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Newly Adopted Dog Dies After 4-Mile Walk to His New Home in Arizona

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What should have been the best day of one shelter dog’s life quickly turned tragic after the newly adopted dog dies moments after reaching his new home.

Adopted Dog Dies
Adler’s death serves as a tragic reminder of the dangers of summer heat.

Adler was a happy, healthy, fun-loving Boxer-mix just looking for a family to love at the Maricopa County’s East Valley Animal Shelter in Phoenix, Arizona.

It seemed as though his dreams had finally come true when Adler was adopted by a family that planned to open their hearts and home to him forever.

But, shelter staff were unaware that Adler’s new family had walked to the shelter to adopt him and would be walking him the 4-miles back to his new home, despite outside temperature’s reaching triple digits – 107-degrees that day.

“For lack of a better term, just ignorance,” said Melissa Gable, a spokesperson for Maricopa County Animal Care and Control, who talked with 12 News about Adler’s death.

Adler did make it to his new home, but he collapsed shortly after arrival. The beautiful boy was dead from apparent heat exhaustion after the long trek in the Arizona heat.

Gables said the family is devastated, remorseful, ashamed that their actions, though meant with good intentions, cost Adler his life.

Many people simply don’t realize how dangerous the summer heat can be for dogs. Shelter staff hope Adler’s death serves as a reminder to dog owners not to test Mother Nature. His death will also lead to changes at the shelter, particularly in educating new adopters and ensuring they have a safe way to transport their new pet home.

In what has been a hotly contested controversial decision by Maricopa County Animal Care and Control director Mary Martin, the shelter has agreed to allow the family to adopt another dog after Adler’s tragic and avoidable death.

Though her decision was a difficult one to make, Martin believes that with education, the family will provide a safe forever home to another shelter pet.

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

Do you think Adler’s adoptive family should be given a second chance? Weigh in with a comment below!

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  1. Avatar Of Bea



    I suggest you follow up on this story. They did adopt another dog, an adult American bulldog… that was returned within a few hours. The new dog did not get along with their pet guinea pigs. Plus the shelter neglected to ask – and it seems the adopters neglected to clear in advance – whether or not the apartment complex they lived in would allow the new dog. It does not allow bully breeds or dogs over 30 pounds.
    At least the new dog did not die a horrific death due to stupidity under the guise of ignorance. Will there be a third dog in their future? Rumor has it – yes.

  2. Avatar Of Joyce



    Any moron should have known it was too hot for that dog. Couldn't these idiots afford a car? If they couldn't afford other means or were too cheap to get the dog home the right way,
    they shouldn't ever own any pet. Just plain stupidity killed that poor dog.


  3. Avatar Of Sharon O'Toole

    Sharon O'Toole


    Any sane person would have seen the dog was in distress on that 4-mile trek. They should NEVER be allowed to adopt another animal. You can't fix stupid.

  4. Avatar Of Dee



    No no no. They saw him suffering on this trip.. And did nothing. U cant tell me they did not know that dog was suffering bad. No dog. Too dumb for a dog. Some people are just that way

  5. Avatar Of Laura Schimdt

    Laura Schimdt


    I don't understand why they did not think about the heat, heat is dangerous for animals and out walking that kind if distance was not a good idea!!!! I really don't know if I would give them another chance unless they went through education program on what you can't do with your pet!!!!

  6. Avatar Of Weary Warrior

    Weary Warrior


    At least the next dog they adopt will die from a different form of abuse. Can't use this one again.

  7. Avatar Of Weary Warrior

    Weary Warrior


    At least the next dog they afoot will die from a different form if abuse. Can't use this one again.

  8. Avatar Of Sunshine



    No: if they really don't know heat kills animals and humans ( what else do the NOT KNOW)???? Good grief this poor pet paid his life and you put another pet in their care. Who RUNS ThIS FACILITY?? I'm appalled by this story. Common sense is lacking on both parts!

  9. Avatar Of Linda Foley

    Linda Foley


    I say yes they should be allowed to adopt another dog. Sadly Adler paid the price for their ignorance but they also learned from it. A knowledgeable dog owner either would not have walked their dog in that type of heat or if had to would have carried lots of water and taken short breaks in the shade. Possibly this was their first dog and have learned a very valuable lesson from the tragedy.

    • Avatar Of Marytheresa



      I agree Linda. They should have the opportunity to learn from their mistake. Very sad that it cost him his life. I choose to think he is on the other side of the bridge, happy in knowing that his death was not in vain

    • Avatar Of Barbara Barbara says:

      What kind of idiot does not know that a four mile walk in 107 degree weather would cause heat exhaustion and death for an animal. These people should never be allowed to adopt another dog!!!

