Motor-biking dog and owner cruise Brazil’s streets to help hungry pups

Deliveryman, Miguel Pereira, and his rescued dog, Ruby, pose for a picture while making a delivery ride on a motorcycle, to donate food to stray dogs on the streets in Sao Paulo, Brazil July 13, 2023 with their initiative Ruby Fofa. REUTERS/Leonardo Benassatto

By Leonardo Benassatto

Miguel Pereira de Souza and his dog Ruby zoom through Brazil’s sprawling metropolis Sao Paulo on a motor-bike on a mission: hand out free dog food to less fortunate pooches.

The two have become social media sensations, chronicling their efforts delivering food to dogs-in-need for over 150,000 followers on TikTok.

The now inseparable pair met when Souza, 51, found an injured and homeless Ruby under his car in the South American city nine years ago.

An emotional Souza vividly remembers the day he found Ruby, and how soon after he devoted his free time to looking after hungry street dogs like Ruby once was.

“I said from today every time I see a dog going hungry, I will donate a portion of food,” Souza said, wiping away tears.

Once Souza posted videos and pictures on social media of his food deliveries and the street dogs, donations started to flood in.

“I had more than 700 kilograms (1,543 lb) of dog food in my living room,” said Souza, who has Ruby’s name tattooed on his forearm. “We have already donated more than five tonnes of food.”

Souza set up a small initiative three years ago called the Ruby Fofa (Cute Ruby) delivery service, which sells dog food and treats to locals in Sao Paulo and uses the profits to buy food for street dogs.

ruby fofa
Deliveryman, Miguel Pereira, puts a helmet on his rescued dog, Ruby, while making a delivery ride on a motorcycle to donate food to stray dogs at the streets in Sao Paulo, Brazil July 12, 2023. REUTERS/Leonardo Benassatto

Ruby has her own helmet and backpack for the duo’s motor-bike rides. Souza, who earns his living delivering fast-food by bike, says he has never forced her to ride.

“She always jumps on the bike’s seat. She always wants to go! So I take her on every delivery,” Souza said.

Sao Paulo resident Raja Vidya, who uses the Ruby Fofa service, says that many people abandoned their dogs after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This help from Miguel – donating food, water, time and encouraging others to donate – I think is very cool,” she said.

“I am very proud to be part of this, because when we buy at Ruby’s shop, we are encouraging, we are helping people to donate more and more.”


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