A dog was found with a chain deeply embedded in its neck in a County Durham village.
The Rottweiler-type dog, which was thought to have been abandoned, was found by a dog warden in Wheatley Hill.
He had a two-inch deep wound right around his neck and was taken to a vet where he was operated on straight away and is now recovering.
The RSPCA is trying to trace the owner to find out out what happened to the animal.
RSPCA inspector Ruth Coxon said: "He was wearing a thick metal chain around his neck with a rope attached, and the chain had become embedded in it.
"The wound was all the way around his neck and about two inches deep, it was really dreadful.
"He was obviously in a great deal of pain and suffering unnecessarily."