Mighty Murphy Escapes from Machete and Makes Merry New Life

Written by Janice Cabral of Dogs in Brazil based in Rio de Janeiro

A few days after we arrived at our new house, the doorbell rang and I recognized one of the two men there as the guy that drove the truck to transport our dogs to the new house. He was with an older man. I answered the door and they told me the story of Murphy. Murphy had been hacked with a machete and was wandering around the streets with her ribs exposed and a large flap of rotting skin hanging down.

The older man had found her and lucky for Murphy he was a real dog lover. He took Murphy to a local vet and was paying for her treatment there. They said she may not survive. She had been pregnant but lost the four puppies. The vet thought it was due to the strong antibiotic and the shock. They said right now she was still fighting for her life and was not doing well. The older guy wanted to find her a home because he only had a small garden with eight dogs and he was 71 and couldn’t cope with anymore. The driver of the truck had suggested they try us to see if we could take her. Of course we agreed.

Murphy and her new friend Cookie

Murphy was at the vet clinic for more than forty days and had three surgeries. She came home to us with stitches still and had to wear a collar/cone to prevent her biting at the stitches for a few more weeks. The wound was more than 20 centimeters and extended under her belly too.

Murphy celebrated Christmas Day with 31 four-legged friends at Dogs in Brazil

It is difficult to comprehend the type of person who has the capacity to do this to a dog. I guess here we never will.

The thought occurred to me that perhaps she was captured from the streets or even stolen by the people here who practice a type of witchcraft. It is called ‘Macumba” here. Black animals are beheaded and their blood is drunk during rituals practiced by these people.

I wondered if somehow she had slipped her lead and they chopped her with the machete in an effort to get her back in order to die.

This is not uncommon in Brazil and one woman here was convicted of killing well more than one thousand animals while posing as a rescuer in order to suck their blood out and sell it to practioners of Macumba. She had become rich doing this. She received no legal castigation whatsoever and animal protectors are still trying to get justice for the thousands of animals that she killed. We will never really know the circumstances of the attack.

Murphy is a super friendly puppy of less than a year old. She holds no grudges against humanity at all.

She was almost better from her attack when she almost died for the third time. We did not know she had tick disease as well as the terrible wound. She began to bleed internally and needed an emergency blood transfusion. Her blood count for red cells were at number 12. 14 is critical and normal is 40. She had a blood transfusion and made it. The vet treating her said she was a real fighter and boy did she want to live. She’s a wiggly happy puppy now.  More great photos of Murphy here

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Peggy B
Peggy Babout a year ago

Poor thing. So happy she's on the mend.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown

shes beautiful :) thanks for sharing

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe3 years ago

Poor Murphy! She has been though a lot in her first year of life.
Thank you Janice for taking her in and showing her what it feels like to be loved.

Mark Donner
Mark Donner3 years ago

Millions of humans are lurking in dark corners on earth, including in overpopulated Brazil who don't even deserve to be called life. They are what you would imagine would be born in the depths of hell, and don't deserve the oxygen they breather.


Deeply hope the bastard who did this to poor Murphy, burns in hell and have a miserable life!!

Teresa W.
Teresa W4 years ago


Marlene Dinkins

what aterrible and sad story.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H4 years ago

There is no excuse for any type of animal abuse, torture or murder. Witchcraft? First time I have heard that one as a justification.

V V.
V V4 years ago

Amazing these dogs who have been abused can still be so trusting and loving. I'm so glad this big pup found a forever home of loving people!