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They walked their new dog home from the shelter. He died when he got there.

Shelter animals, such as these in a Northern California shelter, have enough challenges, but a mistake by an adopting family in Arizona cost the life of the dog they chose.
Shelter animals, such as these in a Northern California shelter, have enough challenges, but a mistake by an adopting family in Arizona cost the life of the dog they chose. Sacramento Bee file

All shelter dogs dream of getting adopted. But Adler, a boxer mix, didn’t get to live out his dream for long.

The shelter dog, adopted from Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, died this weekafter his adopting family walked him four miles home in the 107-degree Arizona heat. MCACC workers did not know that the adopting family didn’t have a vehicle to transport him home in, according to a report from 12news.com. Adler likely died of heat exhaustion.

“You send these dogs home thinking they’re going to a good family and that they’re going to be happy,” MCACC spokesperson Melissa Gable told 12News.

Gable also told 12News that the family is “devastated” by what happened. Emails obtained by 12News showed that the family did give Adler water during the walk and that they had good intentions of providing a comfortable life.

MCACC director Mary Martin said the owners’ behavior, “was really dumb,” but made the decision to allow the family to adopt from the shelter again. She didn’t see a benefit to punishing the owners and keeping another dog from being adopted. Her decision predictably upset animal lovers.

“We can help them be successful or we can shun them,” Martin told azfamily.com. “I choose to help them be successful.”

Martin said the incident has generated awareness about heat dangers for animals. She told azfamily.com that shelter workers will now be asking if they have a vehicle to transport the animal home.

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