February 5, 2012

Societal Dilemmas Posed by a Fire and a Dog



Firemen stand by at a distance watching a mobile home burn to the ground, as did the owner from her mother’s nearby trailer.

     It was not because it was impossible to access the trailer. It was because the owner had not paid the $75 annual fee required for fire companies to battle the blazing fire.

     The fire company defended their actions with the argument that, if they responded to fires for people who do not pay the fee, no incentive remains for residents they serve to subscribe.

     However, they do respond if any person is in danger, regardless whether they have paid the annual fee.

     If you want the protection, you pay the price, according to the Tennessee town’s mayor.*


     When Lynn Jones saw the sad-looking, emaciated, listless skinny pointer dog having a body covered with sores and paws that were worn raw she cried.

     It was her job, as an airline baggage handler, to load the dog carrier onto the plane. However, in doing so, she believed the dog would certainly die.

     She spoke to her supervisor, they argued back and forth, and he ordered her to do her job. She claims he never looked at the dog. Ultimately, airport police contacted the animal welfare agency, which took custody of the dog.

     Airport officials and Lynn’s former employer praised her for her actions: the company commends this employee’s situational awareness and her desire to raise the concern on behalf of the canine.

     The airline company fired Lynn for her action. A month later, she was still unemployed.

     And the dog? It was nursed back to health, then returned to its owner, a hunter who shipped it to the places he hunts.


      What do you think?

  • Should the firefighters have fought the blaze?
  • Should Lynn have followed her supervisor’s orders to load the dog on the plane?



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*Firefighters watch as home burns down, Greensburg Tribune-Review, December 8, 2011, pp A3

Baggage handler who aided dog still jobless, Greensburg Tribune-Review, December 6, 2011, pp. A12


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