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Originally published Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 11:10 PM

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Train avoids hitting puppy tied to Calif. track

Officials say a 78-year-old man tied a puppy to train tracks in the California desert, and an engineer had to use emergency brakes to keep from crushing it.

The Associated Press

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INDIA, Calif. —

Officials say a 78-year-old man tied a puppy to train tracks in the California desert, and an engineer had to use emergency brakes to keep from crushing it.

Riverside County animal control said in a statement Tuesday that Banjo, a 10-month-old poodle-terrier mix, is fine and up for adoption.

The train was near Mecca on April 2 when the engineer saw a man walking away from the tracks and stopped.

Union Pacific Special Agent Sal Pina responded and called the scene "one of the worst things I've seen."

Pina untied Banjo and detained the man, who said his family didn't want the dog and didn't know what to do.

Pina says he couldn't pursue charges against the unidentified man because he appeared confused and didn't understand what he'd done.

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