On April 2, a Union Pacific engineer in Mecca, California saved the life of a puppy when he spotted it on the tracks and slammed on the emergency brakes of the train just in time. Now the dog who was so close to death now has found a home with a loving couple.
The unwanted 10-month-old poodle-terrier mix was left tied to the tracks by a 78-year-old man who was arrested at the scene. It was concluded that the man was likely senile and possibly suffering from dementia, and did not “fully understand what he had done.” He was released and put under the watchful eyes of his family and Adult Protective Services.
The dog was named Banjo, after a North American railroad signal, and taken to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus where he was bathed and treated.
His story quickly spread, and online interest in adopting him was so high that the shelter’s website crashed. People from all over the US, as well as Canada, Puerto Rico and England, wanted the fluffy little guy. But staff felt it would be best to adopt him to a home in south California so he wouldn’t have to be transported.
Louisa and Jeff Moore were selected out of over 1,300 applicants. Riverside County Animal Services spokesman John Welsh said shelter officials were touched by the care the Moores give to the dog they already have, a Tibetan terrier named Lali. Louisa works for a pet supply store and knows a lot about animal care. She kept in constant contact with the shelter to check on Banjo. The Moores live near a beach and a dog park, and seemed to be the ideal choice.
“I would be so honored to be Banjo’s Mommy,” she wrote in an email to Animal Services. “He would always have my attention, time, and energy.”
Louisa began crying when she was informed that they were chosen to be Banjo’s new family.
“She’s been waiting a long time for this,” said family friend Karena Lozano. “I knew she wouldn’t give up, but to beat out 1,300 people is amazing.”
The Moores know how popular their new family member is, and plan to create Facebook and Instagram pages to keep fans updated on how he is adjusting to his new life.
“Tonight we’re just going to go home and hang out,” Jeff said. “We have a big field that’s right next to our place that about a dozen of us all go out (to) with our dogs, and they all get along really well, so it’ll be fun introducing him to all the dogs. I’m sure they’ll love him.”