United Airlines Pilot Adopts a Dog Abandoned at San Francisco International Airport

The story of Polaris, a puppy abandoned by his owner at San Francisco International Airport, had a happy ending. The dog was not only allowed to stay in the U.S. but also found a new home with United Airlines pilot Capt. William Dale and his family.

Back in late August, a traveler from China arrived at San Francisco airport with a six-month-old German Sheppard mix as his companion on a United Airlines flight. However, the pair wasn’t allowed to go further as the dog’s paperwork was incomplete. Instead of resolving the issue, the passenger continued with his trip to New York, abandoning the dog at the airport.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended United staff, who was left to take care of the dog, they can either send the dog back to China or leave him at the airport. But since neither seemed acceptable for the puppy, the staff decided to do whatever it takes to find a happy ending to the situation. After a lot of back and forth with the CDC, they managed to convince the agency to let the dog, now named Polaris after United’s business class, stay in the United States.

Polaris was transferred to Los Angeles in a quarantine center, where he spent four months and was taken care of by United’s staff 24/7. After his quarantine ended, the dog returned to San Francisco and was adopted by Dale.

“I only hope that we can do half as good a job of taking care of him as the United staff did,” said Dale. “More than one employee said to me, ‘You better take good care of him … or else.’ There was even a wag of a finger.”