A former Wal-Mart employee in Kemptville, Ont., about 60 km south of Ottawa, was fired for confronting a customer who left a dog in a truck during a hot day this week, she says.

RELATED:

Carla Cheney told CBC News she hadn't yet started her shift, and she was in her street clothes outside the store with colleagues when she spotted a Wal-Mart customer leaving his dog in a parked truck.

Wal-Mart's statement

The associate in question was absolutely not let go for trying to help a dog in a locked car. The decision to dismiss an associate is one that we take extremely seriously and must follow a comprehensive process. However, out of respect for the associate and for privacy reasons we cannot provide specifics about why this associate was let go.

Walmart is a major supporter and advocate for animal rights. Over the past year alone we have made donations to local SPCAs, the Humane Society and Animal Shelters. In addition, signs will be added to the front of all our stores across the country to advise customers of the dangers of leaving kids and pets in a hot car.

We also have a long standing protocol that directs associates to take appropriate action, and if necessary, notify the authorities if they believe an animal is in distress or at risk. With respect to the recent story about our Kemptville store, as per our protocol, the store manager did speak to the customer in question about the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car.

She said she called police, and an officer arrived to get the man's licence plate, then headed into the store to find him.

Later that day, Cheney said, she was called into the office of her manager, with whom she had spoken a week earlier about a different dog left in a hot car. She recounted that he told her there was nothing she could do about it.

She said she told him her side of the story about the dog in the truck, and he told her to come to him with any problems in the future. Cheney said she wouldn't do that.

Cheney was then let go.

Spoke to dog owner

In an emailed statement, Wal-Mart Canada wouldn't comment on Cheney's case but it said it has guidelines that cover situations like the one Cheney faced. It is reviewing them with staff in Kemptville and across the country.

"The associate in question was absolutely not let go for trying to help a dog in a locked car. The decision to dismiss an associate is one that we take extremely seriously and must follow a comprehensive process," said an emailed statement.

"However, out of respect for the associate and for privacy reasons we cannot provide specifics about why this associate was let go."

"With respect to the recent story about our Kemptville store, as per our protocol, the store manager did speak to the customer in question about the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car," the statement read.

A Facebook page supporting Cheney called "Animal Rights for Kemptville Walmart" had more than 4,700 members as of early Thursday morning. 

Take our poll!

Have Your Say