NEWS Shopper’s cute pets photo competition has served as a moving tribute to a much loved family dog.

Cavalier King Charles spaniel Pansy was voted the winner of the contest after 7,291 votes were cast to decide the most adorable animal in south-east London and north Kent.

Pansy’s success, which saw her photo chosen as the most popular from 1,069 entries, has provided a bittersweet conclusion to the competition.

Owner Karen Malone, who brought Pansy for her now 14-year-old daughter Amelia six years ago, explained: “Pansy died just five weeks ago, aged 10 and a half and the photo submitted to the competition was taken just a few weeks before she died.

“My daughter suggested entering this competition and so this makes winning the competition even more special. It seems that it wasn’t just her family who thought that she was such a special dog.”

Karen, of St David’s Road, Hextable, added: “Pansy was very special because she had a kind and gentle nature and was friendly to everybody she met. She was the sweetest dog you could ever meet and her tail never stopped wagging.

“Pets leave deep impressions on your heart and she brought so much happiness to everyone who met her, she was always there to cheer you up when you needed her the most. Pansy was like a best friend to my daughter.

“I think Pansy appealed to people because she looked very cuddly and almost like a soft toy. Her big brown eyes radiated happiness which shone through in her photo. Her bushy eyebrows also gave her a unique look.”

Karen said the £50 prize money for winning the competition would be put towards a memorial plaque for Pansy.

Miniature dachshund Vinnie, belonging to Anita Clarke from Northfleet, was runner-up in the competition, followed by ferret Earnie, owned by Corrina Rossiter, of Gravesend, in third place.

Congratulations to all the high placed pets and thanks to everyone who took part in the competition.