U.S. & World

Wal-Mart employee fired after reporting dog left in hot truck


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  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    July 11, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    This is a typical example of why unions form. This employee was trying to do the right thing and still gets fired, because of the misfortune of being an "at will" employee.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    July 11, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    For quite sometime, it has been difficult to understand the policies of Walmart.
    Their cutesy family oriented advertising says one thing. However, the lives of employees while while working at Walmart, and the reality of what really goes on there is totally opposite.
    So many of us frequently discuss how sad it is that this questionable gazillion dollar company can keep such a stranglehold on shoppers.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 12:40 p.m.

    I can understand a company policy where someone sees it, gets the license plate number, and then they announce the plate number over the store intercom so the customer can deal with the issue before resorting to getting cops involved. A policy of "it's not our issue, stay out of it" though is disgusting.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    July 11, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    Well, there goes my image of Sam Walton riding in his old pick-up with his ole dog Shep.
    Seriously, do Walmart managers sit in a room and deliberately think up the most foolish solutions to problems?

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    Not surprising, this is the company that pays its employee's so little many of them are on food stamps and Medicade

  • WRK Riverton, UT
    July 11, 2013 2:23 p.m.

    I think the next time I have to sit in the parking lot with my window cracked down waiting for my wife, I will call 911 to report my wife.

    Sarcasm off...

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    July 11, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    She did the right thing!

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    July 11, 2013 2:31 p.m.

    Wal-Mart is in the business of making money rather than thinking of employees rights and needs or such a small matter as pets' welfare. Just say "No thank you," with regard to shopping at that place.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    re: Say No to BO

    Thinking @ Walmart?

  • RDLV Costa Rica, 00
    July 11, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    I believe there are some very good comments above but the high temperature that day was only 24-25C (75F). Of course the temperature inside a car parked in the sun is hotter than outside but it is possible that she overreacted. It's also possible we are not privy to all of her conversation with the boss.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 11, 2013 3:57 p.m.

    Don't shop at Wal-Mart, it's so liberating.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    July 11, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    So many here obviously did not carefully read the article. She was fired because she refused to consult with the manager BEFORE she called the police. That was the issue. Reread the story folks. She simply told the manager no. I would have fired her too. Furthermore, who is she to determine how long a dog can be left in a car? Obviously the dog was just fine. The owner knew how long he could be left and came back before the dog was in danger. Did she have special training that told her that 10 minutes was the maximum time? Who appointed her as the judge and jury? Not the manager. He didn't think she was qualified for that position so he wanted her to bring him in the loop in the future. She wanted to remain judge and jury so he fired her. Good for him. She was obviously a loose cannon and needed to go.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 11, 2013 5:46 p.m.

    @ WRK: If dogs had opposable thumbs, they would call the cops themselves - well, if they had opposable thumbs and a cell phone. Maybe they would just roll the window down more.... ;)

    @ RDLV: Even on a fairly mild day, temperatures inside a car - even with the window cracked - rise quickly. Studies show that when the external temperature is 75, the inside of a car parked in full sunlight can reach 100 in 10 minutes. Within 30 minutes the temperature inside the car can be 120 - which is enough to cause permanent harm to the dog.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 11, 2013 6:02 p.m.

    @ Max: She had gone to her boss earlier in the week about a similar problem and her concerns were dismissed and she was told there was nothing that they could (translate as would) do.

    Obviously, she wasn't judge and jury or she would have let the dog out herself - she followed the protocol advertised on TV by animal care societies. Which, coincidentally, is probably where she got her information about how long was safe.

  • RDLV Costa Rica, 00
    July 11, 2013 7:26 p.m.

    @ Kalindra
    You're absolutely correct. A dark car parked in full sun can have a temperature rise of 3.5F per minute. When it's cloudy or mostly cloudy, of course the temperature rise would be very different.
    My comment was that we may not know the entire story before we just blame the Walmart manager.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    July 11, 2013 9:01 p.m.

    I asked my dog what he thought. He said that if I was too stupid to see who's right in this case, then HE should be the one in charge instead of me.

  • Canadian. Canada, 00
    July 11, 2013 9:33 p.m.

    Dwane: you are wrong
    1) The police here in Canada are telling people to call 911 if you see a pet locked in a vehicle on hot days.
    2) In Ontario this is considered animal cruelty. Previous experience with her manager resulted in this crime being ignored. It is our civic duty to report criminal behavior. No policy that Walmart makes can override the law. Walmarts failure to act in the past puts the responsibility on the employee to report, you can't say I reported it to Walmart so its not my fault if you know no action will be taken.
    3) Her choice to inform a person (being a Walmart customer is irrevelant) that they should not leave their animal in the truck and that she would report this is being responsible.
    4) Personality disorder? Are you a psychologist? Sounds like she refused because she did not expect the manager to do anything and felt like reporting herself would be the only way to have the problem properly dealy with.

