Reno airport worker gets job back after dog fiasco

AP News
Posted: Dec 07, 2011 4:27 PM
Reno airport worker gets job back after dog fiasco

A Nevada woman fired about three weeks ago for refusing to load an emaciated hunting dog on a plane at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport is taking her job back.

Lynn Jones, who had worked more than five years as a baggage handler for St. Louis-based Airport Terminal Services, accepted her employer's offer to give her the job back, and said she hopes to put the flap behind her.

"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."

Jones, 56, said she was fired Nov. 12 after she saw the dog in a pet carrier. Its body was covered with sores and its paws were worn raw.

"It was so thin, it made me cry," she said. She said when she told her supervisor about it, he insisted she load the dog onto the plane because its paperwork was in order and its condition was none of her concern.

"I kept telling my supervisor, `That dog is going to die if it gets on that plane,'" Jones said.

Animal welfare workers picked up the animal. It recovered and was eventually returned to its owner.

ATS President Sally Leible said Tuesday she regrets the way the incident was handled and offered Jones the job again _ with back pay.

Jones "was trying to protect the dog, and I think she was courageous in doing that," Leible told The Associated Press.

The St. Louis company also pledged an unspecified amount of money to the Nevada Humane Society over the next three years to help "strengthen awareness regarding the mistreatment of animals," Leible said.

Leible said would not discuss whether any other employees would face disciplinary action. She told AP she was out of the country last week and returned "to this firestorm" when she came back Sunday.

She said the matter had not previously reached the senior executive level so she asked a vice president to "completely reinvestigate it."

Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals praised Jones' actions Wednesday and said they are honoring her with a Compassionate Action Award _ along with a box of vegan chocolates.