News Shopper is launching a new search for the area’s cutest pet – and the first heat is for DOGS.

Do you own south-east London and north Kent’s most picture-perfect pooch – the animal whose photo will produce the longest ‘awww’ or the loudest squeals of delight from people?

Send us a snap of your canine companion and we’ll add it to a gallery on our site for everyone to admire.

Entry for this stage of the competition will close on May 8, after which we will pick our five favourite photos and those dogs will go through to the final in the summer.

The chosen dogs will be joined in the final by five cats and five other animals that will be selected from two other qualifiers taking place after this one.

Our overall winner will be decided in a public vote – with £75 and much glory going to the owner of the champion pet, plus runners-up prizes up for grabs.

So to start with then it’s the dogs – if you think yours is the most adorable one out there, send us a picture and details using the entry form here.

To enter, you need to live within the News Shopper area (the boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Dartford, Gravesham, Greenwich and Lewisham, plus certain other local places such as Swanley) and be at least 18 years old.

In two out of our three previous pet competitions a dog has emerged victorious, so we’re expecting this first category to be hotly contested.