CONCORD, N.C. -- A family is speaking out about what they say is a big mistake by the Caldwell County Animal Shelter because of a dog that was put down.

Deborah Beard posted the story on Facebook, saying:

“The attached picture is of a dog that my husband encountered while working on a job for several weeks…The owner of this dog has had several complaints about the condition the dog but insisted this was his dog....Last Wednesday Jimmy was informed that animal control had picked the dog up. I immediately called and let it be known if no one wanted this dog I DID!!! The lady I spoke with stated the dog had to be tested to make sure it was adoptable. Temperament test and health check. My husband had been around this dog a lot. It showed no aggression what so ever. And I told her I knew the dog would have health issues that I would take it straight to vet. I STILL WANTED THE DOG! She informed me to keep calling back. We called Thursday....NOTHING. When we called Friday they informed us the dog would probably be put down but would not give us a reason. I went straight there and pleaded with them not to put this dog down.....to give him a chance. I left 4 different numbered to contact me. We called today because they were closed for Christmas and was informed they put him down!!!!

I AM SO MAD I'M SHAKING!!!! Please explain to me why we could not take this dog. It DID NOT matter that we wanted him just as he was. They didn't even give him a chance.”

Beard says she's devastated that she wasn't allowed to adopt the dog. She hopes this story brings about a change in policy that allows people to adopt any animal at risk for euthanasia, even if it needs medical attention.

“That dog probably never knew a warm bed or a full belly and that's what we wanted to do for it,” Beard's daughter said. “We could have helped this dog if somebody would have just let us try.”

Animal control officials say their policy states they do not adopt out animals that are unhealthy. They added in a statement:

“We are concerned that this occurred and are examining our procedures for handling animals that have medical issues. We currently adopt out animals in need of medical care to rescue groups and are consulting with local veterinarians to determine how individuals could adopt similar animals with health conditions. Our desire is to increase the number of dogs and cats that are adopted and protect the public health of Caldwell County. We are examining the feedback that has been provided by the community and will look for ways to make positive impacts. We ask for the community's continued cooperation in identifying animals at risk in Caldwell County.”

Beard also says she hopes the county will consider opening a no-kill shelter, which does not currently exist in the area.