Walmart Employee Fired After Reporting Dog Left in Hot Truck

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7.11.13 - Walmart Firing
Former Walmart employee Carla Cheney and her dog.

An employee of the Kemptville, Ontario Walmart was fired after confronting a customer and reporting to police that the man had left his dog inside his vehicle on a hot day.

Carla Cheney was in the parking lot, talking with other employees before her shift began on Tuesday. She noticed a customer walking toward the store had left his dog in his truck. One of the windows was down, and the dog kept jumping out to follow his human. The man put the dog, a furry Newfoundland, back in the truck and rolled up the window, leaving only about an inch open.

I said, ‘Is this really happening? I’m going to give him about five or ten minutes and then I’m going to call the police,’ ” Carla said.

He did not return within that time, so the pharmacy technician called police. An officer arrived, wrote down the man’s license plate number and entered the store to look for him. When the man returned to his vehicle, he drove by Carla and her coworkers.

He pulled up to us and said, ‘Hello, ladies, how are you?’ And I said, ‘You shouldn’t leave your dog in the car,’ ” Carla said. “He told me it was none of my business and I said that that was fine, that if I saw him do it again I would just call the police next time. He said he was no longer going to be shopping at that Walmart, and I said, ‘OK.’ ”

Carla was later called in to her manager’s office to explain the incident. This was the second time in two weeks she had spoken with her manager about customers leaving their dogs in hot cars, and the previous time had not gone smoothly.

I was pretty upset and I said to my manager, ‘What do I do?’ He said it was none of our business and went into the store.”

This time the manager asked Carla to come to him first if there were any problems.

So I [told him] if I did see something unsafe, that I would just go to the police if I thought it was necessary,” Carla explained. “He told me then that I was terminated, he wanted my vest, my badge, and to clean out my locker and that I needed to leave.”

When she asked why she was being fired, she was told it was for being rude to a customer.

Carla added that earlier in the week, another employee had been chastised for speaking with a customer about leaving their dog in their car. The employee, who had already given a two-week notice, was asked to leave on the spot.

Now I’m worried that other associates won’t say anything and they’ll be afraid that they’ll lose their job if they do say something,” Carla said. “I thought I was doing the right thing.”

Walmart issued a statement claiming they did not fire her for trying to help the dogs:

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 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.”

Since word broke about the story after Carla contacted CBC, she has been flooded with kindness and support.

My phone has not stopped ringing since the news yesterday,” she said. “I’m feeling overwhelmed by all the support of people, and I just think it’s amazing that people have contacted me and shown their support, and I appreciate it very, very much.”

7.11.13 - Walmart Firing1
Attorney Robert Monti

She has since retained employment lawyer Robert Monti to help her fight what she feels is a great injustice.

One of my colleagues was in a Shopper’s Drug Mart recently where an animal was left in a car, and an announcement came over the PA system … saying that if you were the owner of such and such car with such and such license plate, get out to your car within the next minute or we’re going to break the window,” Monti said. “So that was a completely different corporate response, and an appropriate one.”

Carla has not been contacted by Walmart since her dismissal.

I knew something would happen when I contacted CBC, I didn’t expect it to go this far or reach so many people,” she said about the public’s reaction. “It’s great that the story’s out there.”

 

Carla’s former employer:

 

Kemptville Supercentre (#1047)

3000 Highway 43 Kemptville ON

Phone: 613-258-6295

 

0 thoughts on “Walmart Employee Fired After Reporting Dog Left in Hot Truck”

  1. Good for her! I hope she wins her wrongful dismissal. She wasn’t working int he store when she called the police. She was in the parking lot before her shift and a private citizen.

    This is typical Walmart. Screw employees. Dont pay benefits. Sell cheap products from China. Walmart managment sucks. The big question is, why any responsible human beings shop there. Oh yeah, they dont–i.e. the guy who leaves the dog in the car.

    Reply
    • You people are such sheep. Walmart is the devil! Carla whoever is a saint! The media is going to spin any story they come across so that it gets the biggest reaction from the public. You choose to believe whatever makes Walmart looks the worst because they are the big bad corporation and whatever makes this woman look the best because she is “one of us”. The truth is rarely that black and white. It’s more likely that Walmart was somewhat insensitive while she was a terrible employee. But anyway, none of us know this for sure so why even talk about it.

