Baggage Handler Fired After Reporting Animal Abuse

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A Nevada baggage handler says she was forced to choose between her morals and her paycheck – and that she was fired for choosing to do the right thing.

Lynn Jones was working as a baggage handler at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport when she says she was asked to load a dog into the cargo hold of a plane waiting to depart for Texas on November 15th. When she looked closely, she noticed that the dog was listless in its carrier, bleeding from its paws, emaciated and covered in sores. Horrified by what she saw, she refused to put the dog on the flight.

“The Transportation Safety Authority officers couldn’t even get the dog to stand up to be X-rayed,” said Jones in an interview with the Reno Gazette Journal. “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.”

Despite her protests to the contrary, Jones said her supervisor told her the condition of the dog was not her concern because the owner had provided necessary documentation for the trip. She was also told that she risked termination if she did not get over it. “I was crying,” she said. “I kept saying that dog could not be put on a plane.”

Her dismay prompted airport officials to call Washoe County Regional Animal Services, who immediately took possession of the dog in order to have it treated by a local veterinarian. Jones said animal control officers echoed her sentiments about the condition of the weary canine. Shortly thereafter, Jones was summarily terminated.

“My supervisor kept yelling, ‘That’s it, you’re done, you are out of here, go home,'” Jones said. “I left.”

Jones was an employee of St. Louis based Airport Terminal Services. When contacted for comment they declined. Jones says she was told that she was fired for abandoning her position.

“I didn’t abandon anything; I was told to leave,” she said.

Airport officials said that after a series of treatments and a follow-up exam, the dog was flown to Texas. They also added that said they were sickened by its initial condition.

Jones said as much as the loss of employment stings, she would do the same thing again if forced to choose.  “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.”
photo: Marilyn Newton/Reno Gazette Journal

30 thoughts on “Baggage Handler Fired After Reporting Animal Abuse”

  1. I have tried two times to send an E-mail to the address provided by Linda Pinda , but it comes back saying something about mail – failure…hmmmmm

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  2. BRAVO LYNN!!! YOU DID GREAT JOB GLAD YOU STAND UP FOR THE ANIMALS. WHAT AIR WAS THAT? THEY SHOULD BE SHAME WHAT THEY DID. AND WHAT DOCTOR GIVE THIS DOG HEALTH CERTIFICATE TO FLY??????

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    • HOLD IT—- who originally shipped the pup? How long flying? The ex-owner, and new owner and the airline need to be charged. First, no food/water? for how long? WHY was he shipped to new owner without checking to see if pup would be well taken care off?
      NOT just ONE person responsible for this…. all involved are! AND the supervisor – YOU ARE FIRED!
      Hope she doesn’t have to return to that company because the supervisor showed what management thinks of their job…. she would never be happy there again! ALL, PRAY she finds a job again and fast….. Christmas is here!

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  3. Bravo! I think Lynn deserves her job back and that her “supervisors” should be the ones that are dismissed! What nerve to tell her that it’s not her concern about a dog that even local animal authorities had said it wasn’t fit to fly.

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  4. If anyone has the name of this supervisior, or better yet the Manager they
    report to, please post it, so we all can get the message across, that abuse of any kind will not be acceptable, FOR ANY REASON. But think about it, who would want their pet “shipped”? Cargo holds are for cargo..cold and
    very scary places, very inhumane.

    GOD BLESS THIS LADY FOR THE COURAGE OF HER CONVICTIONS TO DO THE RIGHT THING!

    Reply
    • @Linda in AZ – If your animal is too large to fit under your seat, it must fly Cargo when you are flying with an animal. When sending the animal via air, it flies as Cargo. Most airlines have weather/temperature restrictions as to when they will allow an animal to fly Cargo. I’ve never had a problem with my dog(s) arriving hurt, sick or in shock after a flight; altho, there have been some horror stories about some animals on some airlines. Continental has the best policies for pet travel. AND, some dogs naturally do not do well being confined, whether flying, riding in a car or in the house, and will hurt themselves. Some dogs cannot be boarded because of the stress being confined can cause.

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      • To the anonymous individual, you are absolutely correct in knowing the flying process and I like you, have never had an issue; however, this deal just doesn’t ring true…..what vet would have issued a Health Certificate for an animal is such condition, which didn’t happen overnight and then the initial handlers that check content slated for travel. If in fact the story flows as stated……the others should all be terminated and should have been immediately, assuming our doggie Angel made immediate phone calls upstream. I just don’t feel we have all the facts and perhaps are reacting as opposed to assessing something of which might be incomplete.

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  5. Lynn Jones needs to take the place of Haman —Haman needs to be on the gallows he built and if this company has any guts it will fire Haman

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  6. You are a true hero Lynn, and your supervisor is a cruel cold hearted jerk completely lacking in compassion. This company doesn’t deserve you! I hope you get another offer, a much better offer! Thank you for doing the right thing and it truly sucks that this sweet dog went back to the bastard who abused it.

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  7. I can’t believe that idiot supervisor! The well being of any animal that is confined and can’t get food and water for itself IS VERY MUCH the concern of any person who sees it. I’m also pretty amazed that after nursing it back to health the local animal services people returned it to the jerk who put it in that condition to begin with!

    Reply

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