Now, here's a story to warm the cockles of your heart. (Yes, hearts have cockles. Surely you knew that.) Shorty, a 15-year-old pooch, is to be reunited with his original owners, having become separated from them in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Shorty's Louisiana home was badly damaged in the storm and his owners - like so many - fell on very hard times. So they reluctantly sent him away to a caretaker family, reports the Daily Mail.

Fast-forward seven years and Shorty was discovered wandering down a road in Cabarrus County, in rather a poorly state - having gone missing from his adopted home elsewhere in North Carolina one month earlier.

He was taken to Cabarrus Animal Hospital, where staff scanned his microchip - through which they were able to track down his original owners. Vet Dr Blake Peurifoy told NBC News: "They were crying and really happy, really interested in getting the dog back - whether he lives another three months or three years."

Dr Peurifoy is treating Shorty free of charge and will keep him in hospital for a couple of weeks before sending him home. We're not crying, honestly - we just have something in our eyes...

Cockles still not warm enough? Damn - you're hard to please! Take a look at our Top 10 animal rescues and see if they do the trick...


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  • London fire brigade had to rescue an iguana from a roof in Tower Hamlets in May 2007.

  • London fire brigade had to rescue a parrot trapped in its cage in Waltham Forest in January 2008.

  • London fire brigade had to rescue a dog stuck in a wheelchair in a flat in Richmond in May 2008

  • London fire brigade were called to rescue a puppy with its head stuck in an exercise machine in a house in Hillingdon in April 2008

  • London fire brigade were called to rescue a kitten with its head stuck in a bongo drum in Newham in October 2009

  • London fire brigade were called to capture a snake at a retirement home in Hounslow in July 2009

  • London fire brigade were called to help two dogs in a toilet in Bromley in July 2009

  • London fire brigade were called to a chimp in a chimney in Tower Hamlets in January 2010

  • London fire brigade were called to an adult hamster trapped in a disabled lift in Greenwich in April 2010

  • London fire brigade were called to a kitten trapped in a reclining chair in Croydon in May 2012