Thousands of people are supporting the search for a dog which has been missing for three weeks.

The heartbroken owners of Watson the black cocker spaniel are convinced he is still alive - and could be in north Cumbria.

Watson vanished on a walk near his family farm in Sedbergh, in the south of the county, on December 14.

Owner Ian Sugden and girlfriend Vicki McCreadie have been searching frantically ever since, but after two weeks were starting to lose all hope.

They have been buoyed by two strong potential sightings, which suggest Watson is heading north towards Penrith.

The couple are appealing to people in the area to look out for the missing pooch, and share the appeal.

Vicki said: “He was sighted in Tebay on January 1. We can’t be 100 per cent sure it was him, but the person who phoned me said it was the spit of him. There is nobody else in the area looking for a black cocker spaniel either.”

He was sighted in the Morland area of the Eden Valley on January 3.

Vicki has taken advice from a dog expert, who said that once a dog picks up a direction, they will keep travelling in it.

“Working with the information I gave her, she believes he’s heading north. The next places are Langwathby, Armathwaite - the villages around Penrith,” she said.

Since going missing, Watson has become an online celebrity - with his Facebook page reaching more than 200,000 people.

If you see him call Ian on 07572 113005 or Vicki on 07807 319949.