SAN FRANCISCO—A six month old German shepherd that was abandoned at the San Francisco International Airport in August was recently adopted by a United Airlines Captain. 

On December 15, United Airlines threw an adoption party at terminal 3 celebrating the forever home they helped to find alongside San Francisco’s SPCA. Captain William Dale and his family, who recently moved to San Francisco, were chosen out of 35 applicants to adopt the dog who was named Polaris by other airline staff members. The dog is named after the airline’s business class offering.

According to SPCA, the dog could only be placed with one of the employees of the airlines.  

“From the moment Polaris landed in our care, our entire SFO United team cared for him 24/7 until we were able to get permission to keep him safely in the U.S.,” said Vincent Passafiume, a director of customer service for United Airlines in a statement. “It’s a great feeling to see this story come full circle and that Polaris will have a loving home with United Airlines Captain Dale and his family — just in time for the holidays.”

During Polaris’ stay at the airport, he slept in an office and gained popularity among travelers. 

The identity of the person who abandoned Polaris is unknown. According to The Washington Post, the original owner did not have proper documentation and left the dog at the airport. The traveler was on his way to New York. 

The Center for Disease Control would not allow the dog into the country due to strict regulations it has regarding animals arriving from high-risk countries for rabies. According to reports, Polaris was originally from China. The airline urged the CDC to reconsider which led them to grant Polaris a reprieve as long as the dog stayed in quarantine for four months. Many animals are euthanized if they cannot be put up for adoption.  

United Airlines announced in a statement that they are donating $5,000 to the SPCA to aid in their mission to advocate and care for homeless, injured or sick animals.

The San Francisco News contacted United Airlines for more information, but did not hear back before print.