Unable to afford emergency care, the family turned their injured dog over to the SPCA to be euthanized nearly two weeks ago.
But the dog they believed dead turned out to be very much alive and on Saturday, they were reunited with their beloved pet.
Frank Martinez said the ordeal all started after their dog, Kayla, suffered serious injuries in a backyard accident. "The concrete was wet and she slipped and fell on a spike we used to keep the dog tied to go round and round. It ripped a huge hole in her chest," said Martinez.
Martinez took her to the vet but couldn't afford the emergency care she needed. After days of trying to treat the wound at home, the family made a painful decision and took her to the Central California SPCA to be euthanized.
"I gave her a huge hug and I told her I was so sorry I was poor and I hoped she could forgive me and then she got off and they took her around the corner, and that was the last I seen of her," said Martinez.
That was June 20. Since then, the whole family had been grieving. "It was very hard, very difficult, we were crying constantly. Everywhere I looked, I would imagine her being there," said Francine Martinez.
On Friday, a phone call from the SPCA changed everything. A staffer explained they had been so touched by Martinez's heartfelt goodbye they had decided to help and save Kayla's life. "I was having a heart attack. I was overcome with emotion," said Martinez.
The unexpected act of good will comes three months after the SPCA announced it was severing ties with the city and county of Fresno after criticism that it wasn't transparent enough with taxpayer money and it didn't do enough to save animal lives.
Saturday, Beth Caffrey with the CCSPA said the organization's priority has always been the animals and the decision to help the Martinez family was based on several factors.
"They had done all the right things, spaying her, getting her vaccines, keeping her healthy," said Caffrey.