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Wal-mart fires employee for reporting dog locked in parked truck.

By Dr. Andrew Jones

walmart-fires-worker
In one of those hard to believe news stories, Wal-mart fired an employee for confronting a customer who left a dog in a truck on a hot day, during the 2nd week of July.

This happened in Southern Ontario, in Kemptville; Southern Ontario is currently experiencing extreme high temperatures.

The concerned employee, Carla Cheney, had not yet started her shift at Wal-mart, when she noticed a dog being left in a parked truck in the parking lot. She found the windows rolled up leaving less than 1 inch open for limited air flow.

She was immediately concerned; another customer in the parking lot wrote down the license pale number, then the customer headed to the store to report the offender.

Cheney was sitting at an outdoor table when the man left Wal-mart and returned to his truck. He apparently pulled up to the table where she was sitting with other co-workers and said:

‘Hello, ladies, how are you?’ And I said, ‘You shouldn’t leave your dog in the car,'” Cheney said.

Cheney then responded that he said that it was “ none of my business and I said that that was fine” She then said that “if I saw him do it again I would just call the police next time”

The dog’s owner then apparently said : “don’t worry- I’ll never shop at Wal-mart again.”

During Cheney’s working day she was called into her manager’s office; this occurrence was discussed, including a previous one in which a dog was left in a car.
Cheney told her version of what happened, and the manager said that she first needed to come to him before involving the police.
Cheney said she wouldn’t do that; she would call the police if necessary.

Then she lost her job:

“He told me then that I was terminated.”

Apparently another employee had complained to the Wal-mart manager about a dog being left in a parked car, and that person was also fired.

She is now worried that employees won’t say anything for fear of losing their job. She was told by the manager that she lost her job because she was ‘rude to a customer.’
Cheney said: “I thought I was doing the right thing.”

Clearly she was, but Wal-mart thought otherwise.

Dr Jones Responds

The management of Wal-mart needs to get their priorities straight- Carla Cheney should be getting a raise, and serious recognition for advocating for an animal locked in a trapped, hot car.

This in itself should be criminal- it’s not legal to leave children alone in vehicles. As it stands now there is limited legislation protecting animals; they are still seen in the eyes of the law as ‘property’.

I applaud those who have vocally opposed this decision by Wal-mart- this is the kind of publicity a large corporation would rather not have.

I for one am doing 2 things:

1.There are now over 11,000 members of a Facebook page called “Animal Rights for Kemptville Wal-mart,”..
I suggest that you support Carla Cheney and signup for this Facebook page. I did. You can get it here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/355415201228556/

2.Don’t shop at Wal-mart until they publicly change their policy, including hiring Carla Cheney back. When the ‘pocketbook’ of a company is affected, then management is really motivated to change.

And Thank You Carla for standing up.

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

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Topics: Dog Care, Dog Health, Pet Care, Pet health | 33 Comments »

33 Responses to “Wal-mart fires employee for reporting dog locked in parked truck.”


  1. J. David Scott Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 7:09 am

    The manager should be locked in an enclosed car on a 90 degree, with no water, and left for a few hours. Perhaps he might learn some empathy.( And if not, we might at least be rid of what seems to be a useless human being.)

  2. evelyn marcy Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Walmart was wrong—the woman did the right thing–they need to reinstate her—if notthen boycott that store.

  3. Teresa Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 7:20 am

    I think Walmart is a terrible company. I try not to shop there. i think she was right to do what she did. She should be re-hired. The manager should be fired.

  4. Janet Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 7:43 am

    I was actually banned from Wal Mart because one of the employees was telling my business conducted there to her neighbors and friends. Instead of comfronting the employee myself, I reported it to the store manager. Guess that was the wrong thing to do. I spent approximately $1,000 a month at that store but they did not seem to care about losing the business. Some businesses should not exist and I am afraid that Wal Mart is one of them. My local Wal Mart seems to be run by the store managers rather than the corporate headquarters. Sometimes you can do things that are morally right but the money man always comes out ahead and that has been going on since the beginning of time. I support anyone who acts on behalf of our furry friends and it is a shame that the customer could not see that the employee’s concern was for the dogs welfare and appreciate the fact that she cared.

  5. Karen Rogers Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 7:44 am

    People who do this to animals and children should receive the same treatment! I wouldn’t have wasted my time with the managers I would have called the police in the first place. If I were Carla I would not want my job back. I would not want to work for someone without compassion for animals or people. (Yes, I know jobs are hard to find now days!)

  6. Judita Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Walmart should fire the store manager!
    Unfortunately, I can’t boycott Walmart as I am from Europe, but I will forward this article to all my animal-loving friends.

    Shame on you Walmart!

