VETS treating a Labrador puppy found wandering the streets were left stunned when he coughed up a large pair of Bridget Jones-style underpants.

Six-month-old Ernie, a black Labrador cross, was taken to Dogs Trust Darlington, at Sadberge, after being found as a stray several weeks ago.

Dangerously underweight and poorly, he was being examined by vets shortly after arriving at the centre when he was suddenly sick – throwing up an almost complete pair of women's knickers.

The puppy’s condition continued to deteriorate so vets at the centre decided to operate on him, finding more bits of the underpants as well as pieces of elastic and string in his intestines.

The Northern Echo: Ernie the Labrador puppy is now back to health and is looking for a new home.

Ernie the Labrador puppy is now back to health and is looking for a new home.

The materials had caused Ernie’s intestines to impact, putting his life in danger. Vets estimate the items had been inside his gut for a couple of weeks before he was found.

Ernie is now recovering well from his ordeal and is looking for a new family who will make sure he only eats proper dog food.

Sue Embleton, Dogs Trust Darlington centre manager, said: “Ernie is a cheeky chap who is obviously also a bit of a thief!

“He was very lucky indeed to survive something this serious but fortunately now, after lots of fuss and attention, is well enough to find a home.

“He has bags of energy and needs someone who can give him lots of time and attention to keep him out of mischief and to help mature him into a well-rounded dog.

“Because of his age he will benefit greatly from training classes and some guidance on what’s good to eat and what’s not.”

Staff at the centre decided not to keep the vomit stained underpants as a souvenir and they were quickly thrown away.

Ernie will be kept at the Dogs Trust for a couple of weeks to make sure he has fully recovered but anyone interested in rehoming him can contact the Darlington centre on 01325-333114.

The centre, at Hill House Farm, in Sadberge, near Darlington, which cares for up to 120 unwanted or abandoned dogs at any time, is open to visitors between noon and 4pm every day, except Tuesdays.