A PET shop in Poole received more than 170 entries after running a photo competition focused on residents’ favourite companions.

Marshalls Pet Store, in Station Road, Ashley Cross, launched the competition with artist Katherine Cromwell, from Whitecliff, which simply involved people choosing their best picture of one of their pets.

The finalists will now be put forward for a Facebook vote, following the closing of the competition on Friday, and a first, second and third prize winner will each be selected. However, Katherine says that the response has been overwhelming, with entries coming in from as far away as America and New Zealand.

She said: “I’ve done a few craft fairs before and wanted to get my name out to more people who live in the area, so suggested to Marshalls about a competition and they were happy to help with the idea. We’ve had pictures of different dogs and cats, a farmed hedgehog, rats, and a couple of pet sugar gliders.

“I’m always up for a challenge, but I didn’t expect this response.

“So, now I will look through the entries and choose the top 10, which will be uploaded to my Facebook page, where people can choose one favourite photo to ‘like’.”

Katherine says that she originally got into creating pet portraits, which each take a couple of days to do, after receiving commissions from people when they saw the drawings she did of houses as a hobby. “I do try and capture the eyes of the animal, and hope to portray the special relationship between the animal and its owner,” she said.

To vote, go to facebook. com/katherinespaintings