Craig Wesson, the manager at Kirkleatham Owl Centre, has been looking after Mario the mongoose since he found him abandoned by his mother at just a few weeks old.
More top news
Doctors from the North East joined thousands of junior doctors as they staged a "masked march" protest over pay and conditions.
Substitute Adam Johnson's free-kick somehow beat Simon Mignolet at his near post before Defoe equalised at the death.
Aleksandar Mitrovic's fifth goal of the season dragged Newcastle out of the Premier League relegation zone.