  7. TopCat Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 7:56 am

    The employee absolutely did the right thing! The police should have been called as well to get the dog some relief. But before they arrive…in some some communities anyway, the dog or cat or child could be in serious trouble if not dead.

    It is everyone’s ‘business’ when another life is in danger…regardless of species. It is everyone’s business to stand up to that offender and show them what is ‘right’ if they aren’t adult or human enough to, haven’t yet learned it or figured it out. It is everyone’s ‘business’ to protect those that cannot speak or fend for themselves.

    It is time to substantially strengthen laws for animals as well and by calling, writing, forwarding this info to others, we can all

    ‘educate’ others and strengthen the ‘culture’ of what is ‘right’…vs. the predominating ‘culture’ of the almighty dollar. WalMart wants the MONEY…the CUSTOMER…times are tough..so employees are expendable. WalMart needs to HEAR it and FEEL it from us if they don’t act to rectify this situation with this woman.

    WalMart should FIRE that Manager..and Underscore a ‘culture’ of social sensitivity, of what is RIGHT..and applaud and reward their employees for doing the right thing. It is WalMart’s IMAGE of Social Conscience as a community member that is highlighted here..and it is a DARK and Dangerous one.

    If that employee even wants her job back…she should be immediately reinstated, compensated and held as an example to all coworkers of the RIGHT attitudes to hold. And especially management who set the ‘tone’.

    And the man who left his dog in this situation should be investigated by the local Humane Society to see if the dog and any other animals are cared for correctly. HE has been left unscathed, to the detriment of all. And he may well do it again. His paltry threat about not shopping there is cowardly.

    NO one should have to ‘ask’ a ‘boss’ for permission to call police or act on behalf of anyone or any living thing in danger …or inanimate property for that matter. Not standing up for what is right and helping those in need makes us ALL lesser humans as this attitude perpetuates and becomes accepted ‘norm’… and that puts us all in danger…and makes us all lesser beings.

  8. Wendy D. Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Walmart management Kemptville is absolutley despicable for taking this stand! I agree with J. David Scott and Teresa … fire the manager then leave him in a hot car. 🙂
    However, not knowing anything about Walmart policies I am assuming that in this case it was the manager involved who acted badly and this is not necessarily a reflection of all Walmart management … but I will boycott all Walmart stores until this is addressed by the corporation.

  9. Pauline Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 8:28 am

    The only way to ‘ wake up ‘ Walmart is to stop shopping at their stores ! Until they show respect for animals , shop somewhere else people !

  10. annette Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Walmart (and all stores) should have a policy. IF an animal is reported in hot car they should announce on the PA system:
    1) Will the owner of license # come to the service desk please?
    Then tell them:
    2) “it has been reported” that there is an animal locked in your car in extremely dangerous temperatures.
    3) You need to remedy the situation immediately in case the person has called the police.
    4) We will have our security guard check the car within 10 min.
    If the situation has not been remedied, we are legally obligated to report the incident and make available security footage showing date stamped images as required by police & ASPCA.

    OR PUT A LARGE SIGN on the FRONT DOOR saying something like:

    ALERT:
    When the temperature is above 80 degrees, the temperature *inside* your car can heat up to XX degrees within X minutes. It is illegal to leave an unattended animal in a car in these conditions. If noticed, we are legally required to report the incident.
    *IF you are reporting an animal locked in a hot vehicle, if possible, we ask you to take a date/time stamped picture of the car including license plate & animal.

    Don’t leave it up to the clerks to take the responsiblity Walmarts.
    Observe the law. Surely if someone came in that was contageous or stank badly or something, you’d ask them to leave so as not to offend the other customers. People who neglect the innocent are offensive to most of us & you will lose clients if you do NOT take action & reinstate those employees.I hope those employees who were fired write to all the local radio stations & newspapers (letters to the editor) about what happened).

  11. annette Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Forgot to add that the fired employees might ask pet owners to contact Walmarts & inform them there will be a boycot on their pet items until appropriate action is taken and policy is in place & enforced.

    Yeah, I’m pretty tough about stuff like this. Anyone with a heart & a brain would be -….that could be their slogan:
    Use YOUR heart & brain so they don’t lose theirs: DO NOT leave unattended animals locked in cars in extreme temperatures.

  12. Shirley Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Well.—I love walmart but this is just outrageous policy on their part, yes we should all boycott Walmart for this, as stated before, they should not fire people even if they do confront or report shoppers who leave animals in a car.
    I called someone’s cell number and left a message about their dog once, and received a very abusive text for my trouble, but I would do it again. Yesterday at Target they announced a dog in a car and gave their licence number, and reported as soon as the dog was rescued.NOW THAT IS SERVICE
    I say, yeah Target.

  13. Mary Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I wrote to Walmart about this when I first heard it and to this date have had no response. I guess they really don’t care about animals.

