A SCOTTISH woman whose dream chihuahua puppy had to be put to sleep less than a week after she bought it has told of her heartache - and warned over cruel and illegal puppy dealers.

Paulina Majerowska, 25, got her first pup, which she named Daisy, on March 3, after seeing an advert on the internet classified site Gumtree.

But she admits she ignored a number of warning signs - and later discovered that Daisy was actually a male puppy.

When asked for paperwork, the man who dropped off the tiny pooch claimed to have forgotten it - and as soon as Paulina realised the dog was seriously ill, she could not reach the seller on the phone.

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Just five days later, the family, Paulina, fiance Cezary Kordaszewski, 32, and their daughter Anastasia, aged three, was left devastated after it was discovered that Daisy, bought for £300, had contracted parvovirus.

Tragically the pup had to be put to sleep.

Paulina, from Sauchie, Clackmannanshire, believes her family fell victim to an illegal puppy dealer and wants to warn others of the signs to look out for.

The mum-of-one said: "Looking back, I see so many warning signals.

"When I first replied to the advert I said I was looking for a long-haired female Chihuahua and asked if any of the pups in the photo were female.

"The man said he was unsure and would have to ask his partner.

"Not long later he replied to say yes the long-haired one is female.

"It was a bit strange he didn’t know right away.

"He then said he was going to drop off another pup that night and could bring her with him if we wanted her.

"It all happened very quickly but we were just so excited as we’d been looking for this particular breed for a while.

"When they arrived Daisy spent time running around with my older dog in the garden and they were getting on great.

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"Everything seemed fine.

"After I paid the seller, he was going back to his car and I stopped him to ask if he had the paperwork for the pup, to which he replied he forgot it as he was in a hurry and would post it to me first thing the next day.

"That was the last I ever heard from him and when I tried to call the next day, the line was cut off."

It was just two days later when Paulina visited Inglis Vets in Alloa that things started to take a turn for the worse.

Her older dog, Timon, had just undergone a neutering operation when it was discovered that Daisy was actually a male dog.

Paulina, who is a full-time student, added: "I cried when I found out.

"I was just so angry we had been lied to.

"Of course we loved Daisy and I would never have given the pup away, but it was still such a shock."

At this point, Daisy was also suffering from diarrhoea and Paulina was given medication and advised to keep a close eye on the condition over the next few days.

Sadly, Daisy’s health deteriorated to the point where he was not eating and the diarrhoea continued.

Paulina later returned to Inglis Vets where Daisy was tested for parvovirus, a deadly disease which predominantly affects young pups that haven’t had their puppy vaccinations and non-vaccinated dogs.

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Sadly, the result came back positive.

Paulina said: "I would have spent all the money I had trying to help Daisy get better, but was advised the chances of him surviving were so little that the kindest thing to do was to put him to sleep.

"He’d already lost a fair bit of weight in the five days he was with us and I knew in my heart it was the right decision.

"It didn’t make it any less devastating and I felt awful having to explain to my wee girl that Daisy wasn’t well and wasn’t coming back.

"We’d all grown so attached to Daisy in the short time he was with us.

"The only thing I can take comfort in is that we gave him the best few days we possibly could have."

A spokesman for the SSPCA said: “We are urging the public to do proper research before buying a puppy.

“Our #SayNoToPuppyDealers campaign, which aims to bring this barbaric trade to an end, has gathered steam since its launch in 2018 but it is a demand-driven business and supply inevitably increases to meet this.

“The trade puts profits before welfare and puppies bred on these farms often have medical or behavioural problems.

“There are tell-tale signs that a puppy is from a farm. For example, a seller may be evasive when it comes to questions on the mother and comes up with excuses to avoid a potential buyer visiting the house where the pups supposedly live.

“It is imperative that those buying a puppy never meet a seller in a public place or have them bring the dog to you, and that the proper paperwork is provided.”