A stray puppy has been adopted by a US pilot, four months after it was left behind at an airport terminal.
The German Shepherd mix, which was abandoned at San Francisco International Airport four months ago, has been given a home by a United Airlines pilot, the carrier reported this week.
The six-month-old dog is thought to have been brought in to the Californian airport by its owner from Asia in late August.
He was dropped at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after US authorities deemed the owner to have invalid paperwork for the animal.
United Airlines team members working at San Francisco took responsibility for the puppy and set about helping it find a home in the US.
They named the pointy-eared pup Polaris, after the airline’s business class cabin.
An unnamed representative for United Airlines told Insider that the carrier had initially flown the puppy to Los Angeles in September, where it was looked after in a quarantine facility until this week.
The head of San Francisco’s SPCA told the publication that the airline had worked hard to help find the dog a new home.
“United’s Customer Service team took on quite a challenge to ensure Polaris would be safe, healthy, and find a loving home,” said Lisa Feder, the SPCA’s chief of rescue and welfare.
She added that staff members had supplied the little mascot with food, toys and treats until a home was found.
In the end, it was one of the airline’s own pilots, William Dale, and his family who volunteered to adopt Polaris in time for Christmas.
A communications representative for United also took to Twitter to praise a fellow team member, Vincent Passafiume, she credited for “saving” the dog in the first place.
“Sweet, sweet baby Polaris is going home with a loving, new @United family today, just in time for the holidays,” wrote Maddie King, posting a photo of United employees with the dog.
“@vjpassa the love you gave this dog truly saved his life – you are the embodiment of Good Leads The Way!”
Meanwhile, NBC reporter Scott Budman tweeted a festive picture of Polaris the puppy dressed up in a Santa hat, surrounded by presents.
Journalist Dana Freeman commented: “How does a human abandon a dog at an airport (or anywhere else)? There are shelters that take animals just like they take people. Glad Polaris has a new home.”