A woman in Ontario, Canada, says she was fired from her job at Walmart earlier this week because she called the police on a customer who had left his dog in a hot car with the windows rolled up — and after she told her boss she’d do it again.
She tells the CBC that she was on her way into work on Tuesday when she saw a customer lock his dog inside the truck and close the windows.
“I said, ‘Is this really happening? I’m going to give him about five or 10 minutes and then I’m going to call the police,’” says the now-former Walmarter. When the man didn’t return, she contacted the police. An officer arrived, took down the license plate number and went into the store to find the vehicle’s owner.
The customer eventually came out, but before he left the Walmart parking lot, he approached the employee who had reported him.
“He pulled up to us and said, ‘Hello, ladies, how are you?’ And I said, ‘You shouldn’t leave your dog in the car,’” recalls the woman. “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.’”
Later in the day, she says her boss called her into his office, where she claims he told her to bring any dog-in-hot-car related issues to him in the future. She declined.
“I [told him] if I did see something unsafe, that I would just go to the police if I thought it was necessary,” she tells the CBC. “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.”
She says that Walmart’s official reason for the firing is that she was rude to a customer, “but I felt because I was not even on the clock, it shouldn’t have been an issue anyways. And I don’t think it should be an issue even if I was on the clock… because it’s on the news and we’re being told not to leave animals and children in cars.”
Walmart Canada declined to comment on the incident to the CBC but did say that it has guidelines in place for handling these sorts of situations, and that it’s reviewing these guidelines with employees.