By Dr. Andrew Jones
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:
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.
Dr Andrew Jones, DVM
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