Guy Opperman and his one-year-old Labrador Retriever, Zola, will compete with other politicians and their pooches to win the coveted title of Westminster Dog of the Year 2021.
Following a two-year hiatus, dogs of all shapes and sizes, regardless of breed, creed or ‘pawlitical’ persuasion, will head to Victoria Tower Gardens, London, with their two-legged MP owners to see who will be crowned Parliament’s top dog.
Organised jointly by Dogs Trust and The Kennel Club, the competition offers the unique chance for Guy Opperman MP to show off his loyal canine companion, Zola.
With the boom in dog ownership during the pandemic, this year’s event focuses on promoting responsible dog ownership, making sure that, alongside the joys of having a dog, owners recognise the responsibility they have to ensure that their pet is a positive member of the community and is able to live a happy and healthy life.
Additionally, the competition encourages an open dialogue on dog welfare issues, as well as providing an opportunity for MPs to meet with experts to discuss all aspects of the canine world.
Proud owner, Guy Opperman MP explains: “Zola is my biggest supporter and regularly charms Secretaries of State as well as always helping me prepare for select committee appearances. She is much-loved by MPs and staffers alike and the rural lanes of Northumberland would be difficult to canvas without her invaluable help.
“Westminster Dog of the Year is not only a fun event to be involved in but also provides a great opportunity to highlight the importance of responsible dog ownership and the work MPs are doing to improve dog welfare.”
MPs will also be calling for their supporters to vote for their canine companions in a bid to win the ‘paw-blic’ vote, with additional judging on the day by representatives from Dogs Trust and The Kennel Club, who will review the contestants on their heroic doggy deeds and winning personalities. After votes have been cast, one lucky pooch will take home the ultimate parliamentary privilege of the ‘Westminster Dog of the Year 2021’ title.