A FAMILY was convinced that politics had finally gone to the dogs when their pet Rottweiler cross received an invitation to vote.

Eight-year-old Zeus got his paws on a polling card in the run-up to the European Parliament elections on May 22.

The card, addressed to “Zeus Hoyle”, dropped through the letterbox of his owner Russell Hoyle’s home in Cheshire Road, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees.

Loading article content

Mr Hoyle, a 45-year-old security guard, said: “I just think it's so funny.

“I can remember when the man came round to do the census, I was gardening and he asked me who lived at the address.

"I told him that there was myself, my wife and my son, who is not old enough to vote.

"Then I told him that we had Zeus living here as well and he is 63 in dog years. I didn't think anything of it, I assumed he would get that I was joking."

Mr Hoyle, who lives with wife Allison and son Peter, is seeing the funny side of it and is planning to take his four-legged friend for walkies to the polling station on election day.

He said: “I just think it is totally hilarious and I know they'll expect me to get in touch and flag up that there's an issue, but I'm not going to, I'm going to take him down to cast his vote.

“Me and my wife are going to vote and Zeus is coming with us."

Mr Hoyle and Zeus once worked together as a security team, but the canine half of the duo has now retired and spends his days relaxing at home.

Mr Hoyle said: "He is the perfect dog. When he was out working he had my back and now he is resting, he's great with the kids and I know he would never hurt anyone.

“I think it is unfair the name Rottweilers have got.

“He is the most loveable, loyal big fella."