Waitress Fired After Calling Out Customers Who Left Dog In Car

Waitress Cristal Perez says she was fired for telling a couple, who had been dining for an hour, that they were "wrong" to leave their dog outside.

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Cristal Perez was fired from Longhorn Steakhouse after confronting customers about their dog.  Via Edward Lea/Press of Atlantic City
Cristal Perez was fired from Longhorn Steakhouse after confronting customers about their dog. Via Edward Lea/Press of Atlantic City

Cristal Perez is admittedly not a huge dog lover, but when she saw a small dog that was left inside a car on an 84 degree day, she did what she thought she should’ve done: She confronted its owners.

Perez was working as a server at Longhorn Steakhouse in Millville, New Jersey, when she walked to the table where the dog’s owners had spent the past hour and told them that she thought it was “wrong” for them to leave him in their vehicle, the Press of Atlantic City reports. But instead of being commended for her compassion or kind-heartedness, she lost her job.

Perez told the New Jersey newspaper that after serving a four-day suspension, she was fired for failing to give the customers a good dining experience.

“The dog was never in any danger,” Longhorn spokesperson Hunter Robinson told the Press. “The police never came.”

Robinson said that the animal in question was a “special needs” dog and that the air conditioner was running while he was in the car.

Regardless, Perez said she heard other diners expressing their own concern about the dog, including two customers who called the city police about the situation. She also said that the dog was showing visible signs of distress.

“He was pretty active,” she told the paper. “He was panting pretty heavily.”

One disappointed customer shares her thoughts with Longhorn. Via LongHorn Steakhouse/Facebook

One disappointed customer shares her thoughts with Longhorn. Via LongHorn Steakhouse/Facebook

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has criticized Longhorn’s decision to fire Perez, saying that she should be considered a hero. Other customers — or just animal lovers — have expressed their own displeasure on Longhorn’s Facebook page.

“I used to love Longhorn, but not any more,” one disappointed customer wrote.

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  • I let the restaurant know I will not be eating in any of them again. According to their response, it does not appear that they even read the information I sent them on what the Humane Society has to say about leaving a pet in a car on a hot day. It is dangerous, even with the a/c on, especially with the humidity high, so even if the temperature is lower because of the a/c, if the humidity is high it more dangerous. Also, the air-conditioner could have failed or the car battery could have died while they were in there for that hour.

    D. Barnett August 29, 2015 10:55 am Reply

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