Phone Company Suspends Worker For Using Work Equipment To Rescue Cat

A worker has been suspended from his job after using work equipment to rescue a cat stuck at the top of a telephone pole, CBS Philly reports.

Maurice German, who works for American telecommunications company Verizon, was working in a neighbourhood in Port Richmond, Pennsylvania, last Saturday when someone asked him to help rescue a cat called 'Momma' - who had apparently been unable to move from the top of the pole for around 12 hours.

Amanda Fairchild Boyce, a local resident who was a neighbour of Momma's owner, told CBS that neighbours had tried to rescue the cat themselves, but had no luck.

German then gallantly used a boom lift to reach Momma, before returning the poor moggy to its owner, unharmed.

Momma the cat. Credit: GoFundMe
Momma the cat. Credit: GoFundMe

However, despite German's heroism - which was widely praised by onlookers - Verizon then suspended him from work for 15 days, having said the company's equipment should not be used in the area where German performed the rescue.

Verizon spokesperson Rich Young told CBS Philly: "We take no joy in this job action.

"However, we're committed and responsible for keeping our employees and customers safe while working in a particular area."

Verizon said its field technicians must participate in safety training exercises so as to keep workers and customers from any harm.

Young added: "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."

Outraged by what happened to German, the local community has since rallied together - with two GoFundMe pages set up to raise what German would have earned in the 15 days he was suspended for.

One of the GoFundMe pages for German. Credit: GoFundMe
One of the GoFundMe pages for German. Credit: GoFundMe

One of the pages, set up by German's colleague, Keith Morales, reads: "The $4,650 (£3,500) 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.

"Thank you in advance for your donation, and please remember that no donation is too small."

Amanda Fairchild Boyce also set up another GoFundMe page, which has already exceeded its $2,400 (£1,800) goal, raising almost $3,000 (£2,300).

She wrote: "Last weekend a Verizon employee came to the rescue of a cat (Princess 'Momma') outside of my home stuck on top of the telephone pole for 12 hrs. After numerous attempts to find support, no one could help. That's until Maurice German and his team showed up!

"This generous man is now being punished! Maurice is being suspend from his job for saving an animal. Let's support Maurice for his good deed while his employer punishes him!"

Verizon spokesman Young also added that Verizon is making a donation to the Pennsylvania SPCA in Fishton, to contribute towards the animal rescue efforts the charity does.

Featured Image Credit: GoFundMe

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp logoInline safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013