IT may be one of the most exciting parts of the local elections as thousands of voters across the country are set to take their pets with them.

Already, we have seen examples of this in the region - as Reggie, the two-year-old Cockapoo has been seen outside a polling station in Chester-le-Street today.

Meanwhile, Barney, a two-year-old Cavapoo, described as "a first-time voter" by his owner, was "on guard" at the Blind Centre polling station in Houghton-le-Spring this afternoon.

The Northern Echo:

Throughout the day, we're asking our readers to send us any examples (where safe to do so) and we'll be featuring them on our website later today.