THE council’s Trading Standards team is urging people not to buy dogs on the cheap in the run up to Christmas.

NAC warn residents they could be hit hard financially or even worse, see you losing your precious pet.

The owners of this little pup fell in love with their new arrival – but now face giving her up or paying over £1,000 to keep her.

That’s because they bought her off the internet for a price, which in hindsight, was far too good to be true.

The animal has no pet passport and arrived from overseas without any of the appropriate vaccinations.

Effectively by not checking out where the pup had come from, they were supporting the illegal practice of importing non-vaccinated dogs into the UK.

Councillor Alex Gallagher, Cabinet Member for Economies, said: “Buying pups is a serious business, and potential owners should take care to know what they are committing themselves to.

“Pups bought on internet sites for half the cost, present a real disease risk to humans and other animals, and are a tremendously bad deal. There is no way of avoiding discovery and there is also the expensive costs associated with quarantine and rabies inoculation.

“If you are considering buying a dog this Christmas, please only buy from a reputable local breeder and from premises where you can see the parent of the pup.

“The whole set up of the purchase should make anyone suspicious - half price, meet me in a layby, select from the back of a van.

“The condition of the pup at first sight can’t be relied on, as the pup will be too young. Any disease or genetic defect it may have, from its country of origin and breeding conditions, will not manifest at the age of sale.”