RESIDENTS of a small market town were in for a surprise when they found a farm animal wandering the streets.

The town of Crook was visited by an unlikely pet, a little lost lamb that was found wandering the streets by a resident.

The lamb was wearing a pink cat collar, as if it had been looked after as a pet.

They took the lamb to their home to keep her safe and called the RSPCA for help.

Animal Rescue Officer Shane Lynn collected the lamb and has found her a suitable new home on a farm with experienced owners where she will be hand reared.

Mr Lynn said: “The fact that this lamb was found wearing a pink cat collar suggests that someone had been keeping her as a pet, which is far from ideal for a farm animal, especially one so young as this lamb.

"I’m really concerned about why she was separated from the mother and how she came to be alone in the town.

“Keeping and transporting farm animals requires special licenses by law, which I was able to gain to have the lamb moved to the farm earlier this month.

"Farm animals shouldn’t ever be taken on without really careful consideration and never by people without experience of caring for them and appropriate facilities.”

A spokesperson from the RSPCA said: “This is really rare, we rarely hear of this happening and we don't know why or how someone got hold of the lamb and then it came to be in the town, it's very strange.

“Our inspector managed to find a home for the lamb on a nearby farm with experienced owners who were happy to take her in and hand-rear her, it was a private contact of his and we're really grateful to the farm for giving her a home."

This is not the first time farm animals have turned up in a residential area to the surprise of onlookers.

Back in March dozens of horses were spotted grazing in people's gardens in Helen St Auckland.

Last year the RSPCA attended several incidents of snakes in rubbish bins in Sunderland.

The snakes had been left there in a pillow case by the owner.

The reptiles had been left in the cold and the RSPCA the RSPCA took them in and gave them special treatment to help them survive.

An investigation was launched into who the owners were and why they abandoned them.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals visit their website or call 0300 123 8181.