A pet owner has discovered the puppy she bought almost a year ago isn’t a dog at all – but a fox.
The woman, identified as Ms Wang, spent £140 on what she thought was as Japanese spitz, which actually turned out to be a different animal altogether.
The breed is known for its resemblance to foxes.
The fox’s owner told Shanxi Network Television that the animal stopped eating dog food and began to grow a long and fluffy tail when it was three months old.
She bought what she thought was a dog from a pet shop last July.
But staff at a local zoo have just confirmed the animal is in fact a domesticated fox.
After buying the animal, Ms Wang fed it chicken breasts, fruit and dog food, but when it was three months old, it gave up eating the dog food.
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Ms Wang also said she had noticed her animal had never barked.
She said: “The fur got thicker when it reached three months old. Its face became pointy and its tail grew longer than that of a normal dog.
“Other pet dogs seemed to be scared by my pet so I walked it with a leash.”
She eventually brought the animal to Taiyuan Zoo to get it checked out.
The zoo’s Sun Letian, said the animal is a fox.
He said: “Based on the size, it is a domesticated fox. It carries a smell in their body and the smell can get stronger as it grows older.”
The fox is currently 30cm (12 inches) long but is expected to grow larger.
Ms Wang has given the fox up, finding it a new home at the zoo.
It will be quarantined for a month before going into the fox enclosure there.
Mr Sun told the pet owner: “If you miss it, come by and have a visit.”