March 28, 2019
The Philadelphia Verizon employee who was suspended because he rescued a cat stranded on a telephone pole has been honored with a PETA award.
The employee, Maurice German, made headlines earlier this month when he was suspended without pay for three weeks for using Verizon equipment in to save a cat that had been stuck on a telephone pole for more than 12 hours in the Port Richmond neighborhood.
The company said using the equipment on an unauthorized block conduct the rescue broke safety regulations.
Neighbors and witnesses created a GoFundMe to place the lost wages German would have earned during his three-week suspension. There also is an online petition in German's honor (with more than 25,000 signatures, as of Thursday afternoon), asking the company to end the suspension.
On Thursday, PETA announced it had named German as the organization's "Hero to Animals Award" recipient for the rescue.
"We need more people like Maurice German, who's a hero for pulling this petrified cat to safety — and his selflessness and swift action should be lauded, not punished," PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a media release. "PETA is thrilled to recognize this compassionate citizen and is calling on Verizon to reverse his grossly unwarranted suspension immediately."