What was supposed to be a fun outing for the Wittman family, is not what it could have been. That's because they say a member of their family was missing, their dog Diego.
The Wittman family got Diego as a puppy and Ben said it didn't take long for his son Michael, who suffers from multiple heart problems and other health conditions to become attached.
"I can't explain the connection," said Ben. "It's just one of those between a dog and a boy that I will never know."
But after Ben experienced some health problems of his own, the family lost their home and Ben said he was forced to look for a safe place to keep Diego until he could find a permanent residence.
"The vet had recommended that we take him to the humane society, that they could help us house him," explained Ben.
On August 30th, he took Diego to the West Valley Humane Society, where he said they were going to find a foster home for Diego.
Ben said he tried to call multiple times throughout the dog's stay to check on Diego, but no one ever responded.
On September 15th, he said he was shocked to find that his dog was being put up for adoption.
The West Valley Humane Society tells a much different story.
They said, they had a signed contract to board the dog for 10 dollars a day until September 8th, but September 8th came and went and they said they still hadn't heard from Ben.
"I called him September 9th and left him a message that said if you don't come in by September 13th at 7 p.m. per the contract we wrote up, your dog will become our property and will be up for adoption the morning of the 14th," explained interim director of the West Valley Humane Society, Susan Woodward.
They said they made multiple additional attempts to get a hold of Ben and never heard back.
They said they even went as far as calling the other number listed on the contract, a vet clinic.
"They informed me that Diego had been boarded at their place since August 2nd to August 30th and it was hard to get a hold of him," explained Woodward. "He came in, they never did get any money from the boarding, they just gave him his dog and he left."
It was only after they found a loving family for Diego that they said Ben showed up, with the adoption fee in hand, demanding the dog. That's when they said they had to make a decision no one would want to make.
"I had somebody who was willing to adopt Diego and give him a home, or I had Benjamin who was looking to put Diego back into a foster home for 2-3 months," said Woodward. "I felt it was best for Diego to go to a regular home."
"Unfortunately, I disagree with her decision. She knew my situation, she knows we lost our home, everything, and I feel like she used that against my family, my son, and I find that wrong."
"We go through everyday trying to do what's best for the people that we serve and the dogs and it is sometimes very hard to make that decision, but in the end we are here for the animal and we want the animals to be in the best home possible and do what is best for the animals," said Woodward.
The West Valley Humane Society said they would have tried to work with the family if they would have called and asked. The Wittman family said they did call, and they want to know where those messages went.