Last week, a baggage handler at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport made headlines when she said she was fired for refusing to stow a visibly ailing dog onto a plane. As sometimes happens when these stories get pushed into the spotlight, the handler has now been offered her old gig back.
Airport Terminal Services, the Missouri-based contractor that had employed the handler, released the following statement to the Reno Gazette-Journal:
Airport Terminal Services sincerely regrets the events that took place at Reno-Tahoe International Airport (last month) involving our employees and the reporting of suspected animal abuse… We’ve made an offer for Jones to be fully reinstated to her position with back pay. … We are hopeful that this valued team member will rejoin us.
The company’s president calls the whole thing a “horrible misunderstanding” and “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.”
As of last night, the handler tells the Gazette-Journal that she is considering going back to the job, though she admitted worrying about possible retaliation by the manager who fired her.
For those of you coming late to this story, the handler was loading a plane bound for Texas when she spotted the emaciated and bloody pointer waiting to be loaded. Against her supervisor’s orders, she refused to put the dog on the plane.
Animal services were called to the scene and ultimately took the dog in for veterinary care. After the dog had recovered, it was sent back to Texas, though privacy laws prevent authorities from revealing anything about the canine’s condition.
However, animal control authorities in Corpus Christi, TX, tell the Gazette-Journal that they are investigating the matter.
Thanks to Steve for the tip!