When 24-year-old New York Police Officer Joshua Sailor first entered an abandoned home in Jamaica, Queens, he had no idea that he was about to meet the girl of his dreams. As it would turn out however, she would be of the pint-sized, four-legged variety, for at the time was an 8-month-old pit bull puppy in desperate need of help.
The officers first found the poor abandoned pooch, who would eventually become known as Mila, trapped in a foot-wide gap between the building’s front and screen door. Left in chains with barely any room to move, Mila had been without food and water for days. After finally hearing her bark for help, neighbors called 911 who sent out the Emergency Service Unit Joshua was a member of. The officers' hearts broke when they realized that the brave grey and white puppy had made so many attempts to claw her way out of captivity that her little paws were bloody by the time she was rescued.
As soon as Mila laid eyes on Joshua, she knew there was something special about the man who would become her future fur-dad. “She ran right up to me,”Joshua later told NY Daily News. “I realized that this dog needed a lot of love and I have a lot of love to give.”
Joshua went on to explain that when she was first rescued, Mila was so sick that she had to be handed over to a local ASPCA for treatment. “She damaged her nail beds,” he said. “She was so thin you could see her hip bones and her head was so much bigger than her body.”
When the big-hearted officer went to see how Mila was doing at the organization’s recovery unit the next week, he was met with one of the cutest surprises of all time.
“She came running into the room and ran straight to me, ignoring the treats that they had put out on the floor,” he said. “I’ll admit I got a little choked up. I said, ‘That’s it, she’s coming home with me.’”
Ever since, the two have been reported to be inseparable and were even honored at a recent ASPCA awards luncheon.
"The ASPCA is proud to recognize Officer Sailor and the other officers and assistant district attorneys we'll be honoring next week. Their extraordinary dedication and compassion have directly benefitted countless animals and demonstrate the importance of helping animals to build a safer and more humane community,” said Howard Lawrence, vice president of the ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Division. “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."
“It was like when you wake up on Christmas morning as a little kid [and] you see all the presents downstairs,” Joshua said of his big-eyed little buddy. “She 100 percent needed me, but I 100 percent needed her too.”
Also worthy of recognition is Joshua’s human girlfriend, who though having admitted to being occasionally jealous of the new woman in Joshua’s life, is sharing her place by his side with grace and a smile.