A cry for help from a three-year-old boy caught the attention of everyone, including talent judge Simon Cowell.
While Cowell may look tough to impress on screen, he has a soft spot for those in need, and Edward Latter's letter stood out to him.
When the 10-month-old border terrier, Morse, disappeared from his family's home they put up missing posters all over the neighborhood.
The devastated young boy looked for a Christmas miracle to help bring his friend back. Penning a heartbreaking letter to Santa, he asked for the biggest Christmas gift at all.
“Dear Father Christmas,” Edward Latter’s letter started out. He continued on “I just want one present for Christmas this year, my dog Morse back. I’ve been a very good boy all year. Thank you, Edward aged two and three-quarters.”
Thousands of people joined the hunt for the family pet, and even Simon Cowell offered to get involved.
Putting up a $14,000 reward to anyone that could help find the family dog, Cowell was hoping the young boy's pet would be returned home.
A source close to Cowell said, "It's heartbreaking to see a little boy's Christmas ruined. Dogs are so important to so many of us. We just hope it helps lead to the safe return of Morse."
It was thought that thieves had picked up Morse to use as a stud.
A witness had spotted two men escorting Morse into the back of a van minutes after he escaped from the family's home.
"My gut instinct was he was taken away and used for stud," Edward's father Richard said.
Edward's mom, Amanda Hopkins and father Richard Latter, had given up hope at finding the family pet, until they got a call that surprised them.
20 miles from their home, a couple had found a muddy dog walking down their street and thought it could have been the missing dog. They took him in, bathed him and called Richard.
"Me and Amanda were still quite skeptical, but Edward saw him and recognized him straight away. He just said 'Is that Morse, is Morse coming home with us,'” Richard recalled.
While his Christmas wish didn't come true, Edward did end up being reunited with Morse a few weeks later.
"It’s too late for Christmas but this is the best present ever," Edward said.
They took the found dog to the vet and scanned his microchip, confirming it was Morse.
"We instantly broke down in tears,’ Richard said. ‘I was delirious for a few seconds, it was absolutely wonderful, we were just hugging each other, hugging Edward and hugging the dog."
It's unknown if the couple claimed Cowell's reward for finding the beloved family pet.