#DogsAtPollingStations: The trend you knew was coming

Screen grab of tweet by @kcatclarke Image copyright Twitter@kcatclarke
Image caption Fionn, Luna and Roby gathered outside while their owners went to cast their votes in Cumbria on Thursday

As people across the UK cast their votes in the general election their paw-fect pooches have also been exercising their voting rights, and predictably the hashtag #DogsAtPollingstations has become a social media trend.

But, as you'll see, we've noticed that babies, cats and even hedgehogs and guinea pigs are trying to grab a piece of the political pie.

Image copyright Twitter/@SAMiCURE
Image caption Phoebe in Manchester waits patiently outside her polling station

Many posted images of their dogs online after polling booths opened on Thursday morning and the hashtag has been used tens of thousands of times with over 8000 tweets sent in the first two hours of voting.

The election trend also appeared last month in local elections, the EU referendum, and the last general election.

But this year, a new Twitter emoji has been released for those using the hashtag - a terrier donning a union jack. Twitter partnered with The Dogs Trust to encourage use of "Paw-ing Stations" to make dogs joining their owners more comfortable.

Image copyright Twitter/@DachshundOtto
Image caption Otto and Ava in Hampshire brace the Thursday morning cold and head to the polls
Image copyright Twitter/@TheSpeer7
Image caption Max in Tamworth, Staffordshire seems a bit bored of waiting

But it wasn't just dogs who took a casual stroll to the election booth, as the trend #babiesatpollingstations, also emerged shortly after voting began.

Image copyright Twitter/@Thefpl_vet
Image caption Here dogs Finlay and Ivy wait outside the polling station with children, Lexi, two and Owen, one in Ingleby Barwick, North Yorkshire
Image copyright Twitter/@falcoretweets
Image caption Hugo in Nottingham pawses for a scratch

There was an interruption when an unexpected guinea pig popped up:

Image copyright @MxJackMonroe
Image caption Sergeant Pepper, also known as "The Wig" made sure that guinea pigs were involved in the battle of animal representation at the polls

But the #dogsatpollingstation continues to remain a dominant trend.

Image copyright Deli
Image caption Deli the dachshund in west London made sure to look the other way to provide some privacy
Image copyright Twitter/@jodiedoubleday
Image caption Two-year-old Romanian rescue Marlowe posed near a polling station in Canterbury, Kent - we think the sign isn't quite right, seems to be pointing to a dog?!
Image copyright Twitter/@DrRJWalker
Image caption Digby aka Mr Woofs in Leicester took his public duty very seriously
Image copyright Georgie
Image caption Bruce the Dalmatian waited with bated breath in Derbyshire as the voters passed him by
Image copyright Twitter/@pedventurelurcher
Image caption Ped the lurcher seemed more interested in playing catch and having a roll in the grass in Surrey

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Image copyright Twitter/@H_Ingram
Image caption "Why are you going there?" Wonders Mavis in Bury, Lancashire

Don't forget the working dogs!

Image copyright @DasherGuideDog
Image caption Dasher the guide dog proudly says: "I've taken mum to vote this morning" after popping to a polling station in Putney, London

Some pooches were unable to make it to the polling station, but didn't want to be left out:

Image copyright Twitter/@Mansehound
Image caption Sirius The Dog's people in Knockbain in the Highlands posted their vote early on so he couldn't take part in the game

But we couldn't continue without acknowledging the rival #catsatpollingstations trend:

Image copyright Twitter/ @cbowyercreative
Image caption This mystery cat was spotted by Clare Bowyer in Colburn, North Yorkshire. No dogs in the vicinity

Even Friday the hedgehog wanted a piece of the action:

Image copyright Toni Lambert
Image caption Friday the hedgehog hangs out at a polling station in Hertfordshire

There's been a lot of competition today though - #horsesatpollingstations anyone?

Image copyright Twitter/@FontwellPark
Image caption Did somebody say polo station? Sunset Skye in West Sussex

And finally sheep - perhaps we can get a dog at a the polling station to herd them up:

Image copyright Twitter/ @kazzimazzi
Image caption Even the sheep wanted to check out the proceedings at Melness polling station in Sutherland in the Highlands

By the UGC and Social News team

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