Roberto and Tina Jaimes say their dog, Boxy, pushed open a gate at their Chandler home a week ago Sunday and got out of the yard.
The 8-year-old shepherd mix didn't get far before getting picked up by Maricopa County Animal Care and Control officers.
"Uh yeah, it was there, and we were excited because it was there," Roberto said when he found out Boxy was at the shelter.
On Tuesday, his wife went to pick the dog up, but was told she couldn't pay the $237 release fee by check. The shelter wouldn't accept the check because her name wasn't on it.
"We don't have the cash at the moment, so I said I am going to pay any expenses by Thursday or Friday, so we'll come back for the dog," Roberto said.
Jaimes says he went to the shelter Wednesday, but too late in the day, and the facility was closed.
When the family finally went to pick Boxy up Friday, they learned the dog had been put down.
"We went there twice. We claimed him, and still they ignored us as if they didn't care about the dogs," Tina Jaimes said.
Now the family is heartbroken over the loss.
"We can't imagine life without our dog. We've had him ever since we were little, and then for us to have him taken away unfairly, that's just something we don't want," she said.
Animal Control checked their records for us and confirmed Roberto's wife was there Tuesday, but didn't have any further contact with the family until Friday.
Their policy is to hold dogs for three days.
Jaimes says he didn't know they would put Boxy down and has advice for anyone with an animal that ends up at the shelter.
"If they lost a dog, try to find it right away," he said.