Four-legged friends in the spotlight

Stephen Wylie and Henry from Shak with the Jam Jar Army posters.
Stephen Wylie and Henry from Shak with the Jam Jar Army posters.

Do you have the prettiest pooch, the most handsome hound or just the cutest canine in north Northumberland? Well, now’s your chance to prove it.

To boost this year’s Jam Jar Army campaign, the Gazette and charity SHAK are teaming up for a My Best Friend photo competition for the area’s dogs.

And Alnwick photographer Andy Craig, based in the town’s Fenkle Street, will be helping to judge the contest by selecting the final shortlist as well as offering the top prize.

The victorious dog will win a free pet-portrait session with Andy, which usually costs at least £50, and he has also donated some other prizes for some of our other favourites. All we are asking is that you send us a photo of your four-legged friend whether it be funny, cute or simply running free.

The photos will be shown on SHAK’s website – – and a selection will also be featured in the Gazette.

Andy will then use his expert eye to pick a final shortlist before we open up the competition to the public vote to decide the champion.

All you have to do to enter is send a cheque payable to SHAK and photograph with the entry form to us here at the Gazette or email your entries along with a PayPal payment to

Entry costs a minimum suggested donation of £2, but feel free to donate more; remember every penny goes towards the upkeep of all of the dogs that SHAK cares for at its kennels based at a farmhouse north of Alnwick.

The competition closes on Thursday, May 9, so all entries must be in by then. After that, we will publish the final shortlist for the public vote.

We want businesses, organisations, families and individuals all to hold collections as we aim to match or surpass the last two Army campaigns.

Get in touch with us – on 01665 602234 or ben.ocon – if you want to get involved or have any ideas for fund-raising.

We have some jam jars to collect at the Northumberland Gazette office. And now, new stickers to decorate jars and posters with the SHAK logo are available, so look out for them. We also have some to give out at the Gazette office.

Full jars can be dropped off at the Gazette office on Bondgate Without, Taylor’s newsagents or the Lions’ bookshop, both on Bondgate Within.