(Fred Weinberg/The Penny Press) – Last week, the Reno Gazette Journal first reported a story about a Lockwood woman, Lynn Jones, who was fired by her employer for refusing to load an emaciated hunting dog on a plane to Texas because the animal had sores on his body and bloody feet.
She reclaimed her job with back pay from the St. Louis company, which probably found out her supervisor fired her on TV after the Reno Gazette Journal’s report went viral on the Internet.
What happened appears to be that she notified airport police, which in turn notified Washoe County animal control, which took custody of the dog.
But we don’t know exactly what happened because Washoe County Animal Control won’t tell us, citing their own interpretation of a law passed by the last legislature, which apparently was intended to allow people who report animal abuse to remain anonymous.
And now, we are “assured” that the animal is back in Texas and in good health, but we can’t see pictures or hear names named because, well, we’re just commoners.
Or something like that.
A local vet told the Gazette Journal that the dog had been “run hard,” but was not abused.
Nobody who cares about an animal puts it on a plane in the condition this one was reportedly found.
The whole episode make you want to commit legislator cruelty and bureaucrat cruelty.
Look, you idiots: (And, I’m referring to what passes for leadership in Washoe County.)
If we’ve said this once, we’ve said it a thousand times. The best disinfectant is sunshine. The more the public knows, the fewer times we’ll have to haul off one of our elected or appointed leaders in handcuffs.
In this case, it appears Animal Control nursed the dog back to health and then shipped it back to its owner in Texas. The guy who wanted to put it on a plane in that condition in the first place.
Don’t you think it is perfectly legitimate to ask why? To ask how many tax dollars funded this rescue, which apparently ended up returning an animal to its abuser? (And, no, we’re not going to take some bureaucrat’s word that the animal wasn’t abused.)
The cynical among us might suggest that this is the exact question that Washoe County Animal Control is trying to avoid answering when it cites that law.
There’s a hall of shame full of bad acts in this story—at least on the surface.
But it starts with an owner of an animal who allowed his animal to get in that condition in the first place without treatment.
If you look up abuse (I did the other night with my Pit Bull (Buddy), my Cattledog (Major) and my Cocker Spaniel (Jasper) looking over my shoulder) you’ll see that this is a textbook definition.
Then, there’s a supervisor who told Jones that the papers were in order, put the dog on the plane. What kind of an idiot would even think of doing that? Here’s a guy who makes Michael Vick look like an animal lover.
Then there’s the company which fired her. This is a company which the airlines hire to load baggage and, essentially is on your payroll every time you buy a ticket.
Then, there’s the bureaucrats who won’t tell us what happened—exactly—after all that transpired. But they assure us the all is OK, now.
Finally, again, there’s the company whose CEO sounded contrite but appears to be very sorry they got caught in the glare of twitter. The CEO thinks she can buy our love with a $5,000 donation to an animal welfare group. Keep your money lady. Just show us by never letting this happen again. Because an attitude which would let something like this happens starts from the top.
Most Americans take their animals very, very seriously.
We certainly do in places like Lockwood, Washoe Valley, Winnemucca, Elko and, for that matter all of rural Nevada.
What scares me is that the CEO of the company which fired and rehired Jones used the term “teachable moment” to the media.
If someone has to teach you not to foster animal abuse, you’ve got bigger problems than your public image.