A dog owner from northeastern England has been threatened with police action after his ageing pet Rottweiler was registered to vote in next month's European Parliament elections, it emerged Tuesday.
Russell Hoyle, 45, from Stockton near Newcastle, was asked to attend a police interview and risks a fine or even prison for the registration of his dog Zeus, according to the local Evening Gazette newspaper.
Hoyle blamed the mix-up on an official who came to his house to take names of residents for the electoral register.
"I remember saying, 'There is myself and my wife. My son is not old enough to vote'," recalled Hoyle, a security guard.
Then he said he had quipped to the official: "We have got Zeus living here as well and he is 63 in dog years."
The next thing he knew, a polling card arrived on his doormat for "Zeus Hoyle", informing the dog where to go to cast his ballot in the May 22 vote.
The local council launched an investigation and has referred the case to police, saying: "It is an offence to provide false information on an electoral registration form."
Hoyle was unimpressed.
"Even the police said it was daft that I had been reported. The council is trying to flex its muscles. It's disgusting," he said.