January 18, 2017

An Officer and a Gentle-Dog: Maryann’s Touching Rescue

Happy Tail: Maryann

“She gave me a look with her big eyes, and I knew she just needed love and a caring home and family. I knew I could give her more love than she ever had.” –NYPD Officer Joshua Sailor of Queens, NY

When New York City Police Officer Joshua Sailor responded to a call of animal cruelty on September 30, 2016, he had no way of knowing that this call would be different from any other. He and other NYPD officers were responding after neighbors complained about a young pit bull that appeared to have been left alone and neglected for extended periods of time in a building in Queens, New York. The dog’s barking had gone on for days before the police were called.

Maryann being measured

When Officer Sailor and his fellow NYPD officers arrived, the scene was far worse than they had imagined. The eight-month-old pit bull, then known as Maryann, was chained in between a foot-wide gap that separated the front door from a screen door. She was emaciated, her paws were bleeding from scratching at the door and there were no signs of food or water.

When the NYPD team removed the door to free the ailing pup, something remarkable happened: the skin-and-bones pup bounded into her rescuer’s arms, immediately attaching herself to Officer Sailor. In those moments, he knew that Maryann would eventually be coming home with him. “I realized that this dog needed a lot of love, and I have a lot of love to give,” he told the New York Daily News.

Maryann in a dress

After securing Maryann, the officers quickly rushed her to the ASPCA Animal Hospital (AAH) for treatment. She spent about a week with the veterinary team, who worked to get her weight up and check for any other health concerns. Luckily, by the end of that week, Maryann was deemed healthy enough for adoption, which meant that Officer Sailor could officially take the sweet, loving dog home. Although his building does not allow dogs, they made an exception for Officer Sailor and the newly-named Mila. The rest, they say, is history.

The two have become inseparable ever since. Officer Sailor tells us that although Mila struggled at first with separation anxiety, she couldn’t be happier. The now eleven-month-old sweetheart attends doggie daycare daily, and receives all of the love and affection a dog could ask for. She and Officer Sailor were even invited to a special ASPCA luncheon, honoring Officer Sailor and other members of the NYPD and ADA’s office for their dedication and commitment to helping animals. 

Maryann at the ASPCA Luncheon

During the event, Vice President of the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Division, Howard Lawrence, spoke to the New York Daily news about the pair. He stated, “It's inspiring to see Maryann—now Mila—thriving in her new home with Officer Sailor. [She’s] a reminder of how animal cruelty victims can overcome abuse to become loving companions."

Maryann and Officer Sailor

Through our partnership with the NYPD, the ASPCA has been able to rescue so many animals in need across New York City. We are truly fortunate to have the support of courageous officers like Officer Sailor. In a statement to the website DNAinfo, he spoke about the rescue and his connection with his four-legged family member, stating, “She 100 percent needed me, but I 100 percent needed her too.”