In pictures: Polling station pets include dogs, horse and snake

It's become an expected feature of every election - as people make the way to polling stations, so do their dogs (and other animals).

For some, the trip to exercise their right to vote doubles up as an opportunity for their pets to stretch their legs.

The hashtag #dogsatpollingstations on X and Instagram is a highlight of election days for animal lovers on social media – and it’s one of the few things we are able to report on whilst polls are open.

Our reporting on polling day is restricted to uncontroversial factual accounts, which is why you're seeing a lot of pets today.

Animals, apart from assistance dogs, are not usually allowed inside polling stations, but they can be permitted at the discretion of the local authority.

Dogs are not the only voting companions to show up at the polling stations today.

So far, the BBC has seen one snake, a tortoise, horses, and what a colleague called "a ridiculous" number of dogs join their humans at polling stations.

Here’s a gallery of the best pups, good boys, girls, and other creatures from across the UK:

Maui the old English sheepdog
Maui the old English sheepdog knows how to pose outside a polling station in Wokingham, Berkshire. [ Scott Cohen]
Ernest the dog poses above a polling station sign.
Ernest surveys the scene outside the polling station in Milton, Portsmouth. [ Tegan Alexander-Prewett]
A snake is seen slithering across a sign that reads 'polling station' in Dorset, England.
Neptune the snake was sssssspotted outside a polling station in Dorset. [Joe Berry]
Mavis the cockapoo raises a paw in front of a polling station.
High-fives for all who voted from Mavis in Greater Manchester. [ Hannah Monaghan]
Isla the whippet dressed as a flower outside a polling station.
While Isla the whippet appeared in full bloom at one of Sunderland's polling stations early on Thursday. [ Pam McCaig]
A cat in a medical 'cone of shame' decorated with space motifs sits outside a polling station.
In the interest of dogs/cats balance, here is 11-year-old Gustav Robert the First. [Amy, Macclesfield]
Fausto the dog sniffs the air outside a polling station in Twickenham, London
Can Fausto sniff out a winner already? [Alex Murry]
A Clydesdale horse waiting for its owner, tied to a sign outside a rugby club in Cheshire.
Time for another dog? Neigh thanks, says Ace as he waits for his owner outside Sandbach rugby club in Cheshire. [Abbi Willetts]
Luna the dog looks to be hoping for a treat after waiting for her owner to vote.
Luna looks to be hoping for a treat after waiting for her owner to vote in London. [Catherine Holton]
A pair of long-haired sausage dogs sat on a wall in front of some flowers
Brothers Ned (left) and Bruno (right) seem happy to be at Gidea Park Primary School polling station. [Amy Delicata]
A great dane dog sits in the entranceway to a polling station at a church in Nairn, Scotland.
No, it's not another horse: This big boy is Benny the great dane from Nairn. [ Graeme MacGregor]
A boston terrier dressed in a union flag collar sits next to a polling day sign.
Percy dressed in his polling day best this morning in Norfolk. [Stan Jackson]
A tortoise on the floor in front of a brick wall at a polling station in Stafford.
While Rex the tortoise, at Baswich (Stafford) polling station, reportedly set off at 04:00 BST to make sure he could vote today. [Damian Walton]

Additional reporting by Bernadette McCague, Ben Morris, and Mary Litchfield.

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