WE challenged readers to vote for your cutest and bravest animals.

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And after the votes were counted and verified, we can reveal that loveable puppy Winnie has been named as the cutest pooch while Chilly is the most courageous cat.

Winnie, the seven-month-old British bulldog won the Star Pets 2012 gong – a competition to find the most photogenic animal in Ipswich and Felixstowe.

Scores of people nominated their beloved pets, from cats and dogs to guinea pigs, rabbits and even snails – but it was Winnie who won the hearts of the town.

Owners Lucy and Callum Finlayson, of Birchcroft Road, Ipswich, described their pedigree pet pooch as loving “shoelaces, ham and cuddles” but disliking “walks and the wok lid”.

Mrs Finlayson, 30, said: “Winnie is just so adorable but we never expected her to win.

“It was my mum who got me to enter Winnie into the competition so I’ve got her to thank. Winnie is the light of our lives and we love her so much.

“We really are chuffed to bits and so excited that she is the cutest pet. She can have any treat she wants after this.”

The couple, who also own goldfish, have had Winnie since she was seven weeks old and said she has a loveable character.

Mrs Finlayson added: “She is scared of absolutely everything, which is quite funny for a bulldog. She’s a complete scaredy-cat but she loves people.

“We can’t go for a walk without her stopping four or five times to investigate something or see people. She is really gentle and just a joy to be with.”

Meanwhile, Chilly has won Ipswich’s most courageous pet in an extra special Vets Now category.

Chilly’s owner, Sue Goward, got the six-year-old short-haired Persian from a rescue centre in Northamptonshire. Chilly had been mistreated by previous owners as he was kept in a cowshed with no human contact.

Ms Goward, who got Chilly after her beloved cat Maisie died, said: “I’m thrilled. Chilly is a very special cat to me.

“He has gone from a cat who used to hide behind the washing machine to one who has really come out of his shell.

“He really has been through a lot but he is a lovely cat. I would like to thank the Rushton Persian Rescue Centre and the Ryder-Davies Vets.”

Do you have an amazing story about your pet? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can send an e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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