A YOUNG Stourbridge dog lover is in the running for a top award at the world's largest dog show - Crufts.

Mariann Bayliss, aged 12, has already been named Young Kennel Club Fundraiser of the Year - a title which has also put her in the final for the Shaun McAlpine Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award.

The year seven Redhill School pupil is one of five Young Kennel Club members nominated for the prestigious accolade - which celebrates the devotion to dogs demonstrated by young canine fans.

Gerald King, YKC chairman, said: "Each year we receive incredible entries for young people and everyone who received a nomination should be proud of the work they have achieved.”

Mariann, of Oldswinford, was nominated for the fundraising award for her efforts in raising cash for various dog-related causes over the last two years.

Last year she gave £150 to the Dogs Trust at Evesham to help less fortunate pooches - and this year she donated £90 to the Cinnamon Trust and £90 to new charity Agility Against Cancer after making and selling tuggy toys and leads at agility shows, in school and on Facebook.

She said: “I started out just making items for our dogs and after requests from friends and family I decided to make them for charities.

“I would not have been able to do any of this without the amazing support of my family, not only in helping me sell the toys and neckerchiefs but also encouraging me to be an enthusiastic member of the dog community.”

Mariann has also trained several dogs which have qualified for the agility class at Crufts over the last four years and this year is no different.

Her proud mum Jolene said: "Most of her spare time is taken up with training not only her own dogs but dogs belonging to other people."

The canine-loving youngster, who will be competing in YKC agility and flyball with her dog Ila at Crufts 2017, is also hoping to represent team GB in Europe this year.

She has been invited to attend a second selection day at the end of February and if successful she will be off to Luxembourg in July.

Mariann will find out if she has won the Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award at Crufts at Birmingham's NEC Arena on Sunday March 12.

A prize fund of up to £750 is on offer for the winner who will be decided through an online vote on Facebook.

To vote for Mariann go to the Young Kennel Club (YKC) page on Facebook or click here.