A dog is recovering after spending seven hours trapped in a snare with a wire noose around its neck.

Relieved owners John and Yvonne Roberts say their black Labrador, Macey, had a lucky escape from the trap, believed to have been set by a gamekeeper, in woodland near Lambley, Northumberland.

The couple, who live near Brampton, were walking their eight-year-old pet last Friday morning, when she disappeared.

After searching the area for seven hours, they eventually found Macey, sitting motionless and not making a sound, in the dense woodland, around 5.30pm.

Mrs Roberts said: “She was quite distressed and was shaking. I think she was wise enough to know that if she tried to pull, or get out of the wire, she wouldn’t have survived. Fortunately she had the sense to stay still.

“It must have been terrifying. The wood is very dense and while we were never going to stop searching, we only found her by chance.”

Mrs Roberts said the Labrador was not injured during the ordeal, adding: “We are shocked by what happened, but very relieved because it could have been a lot worse.

“We didn’t have her on the lead because we often walk in that area; it’s very rural and the dog enjoys walking both on the path and going into the wood.

“We just couldn’t understand how when she went missing, there was no sound. We retraced the whole of the route we had walked and suspected she may have been injured.”

There are strict regulations surrounding the use of snares, which are usually set to catch foxes or rabbits. It is illegal to set snares for birds, deer and badgers.

However, recent RSPCA inspectorate surveys show that snares only catch a third of the species they are intended for, with other victims including cats, badgers, dogs and deer.