a polling station in Taunton (@annie_rebeccaaa/X/PA)

He said if Reggie could share a message with people to encourage them to vote, he would say: “As well as being able to exercise your democratic right, there’s every chance you might meet a very nice dog at the polling station too, so it’s a double win to get yourself down to the polling station to vote.”

Helen Montague, 44, took her dog Heston, who she said is her “best friend”, with her to vote at Marden polling station in Kent at 7am on the dot.

A dog standing on grass in front of a polling station signHelen Montague’s dog Heston outside Marden polling station in Kent (Helen Montague/PA)

“Heston wanted to be the first dog at the polling station and he was,” Mrs Montague, a senior global manager at a finance company, told PA.

The Boston terrier wore a red bow as he is a fan of the accessory and was “very excited” to accompany his owner to vote, she added.

A log looking to the side in front of a village hallMabel, a mixed breed rescue dog from Romania, at Nether Broughton polling station (Annette Wade-Clarke/PA)

“He knew that when we got to the polling station he would get a snack (chicken bites),” she added.

She said if Heston could share a message about election day, it would be: “Please don’t forget your ID and please don’t forget to bring snacks for your dog at the polling station.”

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