By Victoria Kim
9:27 PM PDT, May 17, 2013
An unwanted 10-month-old puppy that was tied to train tracks in Riverside County last month was adopted Friday by a Huntington Beach couple, animal services officials announced.
Jeff and Louisa Moore were chosen as the new owners for the fluffy poodle-terrier mix named Banjo, out of more than 1,300 people who emailed Riverside County Animal Services, according to spokesman John Welsh.
Banjo was left on the tracks in the Mecca area in early April by a owner who didn’t want the dog. But he survived because an engineer on an approaching train managed to pull the emergency brake in time.
Officials said the 78-year-old man who left the puppy may have been senile and possibly did not "fully understand what he had done." He was arrested and later released to his family.
The dog, named after his rescue for old train traffic signals, became so popular after his story was publicized that the shelter’s website crashed with people looking to adopt the puppy.
Welsh said emails flooded in from around the country and even Canada and Puerto Rico, but that officials felt it would be best to adopt the puppy somewhere in Southern California rather than ship him elsewhere.
Welsh said shelter officials were moved by how the Moores care for their current dog. It also helped that Louisa works for a Bellflower pet supply store and knew how to care for animals, he said.
"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."
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