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Update: Nevada Airport Worker Saved a Dog, But Lost Her Job

Update: Nevada Airport Worker Saved a Dog, But Lost Her Job

UPDATE: Lynn Jones has been offered her job back as a baggage handler with Airport Terminal Services, with back pay, reports The Washington Post.

Sally Leible, CEO of Airport Terminal Services, said the company will donate an unspecified amount of money to the Nevada Humane Society over the next three years.

Leible claims to have returned to the U.S. “to this firestorm” on Sunday and decided to have the matter reinvestigated.

It is not yet known whether Jones will accept the offer.

A terrible story has surfaced from Nevada.  Apparently last month Lynn Jones, a baggage handler at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, came across an abused and sickly dog ready to be loaded for a flight back to Texas.

The pointer was covered in sores and had bloody paws.  It was reported the dog was so listless that The Transportation Safety Authority workers couldn’t even get him to stand up for an x-ray.  “Everyone who saw it, the TSA people, the Airport Police officers, the girls at the ticket counter, was concerned. The dog was so weak and torn up. It didn’t look like it could survive the flight,” reported the Reno-Gazette Journal.

Expressing concern over the animal’s health brought Airport Police.  The dog’s condition caused Airport Police to contact Washoe County Regional Animal Services. Animal Services then took the pointer into custody to provide veterinary care.

One of the tragic results from this story is Jones lost her job because she refused to put the sick dog on the plane.  The other tragedy is once the animal recovered, he was sent back to his owner in Texas.

Not surprisingly, Airport Terminal Services – the company contracted by the airport and for which Jones worked – is now claiming Jones abandoned her job.  Is the company trying to get out of paying unemployment?  Or are they simply trying to whitewash a poor decision?  Jones worked at that job for five years and reportedly had exemplary performance reviews.  She is now looking for a new job.

Jones said the shipping documents disclosed the dog was owned by a hunter in Texas who ships the animal to where he goes hunting.  Because of this, Jones tried to find out the disposition of the dog.

She went to Animal Services, but was told they could not release any information because of “Cooney’s Law.”  That is a recently enacted law in Nevada making severe animal abuse a felony.

Named for a dog whose owner sliced open her belly with a box cutter in a tub at a hotel in Reno, Cooney’s Law forbids “officials and ‘members of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,’ from releasing incident reports or discussing the details of those reports.”

Legislative sponsors of the bill said “the confidentiality provision was meant to protect the reporters of animal abuse from retaliation, not to make the cases secret.”  The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office will be looking into Cooney’s Law and try and determine what information can or cannot be discussed.

Alas, airport officials indicated the dog was indeed shipped back to his owner in Texas after recuperating and undergoing a veterinary exam.

Krys Bart, CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, is also on the board of the Nevada Humane Society. She reported “… I’m proud of (airport police) officers. They had an affirmative responsibility to deal with this, and that’s what they did.”

“I loved my job at the airport,” Jones was reported as saying. “But I just couldn’t turn my back on that dog … My supervisor said it wasn’t my concern, but animal abuse is everyone’s concern who sees it.”

A huge thank you goes out to Lynn Jones for having the courage of her convictions and for acting upon them.  How many people do you know who would make the decision Jones did?  Have you or anyone you know ever been in the position of having to chose between doing the right thing or keeping a job?

I believe Lynn Jones is a true hero, don’t you?  If you agree, you can contact Airport Terminal Services to let them know how you feel.

Related Reading:

Vucko the Dog: Face Blown Off with Firecracker

Dog Shoots Duck Hunter in Butt with Birdshot

100 Miles in a Sandstorm to Rescue Wild Hounds

 

Read more: , , , , , , , ,

Photo by Stewart Baird via Flickr is not the dog from Texas

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396 comments

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8:26AM PDT on Apr 15, 2014

Life is not as black and white as many employers would to have us believe it is...so much falls into that murky gray area, and yes, we MUST decide the best course of action! Remember, what goes around does come around.

12:44PM PDT on Apr 13, 2014

good that she got her job back, but what is now happening to the poor animal ? he should not have been given back to the abuser !!! why don't we read about the dog anymore ?

6:29PM PST on Feb 15, 2014

I would lose my job 100%, it is every ones business if you see a dog that has been abused-neglected-tortured/cruelty. Someone needs to step in and protect them, and yes a human in the same situation I would do it also.

The dog should not be shipped back to the owner. They only thing he should be getting is a court date. We need to make the LAWS stricter than what they are. Jail time, huge fines, pay vet bills, loss of driver license and probation. That should make an impression on them to think twice before harming an animal.

9:46AM PST on Feb 1, 2014

Thank you, Lynn for doing the right thing for the dog. Sometimes, it takes everything you have inside to do something when you believe it's right even at the expense of losing your job. You should have never been fired for that, but I hope you will get your job back, if you want it. Best wishes to you.

12:40AM PST on Jan 30, 2014

Signed ! Hello Animal Lovers ........... please check out the following petition regarding the brutal murder of a helpless puppy. Thanks!!!!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/945/222/050/no-justice-for-murdered-puppy/

12:05PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

Bless you Lynn!

10:12AM PST on Jan 22, 2014

glad she did the right thing.

2:01PM PST on Jan 20, 2014

Glad to see the update !
Well done Lynn

10:57AM PST on Jan 20, 2014

Why would this dog ever be returned to its abuser (NOT owner). Can we have the name of this dog's abuser so that Karma can pay the scumbag a visit?

9:00AM PST on Jan 20, 2014

I meant to say that is the comment I e-mailed the Reno-Tahoe airport.

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