Dog Tied to Train Tracks Gets Saved
Union Pacific Engineer Engages Emergency Brakes
TUESDAY, April 9, 2013 – A train engineer avoided crushing a dog tied to the train tracks when he engaged an emergency braking system.
The engineer noticed a man walking away from the tracks and something left behind atop the tracks. The object was a live, 10-month-old poodle-terrier mix.
The incident happened last Tuesday afternoon, April 2, at about 5 p.m. on tracks in the Mecca area. (Please note: Riverside County Animal Services waited until today, April 9, to issue a news release about the incident to verify information from Union Pacific officials and get the OK to release specific details.)Union Pacific Special Agent Sal Pina responded after the train's engineer stopped the train and reported a man walking away from the tracks. The incident happened just east of 4th Street in the Mecca area. Agent Pina arrested the man and, moments later, untied the dog from the tracks. He said he was especially shocked because the dog was the same breed as his pet, only with a lighter coat color.
"It's probably one of the worst things I've seen," said Agent Pina, whose dog, Sadie, sports an all-black coat. "I've never seen something like this."
Agent Pina transported the 78-year-old man to an Indio field office and interviewed him. The man said that the family didn't want the dog and didn't know what to do with him. After an extensive interview, Agent Pina said that he could not pursue an animal-cruelty case because the man appeared to be confused, or senile and didn't fully understand what he had done. He held the man until his family members arrived.
The dog was picked up by a Riverside County Animal Services officer and taken to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms. Veterinary Technician Jo Marie Upegui examined the dog, treated him and gave him a bath. The dog appears very healthy and friendly. She took the dog home to give it extra care.