Lynn Jones was working as a baggage handler at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport when she says she was asked to load an ill, neglected dog into the cargo hold of a plane waiting to depart for Texas on November 15th.
When she refused, she was fired on the spot, and the national uproar that followed has convinced her former employer to offer her a chance to return to work.
Airport Terminal Services took tremendous heat yesterday as word of the incident spread. Outraged animal lovers lambasted ATS for firing Jones, and the pressure of thousands of angry calls and e-mails was apparently enough for ATS to see the light: yesterday afternoon, she was offered reinstatement and back pay.
ATS president Sally A. Leible issued the following statement:
Airport Terminal Services (ATS) sincerely regrets the events that took place at Reno-Tahoe International Airport last week involving our employees and the reporting of suspected animal abuse.
We applaud Ms. Lynn Jones’ courage to report the unfavorable condition of the animal she encountered, and we encourage others to be as vigilant as she was.
Further, we have connected with Ms. Jones today to extend her an offer to be fully reinstated to her position with back pay. We will continue to work diligently to resolve this matter. We are hopeful that this valued ATS team member will rejoin us.
ATS will use this experience as a valuable reminder for all of our employees nationwide, and we intend to move forward with a renewed commitment to recognize and report animal abuse in any form.
Additionally, in light of this regrettable incident, ATS will be making a three-year financial contribution to the Nevada Humane Society in an effort to strengthen awareness regarding the mistreatment of animals.
Jones said she is considering the offer, but has made no commitment as of yet.