Maurice German was suspended for violating Verizon's safety rules during the cat rescue
Are you happy with your cable provider? Some animal lovers are saying “No!” for an unusual reason.
According to CBS News, Verizon employee Maurice German was recently suspended from his job for three weeks without pay after he rescued a cat using Verizon equipment.
German was working in a Philadelphia neighborhood on March 16, when a desperate resident asked for his help rescuing a cat stuck on top of a telephone pole.
The feline, named Princess Momma, had been perched on the pole for over 12 hours when German was tapped to help, reports CBS Philadelphia. According to the local CBS affiliate, the cat’s owner called the fire department, an animal rescue and a telephone company for help getting the cat down, but no one returned their calls.
German agreed to try and save the feline. He was able to successfully complete the task by using the hydraulic lift on his Verizon truck. In the video of the rescue, cheers can be heard as German safely grabs the cat. Princess Momma was returned to her owner without injury.
Verizon did not celebrate German’s quick-thinking heroics, instead the telecommunications company suspended German for three weeks without pay for violating Verizon’ safety rules.
“We take no joy when our employees face consequences related to their job duties. We are, however, fully committed and responsible for keeping our employees and customers safe. All of our field technicians go through extensive training that is focused on workplace safety. Our goal is to keep our employees and our customers out of harm’s way,” Verizon said in a statement to WPVI.
“For safety reasons, our trucks and related equipment are not intended to be used in the area in which he was operating, specifically around electrical wires. While our actions may not be popular, he potentially put his life and those around him in jeopardy,” the statement continued.
In an effort to counteract this unpopular choice, Verizon donated money to the Pennsylvania SPCA
Concerned about German’s well-being, friends and supporters of the Verizon employee started GoFundMe pages to support the man while he goes without pay. One page started by Amanda Fairchild Boyce, who captured German’s rescue on camera, raised $3,395. Boyce donated the money directly to German.
According to CBS News, a different GoFundMe, started by a co-worker of German’s, raised over $7,000.
Verizon did not immediately reply to PEOPLE’s request for comment.