A mare has been rescued after she was found abandoned in a remote spot with "horrific" injuries.
The nine-month-old foal, named Elsa by the RSPCA after the character in Disney's Frozen, is being cared for by the charity after a shocked member of the public found the animal.
She was discovered in Follingsby Lane, between Downhill lane near Nissan and the A194(M) and a short distance away from White Mare Pool.
Inspectors are appealing to the for information as they investigate how she sustained the extensive wounds to her back legs and how she came to be on the lane, where there have been several animals dumped in the last 18 months.
It is thought Elsa had been suffering for days before the caller came across her and raised the alarm.
The images of the injuries are too distressing to publish.
Inspector Jaqui Miller said: “Poor Elsa was found on Wednesday with these horrific wounds to the back of her legs, by a concerned member of the public who kindly let us know straight away.
“The vet who examine her predicts that Elsa had been suffering with these wounds for at least three days before she was found, as the area was covered in dead skin and had become badly infected.
"The wounds were so deep that her muscles were exposed.
“Thankfully this lucky little pony is now being cared for by the team at RSPCA Felledge Equine Centre, where they are working night and day to treat her wounds and make her comfortable.
"She is a very sweet little pony and even when she was receiving treatment from the vet she was very well-behaved and tolerant, despite the fact she will have been in a tremendous amount of pain from her injury.
“It looks as though she is going to make a recovery from this as the wounds have not gone deep enough to damage her muscles or tendons, but she is still very sore.
“How anybody could abandon this special little pony in this condition is beyond words. We named her Elsa as the weather is pretty much frozen up here in Tyne and Wear at the moment.”
She added: “Anybody with any information is urged to call me on our RSPCA inspector appeal line in confidence on 0300 123 8018, where they can leave me a message.
"Elsa is a small black pony with a distinctive white stripe on her face.
"We have previously had two more horses and a dog abandoned on this same road during the last 12-18 months, so any information however small, could be vital in helping us investigate.”