Hero Update: Airport Baggage Worker Is Offered Her Job Back
[Updated Dec. 8, 2011]
Dogsters, if you ever doubt your power to help with injustice, this should make you realize that your voices count: Because of the public outcry over the firing of Reno airport baggage handler Lynn Jones when she refused to load an emaciated, abused dog onto a plane bound for Texas, Jones's employer has offered her back her job. You and others who deluged her employer with calls and e-mails after reading the story on Dogster or elsewhere made a huge difference.
Jones "was trying to protect the dog, and I think she was courageous in doing that," Airport Terminal Services president Sally Leible told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "I really, truly hope she will come back."
See what you can do in the name of righting wrongs?
Here's what's on the ATS home page today, from Leible:
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.
Well that's a pretty great result from this one very unfortunate incident.
Yesterday ATS posted this message at its website:
"ATS takes this situation extremely seriously and commends this employees situational awareness and her desire to raise the concern on behalf of the canine involved and relieved to hear that the canine will fully recover. ATS very much appreciates and supports the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authoritys and the Washoe County Regional Animal Services for their care and support for the canine. Additionally, ATS is investigating the situation to ensure all protocols were followed in the handling of this canine."
They really acted on this. It's heartening to see, even if it's just a PR move. I'm pretty sure it goes beyond putting out fires, though. I don't think the right people were aware of what happened until the story broke. And when it broke and they heard from you and others, they realized something very wrong had happened, and acted to right it.
Jones had stated that she loved her job of five years, and wouldn't trade it for the world. There's no word yet about whether she'll take it back. As of Tuesday night, she had not accepted the offer. Update: She is going back! "We're like a family at ATS," Jones told KRNV-TV. "We fight, we make up, and we move on. I hope we can move on from this."
A lot of you said she should be made supervisor for her actions in helping the dog. Do you think ATS should throw in something like that to sweeten the deal?
As for the Pointer, it seems that after being nursed back to health in Reno, he was returned to his owner in Texas. That is the one really unfortunate part of this story. I hope there's a way that someone is keeping tabs on this dog down there. No word on that, though. Maybe that will be our next update.