Where are They Now: Mayor Set-Them-Free and Murphy

I wanted to follow up on a couple of cruelty cases I followed in recent months.

Starting with the Arkansas Mayor who found his town’s shelter dogs annoying and so ordered them “set free” in the National Forest:

In June, he said he was faced with a dilemma as the city was trying to deal with a stray-dogs problem while residents complained that a dilapidated shelter at the city’s sanitation department was inadequate.

Yeah so obviously any reasonable person would deduce that the solution to the problem of dogs being housed in filth at the dump is to turn them loose in the forest. Sounds like a swell plan, except that it’s a crime. Oh snap.

In December, the US Forest Service slapped the Mayor (lightly, on the wrist) with a $300 fine and ordered him to pay $1600 in restitution to the group who rescued the dogs – that is, the dogs who didn’t get shot by an area resident.

Then there was Murphy, the Australian Shepherd whose owner allegedly bashed his head in with a sledgehammer and left him to die in an Atlanta area park. Robert Kennedy was walking his own dogs when he came upon Murphy and brought him to a local Vet. Against all odds, and down one eye, Murphy recovered well enough to join Mr. Kennedy’s family:

He will move into the home —- with a fenced-in yard —- that Kennedy shares with his 25-year-old daughter and two 2-year-old golden retrievers.


Nearly 600 people have given to a trust fund that Kennedy set up to help defray the more than $6,000 vet bill so far. Kennedy initially intended to pay the bill himself, but set up the account after being inundated with offers to help from as far away as Puerto Rico and Canada.

“I’m just overwhelmed by the generosity of people, and I’m going to make sure that generosity is justified,” he said.

Dude, it’s justified.

Mr. Kennedy volunteers with a local Golden Retriever rescue which was scheduled to take part in a parade on New Year’s Eve and so:

The Australian shepherd will walk with the Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta as part of the 1.25-mile parade from the Georgia Dome to the World Congress Center.


Kennedy at first though he would have to wheel Murphy, who remains somewhat wobbly after the attack but did not suffer permanent brain damage. But Kennedy has taken Murphy on hikes with his other dogs, Stella and Charlie, and the injured dog has managed even longer walks than the parade route.

As for the manly-man who needed a sledgehammer and a loyal pet to demonstrate his superior testosterone:

Murphy’s former owner, Joseph “Joe” Waters, 48, is free on $25,000 bail on a felony count of animal cruelty.

If convicted, I hope this scumbag gets some time behind bars to show off his macho skillz.

Leave a Reply