  14. Nancy Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 11:16 am

    “As it stands now there is limited legislation protecting animals; they are still seen in the eyes of the law as ‘property’.”
    Dr. Jones, I distinctly recall you defending the animals as property rationale. Have you changed your mind?
    This will keep happening while other species are considered property. To start a change show your support for the guardian campaign.http://www.guardiancampaign.org/
    One more reason not to shop at Walmart.Here is a petition to sign.
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/587/691/476/canadian-women-who-reported-dog-locked-in-a-hot-car-fired-from-her-job-at-walmart/?z00m=20598023

  15. Fernando Caamano Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 11:36 am

    SO sad and sickened to here that a person gets fired for trying to protect the week.

  16. Marty Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 11:39 am

    This is ridiculous, the windows were down an inch not clkosed up,and most people don’t spend all day at a Walmart just a few minute to get what they need , the dog would have been just fine.

  17. skinni Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Well my family would be bailing me out of jail because I would bust out the window & dognap it. They don’t deserve this dog.

  18. Hannah Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    I am a huge animal advocate, but I disagree with everyone here. This employee did not do anything to help the dog. She did not say anything to the customer until he was out of the store, back in his truck and leaving. Everyone seems to overlook that. She was not fired for sticking up for the dog, she was fired for being insubordinate to her manager and rude to a customer.

  19. donna Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Too many people don’t take action. Whenever I have seen an animal in distress, I act immediately. I was 15 years old and the youngest person in a group. I stepped forward, broke a car’s window and pulled out a cat and a dog.

    I can say that although I am not a millionaire, am not famous, can barely add 2 + 2, but I am proud of standing up for our fellow animals, always. It only takes one person to make a difference. Look at what Gandhi accomplished, for example.

  20. Gene Graham Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Pet owners have to take some responsibility. Cars become hot very quickly. It does not take long for a pet to suffer from heat stroke. As much as I love my dog and want to keep him with me. During really hot weather, I simply leave him home in the air conditioning where he can be comfortable. I think the managers actions were a little harsh. Just another reason for me to avoid WalMart. I pray that the employee gets another position very soon and a better one!

  21. Judi Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    The employee did the right thing. Wal-Mart should thank her for being the caring person that she is.

    Pet owners should know better and if they don’t and someone sees that and animal is in a car, then it is up to them to point it out to the person that is stupid enough do leave a pet in a car.

    I am a pet owner and my pet loves going everywhere with me. I have to fight (not really) with her, to get out of the house on hot days without her. But when the temperatures are cool then she is with me.

  22. Lisa MSW Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I immediately wrote to Walmart after hearing this and this is their reply. Sometimes we do better when we ask our questions.
    “Thank you for your message.
    Dear Lisa,
    Thank you for your inquiry. The associate in question was absolutely not let go for trying to help a dog in a locked car. The decision to dismiss an associate is one that we take extremely seriously and must follow a comprehensive process. However, out of respect for the associate and for privacy reasons we cannot provide specifics about why this associate was let go.
    Walmart is a major supporter and advocate for animal rights. Over the past year alone we have made donations to local SPCAs, the Humane Society and Animal Shelters. In addition, signs will be added to the front of all our stores across the country to advise customers of the dangers of leaving kids and pets in a hot car.
    We also have a long standing protocol that directs associates to take appropriate action, and if necessary, notify the authorities if they believe an animal is in distress or at risk. With respect to the recent story in the media about our Kemptville store, as per our protocol, the store manager did speak to the customer in question about the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car.

    Sincerely,
    Walmart Customer Care”

  23. jb Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Another reason NOT to shop at Walmart. Like we really needed another reason!

  24. Peter Says:
    July 22nd, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Walmart is right. First she reported a dog in a car before she started her shift. This indicated that it is early morning and that she really did not spent enough time to do a thourough investigation. Walmart also gave her a choice to report to management or call police. She chose not to report to Walmart management. What goes on in someones’s car is non of anybody’s business unless a person is at risk. Dogs are not legal persons so they have no legal rights. The dog owner is the owner and has the right to have the discretion of if the dog is in a car or a hot house. The “Save a puppy, Get fired” is a lie as this story never included any evidence that the puppy was at risk and therefore was not being saved from harm.

  25. Sharon Says:
    July 23rd, 2013 at 2:47 am

    I say kudos to Carla. Unfortunately, this dog owner (and many others) will probably do this again somewhere else having no regard to the welfare of their pet. Being a member of an animal rescue group, I too have written license plate numbers down and have had them owner paged – like Carla the owner is not happy when they come out of the store. I am not above calling the police or breaking the window myself. My two huskies are NEVER left in the car during the hot months – not even with air conditioning running – our rescue group also has policies for this. I feel bad for ALL the pet owners who have negligent, irresponsible owners.