  10. Avatar Of John John says:

    Aww Bless him poor little lad, I bet that poor family are absolutely distraught, Their Act was out of ignorance not spite cruelty or malice . I think if they were given some guidance on caring for their pet they should be allowed to readopt. This is a sad end to a beautiful boys chance of a happy life

  11. Avatar Of Amber



    Yes they should. They walked their and back and probably walk a lot in the heat. If they were new dog owner then they just didn't know that it's harder for dogs. It doesn't say that they didn't give him water or anything, the dog wasn't used to it and I am sure they are devastated. And just because it says they are allowing them to adopt another dog it doesn't mean there won't be classes, a waiting period, and other assessments before they can. I feel so bad for this dog and for this family.

  12. Avatar Of Sue M. Sue M. says:

    Common sense, should have "told" them, not to do what they did. The fact that extreme heat kills a number of dogs each year, is EVERYWHERE in the news. It makes me wonder what other mistakes would have been made, if the poor dog had survived, after that horrendous walk home??? The heat in Arizona should always be addressed and I'm truly surprised that none of the staff noticed the family coming in or leaving, on foot! I, personally, would have a very hard time, sending another "pet" of any kind, into this sketchy situation.

  13. Avatar Of Suz



    Only if they have transportation with four wheels!!!!!!

  14. Avatar Of Fat And Sassie

    Fat and Sassie


    I think there should be a waiting period and they should have to take some puppy parenting classes. But it was pure ignorance and nothing more. This family walks everywhere so it did not occur to them it could be life threatening. Probably impossible for effete suburbanites to understand. Many animal people are ruled by their emotions, the shelter engaged in tough but rational and long range analysis. I would not have let them adopt this soon, but I would rather see people engage in critical thinking vs. knee jerk reactions.

  15. Avatar Of Vickie



    There is no way you can teach common sense and there was a serious lack of it here. NO they should not be allowed anywhere near another dog!

    • Avatar Of Anca




      • Avatar Of P Busbey

        P busbey


        I think the shelter needs to share in the responsibility of this dog's death. When I adopted the shelter gave me food, leash, & escorted me to my car.

  16. Avatar Of Ann



    While common sense might have told them this wasn't safe THEY made the trip by foot fine and it could have seemed to them the dog would enjoy the walk home. In betterer climate that would have been true. Ignorance was the reason for this tragedy. Now that they understand they won't make the same mistake and should be good owners of their pet. So many shelter animals are killed because they aren't adopted I'd say educate them and give them another chance.

  17. Avatar Of Lynn



    No, absolutely not!

  18. Avatar Of Lolo



    No. Who knows what else these people are ignorant about concerning the care of a pet. To me, giving water to a dog in 107-degree weather is common sense.

  19. Avatar Of Ruth



    Yes they should be able to adopt again. Clearly the people were able (and willing!) to walk 4 miles to the shelter to get the dog AND walk back again. That is some dedication to having a dog in their family. And they (the humans) were ok in the heat so unless they have experience with dogs in extreme heat they wouldn't have a basis for assuming the dog would have trouble. And it was a short coated dog so less likely to make them think about it too. But you can damn well bet these people are about to be the biggest advocates for dog safety in the heat you can imagine after that. It's a learning curve that was unfortunately a little too steep but everyone involved (the family and the shelter staff) all know better now.

  20. Avatar Of Sandra Spencer

    Sandra Spencer


    Absolutely No these people don't deserve to have another pet. If they don't have enough common sense regarding the dangers of heat exhaustion for dogs they will not make good guardians for the next poor dog in their care. I would be doing follow up visits to make sure the other dog given to them is properly being looked after

    • Avatar Of Cindy



      Agreed. They should not be able to adopt. People that feel they can walk a dog I 107 degree heat are idiots. And the shelter staff is as well. How come they didn't walk out with the family as they took the dog? Shame on all of them and because of their stupidity a nice dog is dead. The person talking on this video, is smiling, really? I would be crying and crying for the stupid act they did and the family. Shame on all of them.

  21. Avatar Of Terri



    No way!! That was animal abuse

  22. Avatar Of Morag



    No! Absolutely not! Ignorance is no excuse they should have done their homework. In this day and age you don't have to leave home to research anything. Unfortunately common sense doesn't seem to be common anymore

  23. Avatar Of Brenda



    ABSOLUTELY NOT!! No common sense does not deserve another chance. Are you kidding me? Let those people walk in that heat with no shoes on. No sense no second chance!

    • Avatar Of Brenda



      I would like to add after watching the video again no. They have no car so they could not even take the dog to the vet for an emergency if need be.

  24. Avatar Of Ann L Wilson

    ann l wilson


    Stupid fuckers. I'm so sick of shelters so anxious to adopt an animal that they aren't thorough with their adoption process and ESPECIALLY sick of ignorant human beings.

  25. Avatar Of Lida Hrden lida hrden says:

    No, no, never!!! I they are this stupid they can't possibly properly care for a dog for it's entire life! You don't have to be a knowledgeable person in dog care to know better than this! All it takes is grain of common sense!

