WOULD-BE dog owners on the lookout for new pets have been warned to be vigilant after a puppy died three days after being bought.

The seller, a woman living in Barnsley, allegedly told the the buyer, a man from Nottingham, she fostered dogs on behalf of Willow Dog Rescue.

But founder Julie Drabble said the woman was in no way affiliated with the rescue charity and was contacted by a man who paid £400 for a cross-breed puppy, which died of canine parvovirus three days later.

Julie, 45, said: "Parvovirus is a highly infectious disease and very few dogs survive it.

"When the man tried to contact the woman who sold the dog to him, the number was discontinued and he couldn't get through. But he remembered that she said she worked for us.

"We knew nothing about it. All our dogs come from the pound, we don't take in dogs from people's homes or breeders and we're upset that someone is using our good name."

Later on the same evening, the charity received a phone call from a woman whose puppy had died from the same virus after five days.