A puppy abandoned by its owner at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has found a furr-ever home after a United Airlines pilot adopted him.
The pup’s original owner had flown to SFO with him from overseas, but the owner “chose to continue traveling on without his animal”, the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said in a statement.
The pup was only 12 weeks old when he was left at the airport. United Airlines then “worked to ensure the puppy completed necessary requirements to enter the United States, including a quarantine period,” SPCA said.
The puppy, now 6 months old, was named Polaris, after the United Airlines business class product. The name Polaris also means North Star.
One of United Airlines pilots, captain William Dale adopted Polaris. On December 15, 2022, the airline hosted a festive adoption party at the airport to celebrate Polaris finding a new home.
The airline also donated $5,000 to support the San Francisco SPCA’s mission.
“United’s Customer Service team took on quite a challenge to ensure Polaris would be safe, healthy and find a loving home,” Lisa Feder, San Francisco SPCA’s chief of rescue and welfare said.
“Sometimes we deal with the craziest of situations,” United director of customer service Vincent Passafiume told NBC Bay Area. “This was probably one of the oddest we’ve ever dealt with and also one of the most challenging. To be able to get the outcome that we did as a team and see that Polaris will go home to a family that will give him a good life is really a special moment for me.”