Banjo the Dog Almost Lost His Life to a Train; Now He Gets a Home Near the Beach
Remember the 78-year-old man who tied a 10-month-old terrier mix to railroad tracks in early April, later telling authorities his family "didn't want the dog" and he "didn't know what to do with him?"
Remember how a train was coming and the conductor slammed on the brakes, stopping just yards before the dog? Well, this story has finally come to an end -- and it's a good one.
Banjo -- so named by the train depot employees who saved him -- has finally found his forever home.
Meet Jeff and Louisa Moore and their Tibetan Terrier, Lali. Their plea to adopt Banjo was among the more than 1,300 emails from potential adopters that flooded Riverside County's Department of Animal Services after the story of Banjo went viral. People wrote from around the world, crashing the department's site at one point for 24 hours.
"We saw his picture and we both fell in love with him, the most beautiful dog we've ever seen," Louisa told KABC.
Jo Marie Upegui, Banjo's temporary caretaker -- and the one with final say on who would take Banjo home -- was thrilled with the decision.
"I'm just so happy with the choice we all made," she told USA Today. "It's just such a loving family."
How did the Moores pull it off? By caring. They "constantly" checked in on Banjo via email. And they also live near the beach (Huntington Beach in Southern California, no less) as well as a dog park.
Still, they were shocked when they got the call.
"We had no clue that we were actually the ones who would be picked, so we feel pretty special," said Jeff.
"This family is so dedicated to their animals," Upegui told KABC. "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."
"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 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."
The Moores plan to keep the public updated on Banjo's life though new Instagram and Facebook pages; we'll update this post when those go live.