More than $3,000 raised for Verizon worker suspended after rescuing cat from utility pole

PHILADELPHIA — A Verizon employee has been suspended for three weeks after rescuing a beloved neighborhood cat stuck on a utility pole.

WPVI reported Maurice German was in a Philadelphia neighborhood March 16. Neighbors had been trying for an hour to get a cat named Princess Momma down from a utility pole. German used his bucket truck to retrieve the cat and bring her to safety with no injuries.

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But he was suspended for three weeks without pay because he violated safety protocol, a spokesman for the company told WPVI. German could have been seriously injured, he said.

"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," Verizon said in a statement to WPVI Monday.

“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.

“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.

"To show our support for animal rescue efforts, Verizon has made a donation to the Pennsylvania (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in Fishtown, an organization that helps care for and provide homes for abandoned cats and other animals.”

The community, grateful for German's actions, decided to raise money. According to a GoFundMe page set up by Amanda Fairchild Boyce created a GoFundMe page to help German as a thank you.

"I wanted to compensate for his suspension so his family would not suffer," Boyce told WPVI.

Boyce said German received the $3,395 donation Sunday and he told her, “I am so grateful for your help. I cannot thank you enough.”