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Tag: riverside county

Dog left tied to train tracks finds new home


A dog left tied to train tracks in California last month has found a new home.

Unlike that day last month, when he was secured to the tracks in the path of an oncoming train, he had many options to choose from.

Officials at Riverside County’s Department of Animal Services said they received more than 1,300 emails from people interested in adopting the rescued dog they dubbed Banjo. He was found by a Union Pacific crew in Mecca, where he’d been tied to the rails by a man who told authorities the dog was no longer wanted.

The 11-month-old poodle-terrier mix went home Friday with Jeff and Louisa Moore of Huntington Beach.

“He’s so beautiful isn’t he?” Louisa (above) said to her husband, holding Banjo in her arms for the first time.

Letters of interest came in from as far away as England and Puerto Rico, but animal services officials said the Moores were chosen because they constantly checked in on Banjo via e-mail and live close to the beach and a dog park.

Jeff Moore said he and his wife applied to adopt Banjo after seeing his story on the news and Facebook.

“Tonight we’re just going to go home and hang out,” Jeff told the Desert Sun in Palm Beach. “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.”

Before the couple left, Jo Marie Upegui, a veterinarian technician at Coachella Valley Animal Campus, explained to them that Banjo liked tortillas and snuggling on the couch and that he feared brooms and men in uniform.

The Moores, who also have a Tibetan terrier named Lali, said they planed to create a Facebook page to keep those interested up to date on Banjo’s new life.

Banjo’s name refers to old traffic signals on rail lines. He was discovered when a westbound train crew noticed a hunched-over man walking away from the tracks, leaving the dog behind. The crew alerted dispatchers, who stopped the eastbound train coming down the tracks to which Banjo was tied.

A 78-year-old man was questioned, but not charged. He appeared confused and possibly suffering from dementia. He told investigators his family no longer wanted the dog and didn’t know what to do with him.

(Photo: Riverside County Department of Animal Services)

Fire chief sues owners of dog he hit with rock

A former Los Angeles County assistant fire chief accused of beating a dog with a rock has sued the animal’s owners, his attorney said Thursday.

Glynn Johnson, 54, says the dog bit him, scarring and damaging his thumb, as he tried to return it to its house, according to an Associated Press report.

Johnson pleaded not guilty to the animal cruelty charge, a felony, filed by prosecutors after his Nov. 3 clash with Karley, a 6-month-old German shepherd mix that was euthanized due to its injuries.

His lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Riverside County Superior Court, claims negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress and seeks unspecified damages from the owners.

According to Johnson’s attorney, John E. Sweeney, the dog had gotten loose and was on Johnson’s property when the fire official took it by the collar and started walking it back to the home of its owners, Jeff and Shelley Toole.

“When the dog saw he was being led back to his own house, he started thrashing about,” Sweeney said. “He got Glynn Johnson’s thumb in his mouth and nearly tore the tip off.”

Sweeney said Johnson picked up a rock and hit the dog.

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Man says he beat dog with rock in self defense

An assistant fire chief charged with beating a 6-month-old puppy on the head with a 12-pound rock said yesterday that he acted in self-defense after the animal bit his thumb.

Glynn Johnson, 54, who works for the Los Angeles County fire department, was arrested by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department last week and charged with one count of maliciously wounding his neighbor’s dog, Karley. He was released the same day on $10,000 bail.

Speaking at a news conference at his attorney’s office in Beverly Hills, Johnson portrayed himself as an animal lover, and said the top of his thumb had nearly been ripped off and had to be sutured back on because of the bite.

The dog, meanwhile, a German shepherd mix, suffered a fractured skull and had to be euthanized, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

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Woman relocates neighbor’s barking dog

A California woman, apparently weary of her neighbor’s barking dog, kidnapped a white Maltese named Spike, drove him 15 miles away and abandoned him, police say.

Diane M. Brown, 42, an officer at a San Diego County correctional facility, was arrested on suspicion of felony possession of stolen property, according to police in Hemet.

Brown had filed multiple noise complaints about Spike with Riverside County Animal Services, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

On the day Spike went missing, Brown was spotted unloading the dog from the trunk of her car outside a water district building in the town of Beaumont, Animal Services Sgt. Lesley Huennekens said. A surveillance camera captured Brown when she returned to the scene to remove to dog’s collar.

Two water district employees took Spike to a veterinarian, who located the dog’s owners by scanning a tracking chip embedded under the animal’s skin. The dog was unharmed.