A nine-month-old puppy missing in a North Yorkshire forest for 12 days has been found after a major search.

A huge effort involving dozens of people including Swaledale Mountain Rescue and drone-users was launched for Ruby the fox red Labrador after she went missing on October 5 while out on a walk in the Stang Forest above Richmond.

A huge search between Arkengarthdale and Barnard Castle was launched to try and find the missing pet.

Owner Pauline Kavanagh said she wanted to thank everyone who got involved in the search from the bottom of her heart.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Ruby was missing in the Stang Forest for 12 days

Ruby was found on Tuesday, October 17, after Don Watson from Leeds, who had come out deliberately to look for the missing dog, discovered her deep in the woods tangled in wire which was bound around her front left leg and pulled above her head as she had struggled to free herself.

Pauline said Ruby has a nasty leg injury and is being looked after at Swaledale vets. She added: "The vet was amazed that Ruby is alert and noticing things around her. She licked the nurse on the face and wagged her tail.

"They are hoping to save her leg. I can't believe we have her back and hopefully soon home. Thank you Don Watson from the bottom of our hearts, you saved Ruby's life and given us ours back. Lots of love and a huge thank you to all of you who have searched for Ruby. We are forever in your debt."

Pauline said she was determined not to give up on finding Ruby even as time passed. The search was widened with many people joining in including several dog search groups from other parts of the country and farmers, beaters and gamekeepers.

After eight days she said they were still hopeful after being told that dogs, even young ones like Ruby could last for up to ten days. They had visited areas near where she went missing and further afield putting down food. There was a sighting near Gilling West which could possibly have been Ruby. One woman who was on holiday in the area devoted most of her week off looking for the missing puppy.

Pauline said they have been kept going by the kindness of people and the support pouring in.

She added: "We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, we don’t know all your names but we send you all our love."