In Chloe's case it was only a matter of hours.
"The dog was on the side and was not walking. It did appear that it may have been hit by a vehicle. He brought it to the shelter immediately," said John Welsh from Riverside Animal Control. "The veterinarian staff observed and checked out the dog. And one of our vets made the decision that the dog should be humanly euthanized."
At the Riverside City and Animal Control Shelter dozens of stray or abandoned animals face uncertain futures.
By law, if an animal is not adopted or claimed by its owner within a few days it is put down.
Chole's owner, Suzanne Olsen, said that the dog had been treated by the vet for bed sores and arthritis and had a hard time getting around.
"She had arthritis. She wasn't hit by a car. If they couldn't tell the difference then there is obviously a lack of judgement on their part," said Olsen. "They should of known better and they could of waited until they opened. My husband was standing right outside with a missing dog flyer. This all could of been avoided."
One of the Olsen's neighbors said that they were surprised that Chole could of walked so far from home. She reached Fourteenth Street and Redwood Drive. It was there that someone called animal control and she was picked up.
"She normally on goes a down couple of houses and comes back. She thinks this is all of her area. The neighbors are familiar with her so they usually let her be and she wanders back," said Olsen.
Ironically, shortly after Chole was put down the vet noticed on the shelter's missing pets wall a picture of the Samui and called the Olsens.
"Presumably, the lost pet flyer was posted that same day. It wasn't as if it had been there collecting dust," said Welsh.
Officials say that all dogs should be microchipped.