  26. Avatar Of Janet



    They didn't abuse and kill the dog on purpose, they made an ignorant mistake. I think they should be able to adopt again. They will learn from this tragic mistake. If they wanted a dog and are not allowed to adopt from the shelter, they will get a dog some other way (backyard breeder, craigslist, etc.) At least letting them adopt gets a dog out of the shelter who is likely up to date on shots and already altered,and it won't end up being euthanized due to overpopulation. I bet they will be calling for advice for every little dog question they have in the future. One of the jobs of animal shelters is to educate people about proper animal care. These are exactly the type of people who need to get a dog from a reputable animal shelter.

    • Avatar Of Df



      there are so many mistakes one can make caring for a pet. if this family was ignorant enough to walk a dog 4 miles in triple digit temps, you can bet there is a whole lot more common sense stuff they dont know. they dont deserve a dog. they should save their money and buy a car first. they didnt even notice the signs that their new pet was dying in front of them.

    • Avatar Of Angela



      if they are really that stupid, that unable to feel empathy, should they really get another dog? If the dog gets sick, will they even notice? Some people just shouldn't have pets because they are not intelligent enough to take care of another living creature.

  27. Avatar Of Sherry



    I just don't know what to think. I'm sad, I'm mad, and this whole situation is messed up. I feel that it is the adopter and shelters fault. The adopter we can ALL agree are just very ignorant. The shelter should do screenings and have a class to go over how to take care of dogs/cats. And here in Arizona, the issues with pets and HEAT. I'm really not sure the adopter can afford a dog. They can be an expense, to take care of correctly. That being said I would say no to them adopting another dog.

  28. Avatar Of Della Williamson

    Della Williamson


    They should. Sadly. Many people do not realize that as with all things. There are limitations to what each life form can tolerate. All shelters should make sure adoptees understand the mental, emotional and physical needs of the pet they adopt. Too many pet owners have NO clue as to proper manners around their pets. They are emotional beings with needs, boundaries. Not ornaments, not status symbols, not toys. Pets aren’t just small, fluffy humans, They have different dietary requirements and metabolize things differently, physically and emotionally [than people]. The problem is, we don’t speak the same language and don’t have the same general understanding of the world we live in. they are not human but we expect so much humanity from our pets (which they often demonstrate more abundantly and better than most humans) at all times, in all moments, and with all situations. We blame our pets for their behaviors when we are barely in-tune with how they perceive things, often promote and/or fail to address problem behaviors until they become serious, and then point the finger at them when something goes wrong because of ” inferior breeding”, stubbornness, or lack of understanding of what WE want – accusing them of being dumb when we have barely put in enough training or helping them be fluent in our language and our expectations. It is our responsibility when we chose to own a pet not just get a cat or dog and give it food and shelter, but to educate ourselves on the species, how they communicate, how they view the world they live in, their innate drives that reside in the very essence of everything they do, and then take the time to raise them properly, socialize them, and train them. How unfair to assume your pets understand our human ways 100% of time, especially when we as humans misinterpret each other on a daily basis.

  29. Avatar Of Julie



    No they shouldn't.

  30. Avatar Of Terry



    No. Can't take the chance.

  31. Avatar Of Sandra



    I'm sorry about what happened. That horrible! But anyone with a damn Brain knows, that dogs can't handle the freaking heat! HELLO?! They have fur! Its not like us humans! Why was it such a bug deal to take the dog & transport him to his new home, in a damn car?! I don't think they should get another pet! NO!

  32. Avatar Of Mjones



    This is so sad, please don't let these people adopt another dog unless they have the means to get home without walking 4 miles.

  33. Avatar Of Diana Larson

    Diana Larson


    absolutely not! What I didn't see mentioned is that many of these dogs are adopted out to people from the shelter for zero money. FREE. That in itself is sometimes a death sentence for these dogs. People who have no sense, like the ones that adopted this dog, people who want to use them for horrible things like fighting, people who use them to feed their pet snakes, people who take them out to the desert and use them for target practice. All of these things have been done, I'm not making it up. And because those types of people are sub-human, they should never be allowed a dog from anywhere. Craigslist included. There has to be a fee or how do you know they have the funds to feed the dog? To vet the dog? Dogs are not cheap to take care of in many cases. I'm sick over this, but I'm angry at the shelter for their FREE adoptions. It's not fair to the dogs. There needs to be home checks at the very least if your giving the dogs away, and a more stringent questionnaire process. In this case it was the MCACC that was at fault in my opinion.

  34. Avatar Of Marianne Perret

    Marianne Perret


    Seriously…next time you adopt to them find out they have transportation!!!

  35. Avatar Of Nadine



    Common sense, folks. Nope so second chances. Their ignorance caused a dogs death. Nope.

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