Banjo the dog, left tied to train tracks, adopted by Huntington Beach family


When Banjo was rescued, people all over Southern California wanted to adopt him. For the past five weeks, Banjo has been under the care of Riverside County Animal Services worker Jo Marie Upegui. Friday, the 11-month-old poodle-terrier-mix was officially adopted by his new family.

"We saw his picture and we both fell in love with him, the most beautiful dog we've ever seen," said Louisa Moore from Huntington Beach.

Moore and her husband Jeff say they were taken by Banjo's incredible story of survival. The dog was rescued by a railroad engineer in Mecca, who saw Banjo tied to the tracks and was able to stop the train in time to save him.

"I can't even understand how someone could actually do something like that, I really just can't imagine that," said Louisa Moore.

For Banjo, the wait is now over. For the Moores, Friday was their first chance to see the puppy who is now part of their family.

"I can't imagine not having an animal in my life, I never have gone without, and never will, they just complete me and complete our family," she said.

More than 1,500 emails came in from all over the world from people wanting to adopt Banjo, but in the end - he'll be staying with his new family in Southern California.

"We had no clue that we were actually the ones who would be picked, so we feel pretty special," said Jeff Moore.

"This family is so dedicated to their animals. They never leave the dog alone, and I thought that was really important to Banjo because Banjo's had such a ... it's been a scary trip for him," said Upegui.

Banjo's new owners also have a message for everyone else out there.

"If you love animals, you should be going to a shelter and adopting, because it's not just Banjo that has an interesting story," Jeff Moore said.

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