A family are issuing a warning after the puppy they bought on Gumtree fell ill two weeks after coming home with them.
The Broomfield family welcomed home little Nola after forking out just £550, and believed that she had been vaccinated due to documents they had been showed.
Now, mum Jane, 47 - a mobile hairdresser from Bagshot, Surrey - is warning others to be vigilant, after being slapped with a £11,000 vet bill and the heartache of losing the pup to a deadly virus.
Despite being assured the dog had received all the necessary jabs, as well as a microchip and treatment for worms, a vet told her that the dog had no treatment, and the documents were likely fraudulent.
The vet also found that Nola wasn't a Jack Russell cross beagle as advertised, and was also much younger than they had initially been told.
The family became alerted after Nola became sleepy and suffered with bloody diarrhoea just three days after moving to the new home - symptoms which the vet later diagnosed as parvovirus.
Showing signs of illness, the family woke up every 15 minutes to check on Nola through the night. But when they took her to the vet, they realised just how ill she was.
They began treatment for parvovirus - a highly infectious disease which attacks cells in a dog's intestines and stops them from being able to absorb vital nutrients.
Nola was given pellets to help her gut, blood transfusions from dogs, plus a human-blood transfusion, to try and raise her protein levels.
The team gave fluids, antibiotics anti-sickness meds and pain relief too.
After a week of expensive procedures - totalling more than £10,000 - the pet died last Saturday (26th June).
Jane, who also has a nine-year-old pooch called Buster, said: "It's been absolutely horrendous for me and the kids.
"I cried for about a week.I just want this sort of thing to stop, and I want to get the word out to other people, because I don't want other families to go through this.
"We've all been so tearful and angry; very very angry.
"It's very confusing and hard for Buster. He won't leave my side at the minute."
Looking back, Jane says there were signs that something was awry.
For one, the mum-of-two became suspicious when the seller gave her a house number that didn't exist and met her in the street with the dog.
But the family, including daughter Beau 16, and son Cayden, 13, fell in love with the dog, so chose to ignore the red flags.
She said the seller - also called Jane - blocked her number when she told them how much the treatment cost.
Now, heartbroken, and stuck with a hefty bill to pay, Jane has taken on extra work cleaning to find money to pay the vet bills.
"I don't know where I'm going to find that money," she said. "Just the critical care team is about £10,000, then my vet and the out of hours takes it to around £11k, and I've got to pay for her cremation.
"I went with those breeders because I don't have much money and it's hard to find those dogs under £1,000.
"Now I think about it all the pictures of dogs were outside on grass and no sign of people. There was a picture of a beagle that was supposed to be Nola's mother, but the vet said she didn't have any beagle in her.
"If you're buying a dog be very vigilant and demand to see the parent dogs and where they live.
"They get you because they know you will fall in love when you see the dog."
A friend started a fundraiser to help pay for the treatment. You can donate here.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read