A woman told 10News she brought home a dog from a San Diego County shelter, only to quickly find out the dog was on its deathbed.
One-year-old Marley didn't come from an unscrupulous breeder. He was adopted by Noemi Aguilar at a county shelter in Bonita.
"He was active and friendly. [I] just fell in love with the dog and wanted to take him home," said Aguilar.
On Tuesday, she paid $10 to adopt the stray at the Bonita shelter.
She said the Jack Russell-Chihuahua mix was neutered and given his vaccines, but hours after he went home, Marley's kennel cough got much worse.
"On Thursday, he was lethargic, started vomiting," said Aguilar.
Aguilar took Marley to the vet, where he tested positive for parvovirus, a contagious and sometimes fatal virus.
When Aguilar contacted the shelter, she said she got a response that made her jaw drop.
"I was told, 'We sell as is and you have to take care of the cost,'" said Aguilar.
She said the supervisor told her the shelter could take Marley back, but he would have to be put down.
"I was appalled. I was on fire. I was extremely upset. They are supposed to help dogs. This was not happening," said Aguilar.
Aguilar decided to keep Marley at her veterinarian's facility in La Jolla.
As of Thursday, Marley is getting fluids and antibiotics, and there is optimism he will recover.
Marley's vet bill could reach $2,000, however.
"I'm going to do whatever to save this little guy's life," said Aguilar.
Aguilar said a shelter staffer told her on Tuesday that there was a parvo outbreak, but Marley wasn't showing symptoms.
A County Animal Services spokesman said there was no outbreak, but told 10News a mistake was made and treatment should have been offered to Marley because the dog got sick so soon after the adoption.
The spokesperson said they won't be covering the cost of the veterinarian's bill, but would now be willing to treat Marley.
Aguilar said she is not pulling the dog out mid-treatment.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help with the vet bills.