A flea-bitten dog rescued from a squalid Melbourne, Australia, backyard is to be reunited with her ecstatic owner nine years after she disappeared.

And 17-year-old Chloe Rushby, who was only eight when her furry friend disappeared, can't wait to have Muffy back in her arms.

Chloe and her family screamed with joy when the RSPCA called to say Muffy was alive - much older, very scruffy and 1,250 miles away in Melbourne.

"It would be fair to say that they were extremely elated and extremely excited by the call," RSPCA inspector Gail Coulter, who found an emaciated Muffy after an anonymous tip, told The Daily Telegraph.

"They were initially shocked and confused, but when we mentioned the name Muffy - which is part of the microchip information - and gave them a description of her, they knew it was their pet lost so many years ago."

What happened in between is largely a mystery.

The fluffy white bitser is known to have been kept in a filthy back yard for the past two years.

Click here for the full article from The Daily Telegraph.