  26. chris cathcart Says:
    July 23rd, 2013 at 6:09 am

    Wall mart can suck a @%*#. This stupid a** store is always in the news for srewing or f*#%ing over some one. How are you going to get fired for doing what your job is. Protecting store pollcy. I think wal-sqirt employees just just let all the shop lifters in and go to town. Fu^$ protecting and telling on them, just let them steal it cause you might get fired. plus you the hell really wants to pay for walmarts juck ass shit anyways. everything they sell is just junk and cheap anyways. gone to china. And has for the dumd ass bitch that left his dog in the car. Well your a bitch and come see me f***. battle creek michigan. ********. come get some

  27. Mary Emmons Says:
    July 23rd, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    I would have done the same thing. I think the best thing to do, if the dog is not in distress (YET). Is leave a note on the car for the owner stating that it is not humane to leave any animal in a car in the heat. If the owner has not come back within a few minutes they should have called the local humane society and they would have taken care of it. That way she wouldn’t have got in trouble with her loser boss. I have called on several people that have left their dogs in a hot car.

  28. Ted Says:
    July 23rd, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I was so outraged I called the Kemptville Walmart right after hearing about this….big surprise…answering machine that cut me off. Called Walmart Canada’s head office in Mississauga to speak with the CEO (Ms Broader). Her assistant directed me to PR after at first saying she knew nothing about it. Got voicemail. Left my name, number and detailed message …even mentioning that I was seeing the yahoo comments that were very negative about the company. Asked her to call me back to let me know they’d look into this and do the right thing with regard to this heroic young woman and us gleams store manager. That was over a week ago and no response. Walmart fired her because it said they demanded utmost courtesy from their staff to customers. Apparently that’s only if you make minimum wage. They’ll never see a dollar of my money again and I tell everyone I know or meet who has pets this story and to find a different discount store. Walmart can go to hell though I truly believe they were probably there already!

  29. maria Says:
    July 24th, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Shame on you Wal-mart and pet owner, time is of the essence in these situations. Well done to the person for helping the dog, hope you get a better job.

  30. CAROL Says:
    July 24th, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    This makes me very mad. No animal or child should be left in a car no matter what the weather conditions. In the state I live in you WILL be arrested by the County Sherriff and will do jail time. He has absolutely no tolerance for animal abuse. Shame on Wal-Mart for firing a person that was only doing the right thing. Never really liked Wal-Mart but this has given me another reason to NEVER shop there again. Even if she does get her job back she shouldn’t take it, there are much better companies to work for. She should go to work for Petsmart or Petco.

  31. Amy Hinz Sweet Says:
    July 29th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    I wrote to Walmart Corporate on this, and it seems that she may not have been fired for that. Here’s the response I got:
    “Thank you for your message.

    Dear Amy,

    Thank you for your inquiry. The associate in question was absolutely not let go for trying to help a dog in a locked car. The decision to dismiss an associate is one that we take extremely seriously and must follow a comprehensive process. However, out of respect for the associate and for privacy reasons we cannot provide specifics about why this associate was let go.

    Walmart is a major supporter and advocate for animal rights. Over the past year alone we have made donations to local SPCAs, the Humane Society and Animal Shelters. In addition, signs will be added to the front of all our stores across the country to advise customers of the dangers of leaving kids and pets in a hot car.

    We also have a long standing protocol that directs associates to take appropriate action, and if necessary, notify the authorities if they believe an animal is in distress or at risk. With respect to the recent story in the media about our Kemptville store, as per our protocol, the store manager did speak to the customer in question about the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car.

    Sincerely,
    Walmart Customer Care”

    Is it possible that Walmart is trying to put a spin on it? yes. Is it possible that the employee was fired for some other reason and is doing a great job of playing us all to get back at Walmart? yes. Since I don’t really know what happened, I’m not passing judgement.

  32. Walmart fires employee; standing up for animal rights | A Dogs Many Medical Maladies Says:
    July 31st, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    […]  (**This story was copied and pasted from my vet’s blog spot.)  Please go to here to read Dr. Andrew’s response, especially about how “Walmart fires employee; she was standing up for animal […]

  33. Patti Says:
    June 22nd, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    I agree with Hannah. The employee did nothing to help the dog. They don’t need people just being ugly to customers. I reported a dog in a truck at my Walmart just last week. The asst mgr and co-mgr went into action immediately. Took pictures and called PD immediately. Stayed at the truck watching the dog till help arrived. If the dog had looked overly stressed, I’m sure they would have taken matters into hand and done what was necessary. It was not an overly hot day, dog was in shade, but still too hot. I was very proud of the staff!!

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