A Swindon dog-lover has spoken of the dangers of buying pets online after finding out her own dog was stolen.

Tayla Smyth bought what she believed to be a one-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier off a seller on Gumtree.

She was haggled on the price and had to pay £500, £300 more than the original asking price, to secure the puppy, Molly.

But after visiting the vet nine months after getting Molly, Tayla was told she was a stolen dog.

She says looking back she can see how naive she was.

"I jumped on the ad, I kept messaging about her even though he said she's got another home," Tayla said. "But I kept saying she would be better with us, with all my background.

"Basically he was getting me to haggle him for money, and I feel like an idiot now, I look quite naive when I look back at the messages."

And to hopeful dog owners, Tayla wants them to be aware of what they're buying if they're looking online.

She added: "Be as careful and as vigilant as you can. You should get all the details, try and see paperwork and try and get proof that they are microchipped because if it wasn't for that chip there's no way she would have been back with her owner.

"If you're going to buy online, get as much information as you can and if you see any red flags, listen to them.

"I didn't, I was so besotted with her."