A heartbroken family have criticised an 'inexperienced' breeder after spending over £7,000 on a 10-week-old puppy who then passed away.
Calling for more breeding regulations, owner Jo - who has chosen not to reveal her surname - said the shock death was the fault of the breeder from whom she bought her Cockapoo pup.
She says she came across the dog, named Nala, after spotting an advert online, after months of struggling to find a rescue dog.
But just a few days later, Nala came down with sickness and diarrhoea and was diagnosed with parvovirus - a highly contagious virus that is a common cause of young puppies dying.
Jo, from Southampton, explained: "There isn't a country wide policy when it comes to breeding dogs - you don't need a license but in some areas you do and the breeder that we got our puppy from, should have had a license but he didn't.
"The advert we found looked very professional and we fell in love with Nala as soon as we saw the picture of her.
"My daughter video called him before we put the deposit down and his house and garden looked really clean and the puppies all looked healthy.
"After picking her up, I realised the breeder didn't even know my name. If I was selling puppies, I would want to do a full home check and verify who they were rather than just give them to anyone.
"She was fine for the first three days but then she began going downhill and that's when we rushed her to the vet."
After forking out over £5,000 on vets bills, the family had to make the heartbreaking decision to put Nala to sleep not much over a week after they had first taken her in.
The vets said they had tried all possible resources.
What's even more heartbreaking is that it wasn't just Nala out of her litter that didn't make it.
"All of Nala's veterinary costs have gone onto a credit card which we will probably be paying back for the next three years but we had to try everything to save Nala's life.
"There needs to be more laws around who can breed and more regulations.
"We are all absolutely heartbroken - as soon as I held her I felt like she was my family and we only got to have her in our house for three days before she was taken to the vets".
Jo decided to get another pup after looking for a companion for her four-year-old Cavapoo.
But with prices increasing throughout the pandemic, Jo ended up spending nearly £2,000 on little Nala.
She said: "The demand for dogs has gone up massively and that's why we struggled to get a rescue dog.
"People have seen an opportunity to make money in the pandemic and they've gone with it which is why there is so much irresponsible breeding going on and it's dangerous.
"If I wanted to breed a dog to make some extra cash, I could but I shouldn't be able to".
Jo claims the breeder she bought Nala from was unlicensed - despite the fact you need a license to breed animals in his area.
"As soon as we held her, we all fell in love with her. She had had her first vaccine so we had her second vaccine scheduled; he told us she was eight-weeks-old but according to her vaccination card, she was ten-weeks-old."
"We had insurance but it doesn't take effect for 14 days so it cost us £5,500 all together to put her in critical care.
She warned: "You ultimately need to do your homework when buying a puppy - it's one of the most heartbreaking things we are going through as a family.
"I hope everyone who is considering breeding to do their homework, know their legal obligations and more importantly, do right my the animals".
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