A DOG left to die by its callous owners is making a good recovery, after vets removed a tumour the size of a golf ball from its body.

Staff at Consett Veterinary Centre found the nine-year-old, black and grey spaniel bitch tied to railings outside their office last Monday. She underwent emergency surgery to cut out the lump and also had treatment for in-growing eyelashes.

The dog, said to be in poor condition when she was found, is staying with an RSPCA officer and is said to be doing well.

Police are studying CCTV footage in a bid to trace the animal's owner and the RSPCA has launched an investigation.

RSPCA inspector Graham Foggin said: "The tumour must have been incredibly uncomfortable for the dog and I dread to think what kind of pain the in-growing eyelashes caused.

"Both these ailments will have developed over months rather than weeks, but whoever owned this dog obviously ignored these problems, instead of seeking veterinary help.

"Ultimately, the owner preferred to abandon the spaniel, rather than face up to his or her responsibilities. I would urge anyone who can identify the dog and lead us to her owner, to contact the RSPCA immediately."