      As for doing what was right for the animal, hats off to her for that.

      Reply
      • To be honest never a real fan of propaganda but when some people who are content to get a cheap shirt at the expense of a family in China or Indonesia living in extreme poverty after working inhumane hours at an structurally unsound and generally unsafe factory these same people will think twice before shopping at a place that doesn’t respect the safety of dogs. This said regardless if Walmart is in the wrong in THIS specific case any bad press is worth printing in my book. Plus I see this article as more calling out Walmart for POSSIBLE wrongful termination and is asking for hard facts rather than simple slander.

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    • My sis & I were just pulling into a Walmart parking stall in Maplewood, MO last week when a girl left her car & walked right past us into the store. Then we saw, too late, her sweet little puppy locked in a car where the windows were down not even a finger wide on a 91 degree day! We waited 5 min. then my sis went into the store to have them page the license plate #. Three Walmart upper management/security people came out to check out the situation then went in to page the info. After another 5 min. I called the police. Then the girl & her boyfriend or husband came out (15 min. now, they claimed it was only 5 min.!) & opened the door. This puppy was only 6 mo. & maybe 8 lbs. & the guy said he was in there to buy dog food! As I was educating them on how it’s not okay to leave a living thing in a car when it’s 70 degrees & up, how they were lucky their window didn’t get smashed & they would’ve been given a citation (this happened about 2 wks ago in a KOHL’S parking lot near Shrewsberry, MO by a police officer)the police showed up. One officer was a very nice gentleman saying we did the right thing calling, the other (the one that talked to the couple)was annoyed saying it’s not against the law, they wouldn’t have gotten a citation unless the animal was being treated inhumanely & in danger (???). The guy made one comment on how he paid alot of money for the puppy & why would he want to hurt it. By the way he was wearing about a $200 suit…interesting how uneducated he was about hot cars!! We told them to try sitting in the car for 15 min. like how they left the pup in to see what it felt like! ANYWAY, a few folks who wanted to know if we needed help might’ve learned not to leave any breathing being in a vehicle when it’s 70 degrees & up too!!! Wished the school systems and Sunday schools would educate the youngsters EVERY single year NOT to hurt living, breathing humans & creatures!

      Reply
  2. I’m proud of Carla for being so young and standing up for the rights of an animal trapped in a hot car! I have a Newfoundland and they have triple coats so they even become hot more quickly than a regular dog with regular fur! Last year my Newfoundland Gretchen was in my garage with a fan running in June and the temp was about 90F outside and I didn’t know that she had an infection in her ear already, but due to the infection in her ear she had a fever and with the heat outside her internal temp elevated to 105F by the time I got her to my vet in an air conditioned car and they had to preform life-saving measures to save her! Thank God I’m a nurse so I was able to pick up on subtle changes before it was to late. She had no organ damage thank God, but it was touch and go for a while. Shame on Walmart for caving into a customer over the well-being of an animal in a hot car! I don’t have a Walmart in my town at this time, but if I did I would think twice before shopping at one.

    Reply
  3. Way to go, Carla! There are many of us out here that applaud you for what you’ve done. Don’t let them get you down!

    Reply
  4. Good for her ,,I would have just broke the window if the door was locked .the police take to long to get there . I hope she wins the case ..and hey Wal-mart I’ll be going to K-mart now

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  5. Isn’t it interesting that after this girl was fired, Wal-Mart issues a statement that they are going to be hanging signs in front of their stores warning about leaving kids and dogs in cars. Suddenly come up with that idea all on your own, huh Wal-Mart? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Morons.

    Reply
  6. Not that we don’t already know Walmart sucks. This sounds suspiciously like CYA on their part. Carla: you did good. I’m pretty sure you can do better than working for Walmart (not that there is anything wrong with that).

    Reply
  7. For the person asking why blame Walmart it’s the manager……….. Walmart stood behind the manager’s decision and fired her……………… not the smartest decision Walmart.

    Reply

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