AS a nation of animal lovers, we have been asking our readers to share with us photos and stories about the pets in their family.

Maybe you have a rescue animal that has made a difference in both your lives?
From the exotic and unusual, to sofa-hogging cats and dogs, whether it’s a funny photo, story or event, send your pictures to

Darren Clark from Shildon sent us a photo of Hunter, who is a year-old Cocker spaniel. Darren said: “Hunter is loving and caring and has helped both me and my partner during lockdown with his love and care. He’s our little baby, and loves his treats”

The Northern Echo: Such a cute picture of HunterSuch a cute picture of Hunter

Jacqueline Sinclair-Morrison, from Darlington, sent us a cute picture of Baxter, who has been part of the family for four years. Baxter is a Border terrier and loves nothing better than being on the beach

The Northern Echo: Baxter loves digging in the sandBaxter loves digging in the sand

Nicky Hobbs, from Darlington, sent us this brilliant picture of Henry, Ellie, Ollie, Bella and Ivy, aka The CPG and Ivy. Four are cockapoo's who, Nicky says, they nickname on Instagram as the Cockapoo gang (CPG) and Ivy is a British bulldog. She said: “All of our dogs love each other like a pack and love been photographed together."

The Northern Echo: What a fine packWhat a fine pack

Nicky said: "Henry (chocolate) is chief cockapoo, aged eight; Ellie, red, who is a feisty cockapoo and is six; Ollie (black) and Bella (apricot), who are brother and sister, are four. Ollie is clumsy and Bella is the gentle peacemaker. Our recent addition is Ivy, aged just 11 months, who is boss of the lot and not only plays with a football but watches it on TV too”

The Northern Echo: The pack posing in the sunThe pack posing in the sun

This is John Tallentire of Barnard Castle, with Bob, who has been a large part of the family for five years. Bob is a chocolate Lab crossed with a Weimaraner and still insists he is not too big to sit on John’s knee

The Northern Echo: Plenty of room for two...Plenty of room for two...

Lynne Robinson sent us two pictures – of cats Roary and Trio. Lynne told us: “We lost our rescue ginger tom cat we called him Roary. He was a beautiful elderly gentleman and very nice natured. He even let us put him on a harness and he walked every day with us. After a few months we took the harness off and he walked in between us and never left our sides.

“Before Roary died, a three-legged cat started to come around to the house and they just used to sit together. Roary took ill and sadly he died. We were totally broken hearted, but this little three-legged cat kept coming round. We asked everyone if they knew who owned this cat, but no one did."

The Northern Echo: RoaryRoary

Lynne said: "This was in 2017. The weather took a turn and it had been snowing for a few days, it was co cold and icy, so we decided to let the cat in. It immediately came to us and cuddled in. We had some food left of Roary's and the cat tucked in. We initially called the cat Purdy.

“That night she went back out, but every night she still came and sat on the doorstep - this happened a number of times. We had talked about adopting another cat but we both still had a broken heart from Roary. We talked again and we strongly believe Roary had sent this little cat to us to mend our broken hearts."

The Northern Echo: TrioTrio

“All was going good and he spent more and more time with us until we had a knock at the door asking if we had seen a three-legged cat. My heart sank, but they were very nice people and lived a few streets away. They had two other cats and some dogs. They saw how happy Purdy was and asked if we would like to adopt. They said 'a cat chooses their owner' and their cat, who we had by now discovered was a he, had chosen us."

"We renamed our cat Trio and he is such happy little cat and he does not let the fact he three legs stop him. Trio isn’t the slightest bit bothered and he climbs fences and is so active. We are so happy.”