(CBS) MECCA, Calif. - Authorities have decided not to pursue an animal-cruelty case against a 78-year-old man who reportedly tied a puppy to train tracks in the California desert, John Welsh of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services said in a statement.
According to the statement Tuesday, Banjo, a 10-month-old poodle-terrier mix, is fine and up for adoption after a train engineer used the emergency brakes to keep from crushing it.
The train was near Mecca, in Southern Califfornia, 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 ever 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.
The man was released to family members, and Banjo was taken to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms where he was examined, treated and bathed, CBS Los Angeles reports.
"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," Welsh said in the statement.