POLITICANS calling at Bobby Huckvale's home to see if he'll back them in the coming election could be forgiven for thinking his bark is as bad as bite.

That's because Bobby is in fact a Yorkshire Terrier with a polling card and the right to vote in the May 1 council elections.

Bobby has been with the Huckvale family since being rescued from Swindon and District Animal Haven at Wootton Bassett.

The dog is three-years-old by the human calendar - but in dog years he's 21 and old enough to vote.

Owner Gavin Huckvale from Toothill was gobsmacked when Bobby's card dropped through the letterbox with the rest of the family's voting cards.

"It all seems a bit daft to be honest if you ask me," said the 29-year-old.

"We have two other dogs as well but neither of these have received a polling card."

Gavin updated the family names on the electoral roll last year, together with his 25-year-old brother Carl.

He says that he only included the humans of the household on the list and didn't list Bobby on the annual census either.

"I didn't put Bobby's name on it so I have no idea how they've got it," he said. I've heard of an animal who was sent a credit card application but never a polling card. You sometimes hear about people who have been long dead getting sent them, but not pets." Gavin plans to take Bobby to the polling station on polling day to see if the dog can put his paw mark on the ballot slip.

He added: "It'd be interesting to see how far we can take it."

John Warwick, owner of The Animal Haven, which re-homed Bobby, is concerned by the electoral error.

"Frankly I find it ridiculous and it poses the question of whether our post is being monitored.

"It remains to be seen who Bobby will decide to vote for, but maybe we should demand an official recount, as its difficult to see how far incompetence like this stretches."

Bobby was unable to tell the Adver who he would be voting for.

A Swindon Council spokesman said: "It's obvious from the electoral registration form that was returned to us that someone has registered the dog as a voter.

"If he'd been named Gnasher or Spot instead of Bobby we might have noticed, but either way he's ineligible because he's not 18.

"While this is clearly a prank, we should point out that knowingly providing false information on an electoral registration form is a criminal offence.

"Bobby's voting card is useless to anyone else, as we've got measures in place to prevent it from being used by a human - or indeed another dog."