Santa Claus is taking a well-earned day off this year – with Santa Paws stepping in to take his place.
Furry friends across the north-east are being given the chance to meet Father Christmas himself, and have their photo taken as a precious festive memory.
The Evening Express’ new competition Santa Paws will take place on December 7 and 8 at Six Degrees North on Littlejohn Street, where people will be able to bring their dogs to have their photo taken between noon and 7pm.
To enter, owners can book a slot, which will be around five minutes long.
Donations of £5 per dog will be taken, which will go to children’s charity Charlie House, which supports babies, children and young people in the north-east with complex disabilities and/or life-limiting conditions.
All entries will be featured in a supplement in the newspaper on December 12, alongside voting coupons on December 12 and 13.
Voting will close at midday on December 19.
The winner will be announced before Christmas, and will receive a Santa Paws trophy, a canvas print of their picture and a doggy hamper.
Claire Darragh, fundraising team leader, said: “This is such a unique event to be involved with.
“Obviously we have our very own Charlie Dog mascot, who is a firm favourite with both our families and our fundraisers, so this is a very fitting fundraising event.
“We look forward to seeing everyone’s fantastic fluffy friends meet Santa.
“It will be a very difficult task to select the best Santa Paws, we wish everyone the best of luck!”
Sam Pitt, general manager of Six Degrees North, said: “We’re glad to be able to take part, it’s a great opportunity to make some money for a good cause.
“I’ll definitely be taking my dog along.”