Verizon suspends worker for using work equipment to rescue cat

Verizon suspends worker for using work equipment to rescue cat

A worker for telecommunications company Verizon has been suspended from his job, after rescuing a cat that was stranded.

Maurice German dropped into Port Richmond, Pennsylvania last Saturday after being asked to rescue the cat (named 'Momma') from her spot on top of a telephone pole. The cat had been stranded on the pole for around 12 hours, leaving the owners worried for its safety.

Credit: GoFundMe/Keith Morales

Resident Amanda Boyce told CBS that one of her neighbours had attempted to rescue the cat (named 'Momma') from 12:30am to 1:30am on Saturday morning, but failed to do so. So, they called the fire department, animal rescue and the telephone company to help get the cat down. However, another neighbour found German working in the area and asked for his help.

So, German took a boom lift up to reach the cat and remove it from the pole. Residents that had gathered around to watch filmed the moment, applauding him for his services.

The cat, thankfully unharmed, was safely returned to its owner. Following this, Verizon suspended the worker for 15 days.

Verizon explained that this decision was due to the fact that the equipment used in this situation was not intended for use in this area. Rich Young, a spokesperson for the company, told CBS Philly:

"We take no joy in this job action," he said. "However, we’re committed and responsible for keeping our employees and customers safe while working in a particular area."

The company stated that field technicians such as German are obliged to participate in safety training exercises with the intention of keeping both its workers and customers safe, and his actions supposedly showed a disregard for these regulations. Young continued:

"Unfortunately, while this employee’s goal was admirable, he potentially put his life and those around him in jeopardy.

"While our actions may not be popular, it’s in the best interest of our employees and the communities we serve."

Following their choice to suspend German, the company have since made a donation to the Pennsylvania SPCA in Fishton, to help support the charity's efforts with animal rescues. However, their decision has prompted outrage from the local community, who believe that German's actions were heroic.

Two GoFundMe pages have since popped up, each set up to raise the amount of salary German will lose after being suspended without pay for 15 days. One, set up by his colleague Keith Morales, reads: "The $4,650 goal is the equivalent of the 15 days (3 weeks) pay that Maurice will forgo for simply being a human being looking to help one of our 4 legged friends."

The other, written by Boyce, reads: "Maurice is being suspend from his job for saving an animal. Let’s support Maurice for his good deed while his employer punishes him!"

The former has already surpassed its goal, hitting $6,435 at the time of writing. The latter has received $3,395, surpassing their $2,400 goal.