17/10/2012 08:42 BST

Stolen Dog Reunited With Family After Being Spotted On Facebook

Ready for today's cockle-warming story? A delighted family have been reunited with their six-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier - four years after he was snatched from their home in Bristol.

Mum-of-three Joanna Martin never gave up hope of finding her beloved pooch, Cotton, and has searched far and wide, reports the Daily Mail. But it was only when a friend spotted a dog who looked suspiciously like Cotton for sale on Facebook that her dream was realised.

Joanna arranged to view the dog, then contacted police, who met her at the property and arrested a woman in her early 20s for handling stolen goods.

"The police were fantastic," Joanna told the newspaper. "They came out and asked me for any identifiable marks he had and I explained there was a scar across his left leg from where another dog had attacked him. If it wasn't for that scar, I don't know if we'd have got him."

And PC John Shaddick - pictured below with Cotton, plus Kira, 12, and Katie, six - added: "I was delighted to have assisted in Cotton being reunited with his loving owners. There was no doubt that he also shared my delight from his reaction on seeing the family."


So the long-lost pooch is now safely back where he belongs - and Joanna and her three daughters are busy making up for lost time. Welcome back, Cotton!

You know what? He may be posing like a professional in these snaps, but we reckon Cotton is still bouncing for joy most of the time. Which leads us nicely into this...