Verizon Suspends Worker Who Rescued Cat

Screengrab/CBS News/Youtube

An online petition to reinstate the worker has received over 38,000 signatures.

An online petition urging Verizon to reinstate a worker who was suspended after saving a cat is gaining attention from thousands over the Internet. The company stated that Maurice German violated the company's safety guidelines when he used a hydraulic lift from a Verizon "bucket" truck to rescue the cat from atop a telephone pole earlier this month.

"Maurice German is an animal hero who saved a beloved family cat!," the petition states.As of Sunday afternoon, the petition for the incident that occurred earlier this month has over 38,000 supporters—less than 2,000 away from its goal. "Instead of being suspended, German should be rewarded for his compassion and courage."

The feline's owner had called several organizations including the fire department, animal rescue services, and the telephone company before the nearby German, who was working close by, responded to pleas to step in, a resident told CBS Philadelphia. The kitty had been stuck on the phone pole for 12 hours.

German's employer suspended him for three weeks without pay because his actions violated the company's safety protocol, but he was celebrated on social media for his act of kindness.

"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," a Verizon spokesperson stated. "While our actions may not be popular, he potentially put his life and those around him in jeopardy."

Two GoFundMe campaigns raised over $10,000 for the suspended worker.

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