Puppy Ditched by Owner at Airport Gets His Happy Ending

United Airlines employees took care of puppy left in San Francisco until pilot could adopt him
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2022 8:00 AM CST
Dog Abandoned at Airport Finds New Family in Airline Workers
In this Oct. 15, 2020, file photo, a United Airlines airplane takes off over a plane on the runway at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

United Airlines has used "Fly the Friendly Skies" and "Good Leads the Way" as recent slogans, and both apply in a case out of California that has found a puppy his forever home. CNN reports on the plight of Polaris, a dog of unknown breed who was abandoned by his owner at San Francisco International Airport in the fall, per a release from the San Francisco SPCA. The pair had entered the airport from an international destination, but the dog was denied entry to the US until he could pass quarantine requirements, reports WTHR.

Instead of waiting out that quarantine period, the dog's owner "chose to continue traveling on without his animal," the release notes. That's when crew from United Airlines jumped in to take on the challenge of ensuring Polaris would be "safe, healthy, and find a loving home," according to the SPCA's Lisa Feder. United's director of customer service, Vincent Passafiume, notes that "we were granted the OK" for Polaris to remain in the US while he completed all the requirements, including the quarantine, to stay for good, with staff "[caring] for him 24/7," per the release.

Once Polaris' quarantine was over, caretaking shifted from United staff in general to United Capt. William Dale, who decided he and his family wanted to adopt Polaris. Earlier this month, United held an adoption celebration at the airport, donating $5,000 to the SPCA to help other animals in need. "It's a great feeling to see this story come full circle and that Polaris will have a loving home ... just in time for the holidays," Passafiume says. (More uplifting news stories.)

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