THE FESTIVE folk at York Gin hope to raise people's spirits this Christmas - with a little help from the animal kingdom.

The team has launched a competition to find the "most Christmassy" pet.

And so far they have received snaps of Bruce the horse in his Santa hat, Cornelia the snake wearing a Christmas jumper and Harry the Labrador asking his owner to pull a cracker with him.

Emma Godivala, York Gin co-founder, said: "We’re doing everything we can to keep spirits up.

"So the logical next step was to get as many pets as possible into the Christmas spirit."

She admits the team are huge animal fans and their dogs even have a dedicated Instagram account @yorkgindogs.

And teamed up with XmasMix radio to invite people to share pictures of their own festive pets on social media using the hashtag #YorkXmasPets to be in with a chance of winning a £100 York Gift Card and a large bottle of York Gin.

Entries so far include Herman the tortoise in fancy dress, a cat hiding in a Christmas Tree and a pair of hamsters named Ant and Dec who knocked over a Christmas scene while waiting to have their picture taken.

The team has also launched a chocolate and orange flavoured gin, in honour of the Terry's Chocolate Orange invented in York in 1932, and sponsors XmasMix radio station which plays non-stop festive songs.

York Gin's online shop has seen sales increase tenfold and Emma said: "We’ve had to change our business model to find where our customers are - and they are mostly online!

"So the York Gin online store has gone from a fairly quiet village store in March to being a pretty busy high street shop in November and December.

"Even comparing online sales with this time last year, we’ve seen a tenfold increase.

"Of course we can’t wait for things to get back to normal for all our friends in the hospitality sector."

"We love working with York’s amazing pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels. But in the meantime, we’ve managed to keep people employed on the Living Wage.

"And to keep giving business to other local firms like the brilliant PurePallets who make lots of our gifts from upcycled wood and also engrave our personalised bottles."

Emma added that the team use a zero emissions electric van to carry out deliveries around York.