An employee of the telecommunications company Verizon was thrown out of office after rescuing a stranded cat.
Maurice German stepped out of Port Richmond, Pennsylvania last Saturday after being asked to rescue the cat (named “Momma”) from her place on top of a telephone pole. The cat was stranded on the pole for about 12 hours, causing the owners to worry about its safety.
Resident Amanda Boyce told CBS that one of her neighbors had tried to rescue the cat (called ‘Momma’) from 12:30 pm to 1:30 am on Saturday morning, but failed to do so. So they called the fire brigade, animal rescue and the telephone company to help the cat. However, another neighbor found German working in the area and asked for his help.
So the German lifted a boom to reach the cat and remove it from the pole. Residents who had gathered to watch filmed the moment and applauded him for his services.
The cat, luckily unharmed, has been safely returned to the owner. Subsequently, 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 company spokesperson, told CBS Philly:
“We take no joy in this action,” he said. “However, we are committed and responsible to keep our employees and customers safe while working in a certain area.”
The company stated that field technicians such as German are required to participate in safety exercises with the intention of keeping both employees and customers safe, and his actions are said to be a violation of these regulations. Young continued:
“Unfortunately, although the purpose of this employee was admirable, he may have put his life and the people around him at risk.
“Although our promotions may not be popular, this is in the best interest of our employees and the communities we serve.”
Following their decision to suspend German, the company has since made a donation to the Pennsylvania SPCA in Fishton to support charitable efforts with animal rescue operations. Their decision, however, has led to indignation from the local community, which believes that Germany’s actions were heroic.
Two GoFundMe pages have since appeared, each set up to increase the amount of salary that German will lose after being suspended for 15 days without payment. One, founded by his colleague Keith Morales, reads: “The $ 4,650 goal is the equivalent of the 15-day (3-week) wage that Maurice buys because he is simply a person looking for one of our four-legged friends.”
The other, written by Boyce, reads: “Maurice suspends his job to save an animal, let’s support Maurice for his good deed while his employer punishes him!”
The first has already exceeded its target and hit $ 6,435 at the time of writing. The latter received $ 3,395, surpassing their $ 2,400 target.