A family from Dorset left devastated when their puppy went missing are 'thrilled' to have been finally reunited with her - more than 11 years later.

The Covell family were heartbroken when their three-month-old Jack Russell named Crumpet went missing from their back garden in 2010 and, after spending weeks looking for her, gave up hope that they would ever see her again.

But completely out of the blue, 11 years later, Sarah, her husband and their two daughters Elektra and Tallulah - now aged 18 and 20 - have been reunited Crumpet after they received a phone call from a vet a 30-minute drive away.

Mrs Covell, from Buckland Newton, said: "I got a phone call from an emergency vets in Bournemouth to say that they had found my dog and my first thought was that one of my three terriers had managed to get out. Then when she said they had looked at the microchip and her name was Crumpet I couldn't believe it.

"I was on my bike at the time and I nearly fell off, I was so shocked. I had given up on hoping she would come back and thought she was lost forever. It's so lovely that she has come home."

The Covell family have no idea where their dog has been for more than a decade and never found out if she had escaped from their garden or been stolen.

Unfortunately, Crumpet suffers from a heart murmur and is completely deaf due to tumours in both of her ears. Mrs Covell took her for an operation last week to remove one of the tumours but, sadly, it will not help bring back the dog's hearing.

Mrs Covell said: "It seems that someone might have taken her and then, when they thought she would be expensive with vet bills, just dumped her.

"We will spend the summer getting her back to health and taking care of her all together as a family. It is the most lovely thing that she has come home - she is such a sweetheart and seems so happy to be around us all, and the girls are thrilled that they get to spend time with her.

"It's such a shame that we have missed the best years of her life but hopefully we will have some more with her."