A puppy that was tied to railroad tracks in a gruesome attempt to get rid of it is now up for adoption with Riverside County Animal Services.
The 10-month-old poodle-terrier mix, named “Banjo” for old train traffic signals, was rescued last week by a train engineer who saw the fluffy pup tied to the tracks ahead of him.
The engineer noticed a man walking away from something left on the Mecca-area tracks about 5 p.m. April 2, Riverside County Animal Services said in a statement Tuesday.
The engineer used the train’s emergency brakes to stop and avoided hitting the puppy, officials said. A Union Pacific agent arrived and freed the dog.
“It’s probably one of the worst things I’ve ever seen,” agent Sal Pina said in a statement. “I’ve never seen something like this.”
Authorities believe that a 78-year-old man tied the puppy to the tracks. Officials said in a statement he may have been “senile” and “didn’t fully understand what he had done.”
The man told Pina his family didn’t want the dog and he didn’t know what to do, officials said. He was arrested at the scene but ultimately released to his family.