Walmart Denies Firing Employee For Trying To Save Puppy (UPDATE)

UPDATE, Feb. 1, 6:27 p.m.: Walmart responded to The Huffington Post's request for comment on Friday afternoon. The company said the Examiner's account is inaccurate and the Oregon store employee who attempted to help the puppy was never fired.

“We understand this is a unique situation," reads Walmart's statement. "When our associate was handed the puppy, she acted as most people would to protect the animal and serve the customers who were waiting in her line."

“The associate still works at the store and that hasn’t changed since she helped with the puppy," the statement went on to say.

Previously reported:

An Oregon Walmart employee was allegedly fired after attempting to save a puppy that had wandered into the store, but her job was restored shortly after news of the story broke.

On Wednesday, a "scared and hungry and cold" puppy wandered into the Walmart Supercenter Store #1817 in Hermiston, Ore., reports the Examiner's Cindy Marabito. A manager at the store, identified only as "Ken," spotted the puppy and told an unnamed employee "she needed to put the puppy back outside."

The employee grabbed the dog and attempted to call an animal rescue group, but the manager reportedly reprimanded her, saying “she was ‘disgusting’ for holding the puppy in a check stand," according to Marabito. Then “he told her she was to ‘get out,'" a source told the Examiner.

Debi Shervey, the woman who apparently took the puppy home from Walmart until the owners could be located, posted on Facebook that the dog is now back with her family.

Not long after the incident, Walmart restored the employee's position. Marabito, an animal lover and writer of the American Pit Bull column for the Examiner, told The Huffington Post in an email Friday, "I understand the employee has been given three paid days off and will be returning to work. The firing manager, 'Ken,' has been 'changed' from this incident."

Shervey also posted about the incident on Facebook on Thursday, writing, "so Wal Mart had its meeting with the woman they fired yesterday and her better half. they apologized, had corporate officers there that had read it on the internet and they were just dumbfounded at how fast it went viral. they told Ken to apologize to her... the big wigs say there will a new & improved Ken at Hermiston Wal Mart now... they gave her 3 PAID days off to recuperate from her horendous day. not enough i say. she should get a special Wal Mart Humanitarian award with a big check on it [all sic]."

HuffPost called the Hermiston Walmart on Friday morning, but a store manager refused to comment. The manager referred HuffPost to Walmart Corporate Media Relations.

This is not the only shocking Walmart termination to make headlines.

Former pharmacist Anhue Doan was reportedly fired from a California Walmart after she was caught praying with a crying customer, ABC News reported in December 2012.

Jan Sullivan, a 73-year-old Warmart greeter, lost her job after an altercation on Black Friday in 2011, during which she grabbed a customer's sweater after the customer shoved her. She had called Walmart "home" and "family" for 22 years, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

In February 2011, four Walmart employees were fired after stopping an armed robbery. Walmart policy states that employees are not allowed to engage armed suspects, according to the Consumerist. The workers were terminated, even though they stopped the alleged robber without anyone getting hurt.



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