    It is highly unlikly that the officers are complaining because they are the ones telling us to call 911.

  • Win Pow lewisville, TX
    July 11, 2013 9:47 p.m.

    It amazes me that people think that dogs (or pets in general) are more important than people... or relationships with people.
    animals are just animals.
    people are more important....ALWAYS

    i would have fired her faster.

  • Rynn Las Vegas, NV
    July 12, 2013 6:10 a.m.

    Leaving a dog in a car on a hot day is dangerous, even if the windows are cracked open.
    This store really showed what their priority is.
    Anyone who defends leaving a dog in a hot car probably shouldn't own a dog.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    July 12, 2013 7:14 a.m.


    I'm not a proponent of theory X. I just understand that loose cannons need to be let go.

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    I think it was fine for her to call and report the dog in the car, that's what it advertised on TV but I don't think she need to get into a conversation with the customer although it did say she wasn't on the clock yet. If she was off the clock her manager had no right to say what she does on her own time. But it sounded like she gave the manager some attitude possibly (we weren't there to hear the whole conversation) and that might be why she was fired. Maybe they were both in the wrong a little.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    July 12, 2013 7:48 a.m.

    Walmart is not concerned about dogs because it treats their workers no better.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 12, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    I promise you there is more to this woman's firing that she is telling! If not, she has a great legal case!

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    This employee was out of line. She had a pattern of deliberately watching customers to commit this "offense" so that she could carry out her own personal agenda. She did it on her employer's time, and refused to consult with her boss on these matters. She spoke rudely and condescendingly to customers. No matter how right she thought she was, she was in reality an arrogant busybody and a liability to the business, and her boss was right to let her go.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 12, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    @ Win Pow: What are you talking about? What in her attitudes indicated animals were more important than people? Unless, of course, you think people have a right to abuse animals....

  • TheOfficalCall Spanish Fork, UT
    July 12, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    I am not a Super Fan of Walmart, but I think they get a bad break most of the time. This was "one" manager not the company. I am sure there will be no follow-up story to get the whole Corporate Walmart response.

    I learned this the other day while I was Umpiring a Softball Tournament in Heber City. I was chatting with one of the ladies who was keeping score for the game. What I learned she was a Wal-Mart Employee, she volunteered to help the County Rec Department by working the tournament, I think I saw her there two separate days, for maybe about 10+ hours. Turns out she does the community service and Wal-Mart pays the bill... She works in the community on occasion turns in her hours to Wal-Mart and she gets her regular pay check. Wal-Mart = Service to the Community

    Wal-Mart... I think that is pretty cool.

  • Pianoman Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2013 11:57 a.m.

    With big corporations like Wal-Mart, they have so many policies set--sometimes when some seem ridiculous--because they are at constant liability and people are so "sue happy" now days that they the store sets so many rules...though I don't agree with it in this case...

    As for working at Wal-Mart, I was an employee there for close to four years. It helped me get my way through high school and college. It depends which store you work at. Some stores are better than others. Though there were days when I wished that I didn't work at Wal-Mart or when I had to deal with a rude customer or a less than helpful manager, it taught me many valuable lessons like how to talk to people and many other important skills.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    July 12, 2013 5:33 p.m.

    I am saddened by the mean-spirited comments here regarding the Canadian Walmart employee trying to obey the laws of the Land.

    A concurrent article on Yahoo news with its comments section has a much different point of view. The Basic Facts fellow readers remain are 1.) Is it right to leave animals in 120 plus degree cars and expire while their owners are in Walmart having a Big-Gulp? How many hundreds of Animals die needlessly because of the negligent stupidity of their owners? I'm sure PETA or the ASPCA readily have those stats. 2.) Is it right to leave children in 120 plus degree cars and expire while their parents are in Walmart having a Big-Gulp? How many dozens of Children die needlessly because of the negligent stupidity of their parents? I'm sure The Utah police readily have those stats for Utah. Nothing to be proud of Utah.

    I would hazard a guess of a half-dozen Utah Kids don't survive this summer.

  • Syd Salt Lake, UT
    July 12, 2013 10:33 p.m.

    I know that this may not address the full issue at hand, but who hangs out in the parking lot of their work for any great length of time before going on shift? Obviously it was not too hot of a day or standing on a blacktop with heat rising from the many parked cars would have made her and her friends go inside. I just have to wonder for what reason a group of people would have to hang out in the Walmart parking lot for long periods of time before they are scheduled to go on shift. I mean, who does that? Do they just hang out in the parking lot waiting for customers to do something they don't like so they can confront them and make themselves feel more important? Keep in mind that this is the third time they have confronted customers. It looks like they formed their own little justice league and are taking it upon themselves to determine what is right and what is wrong.