Mrs Therese Rasback (back, left) of Companion Veterinary Clinic, holding one of the winners, Toffee. Also pictured are Miss Amanda Baguley with Lottie; Miss Emily Boby with Itchy; Mrs Fiona Eggleston with Alfie; and Mrs Rowena Wood with Fudge. 260618DD1-4
Mrs Therese Rasback (back, left) of Companion Veterinary Clinic, holding one of the winners, Toffee. Also pictured are Miss Amanda Baguley with Lottie; Miss Emily Boby with Itchy; Mrs Fiona Eggleston with Alfie; and Mrs Rowena Wood with Fudge. 260618DD1-4

An 18-week-old cockapoo, a pug, a cat and two rabbits were the first-place winners in the Advertiser Pet Of The Year 2018 competition.

The winning pets received a rosette and prizes, ranging from hay bales to chicken legs.

Cockapoo Alfie won the best dog/puppy category after his owner, Mrs Fiona Eggleston, entered him into the competition at Not-tinghamshire County Show.

"There were so many pretty dogs in the submissions so I was quite surprised, particularly because he looked a bit startled on his picture," she said.

"He has won a new bowl, a water bottle, tennis balls, which he will love, sauces for his food, some meaty wraps and a chicken leg.

"He may have won best dog but he certainly isn’t best behaved dog."

Lottie, a year-old pug, won the cutest and funniest category.

She was wearing a Halloween costume of a bat with a pumpkin attached in her photograph.

Owner Miss Amanda Baguley said: "I am very surprised. I didn’t expect her to win with the amount of entries, but she will be happy because she has won two bags of goodies."

First prize for best cat went to six-year-old Itchy, whose owner, Emily Boby, of Caunton, said: "I am really pleased and surprised.

"Itchy is a chilled-out cat and definitely only likes to be stroked on her terms.

"Now she has won this I think I am going to look at entering more competitions in the future."

Pet Of The Year 2018
Pet Of The Year 2018

Two rabbits, Toffee and Fudge, were the winners in best other animal.

Their owner, Miss Leonie Wood, said: "I was so excited when they won I rang my mum straight away because I wanted to tell someone.

"I entered them last year and didn’t win, so it makes it even better that they won this year."

Toffee and Fudge received two bales of hay, two small wooden houses and a new bowl each.

There were 171 entries in total for the Pet Of The Year competition, which surpassed the total last year. The category winners were chosen by public vote.

Advertiser promotions executive Olivia Utton said: "It has been another fantastic year with extremely varied entries, ranging from sheep to hedgehogs, and everything in between.

"It is always very fun and one of the highlights of my year when we do it."

Companion Veterinary Clinic on Bullpit Road, Balderton, which was founded 25 years ago, sponsored the competition.

Practice owner and veterinary surgeon Mr Paul Dowie said: "It is nice to get involved. We like to sponsor the competition because it helps to promote responsible pet ownership — the happiest pets are the ones that are best looked after."

The overall winner will be selected by Companion Veterinary Clinic from the first place category winners and will be announced in next week’s Advertiser.

Pets At Home Newark provided the prizes for the first place winners.

Other results: best dog/puppy, 2nd: Sophie; 3rd: Blu; funniest photo, 2nd: Sophie (dog); 3rd: Noodle (cat); cutest photo: 2nd: Teddy (dog); 3rd: Sophie (dog); best cat/kitten: 2nd: Millie; 3rd: Scratchy; best other animal: 2nd: Sonic (hedgehog); 3rd: Prindi (horse).