Molly. She's a grey dappled pony who was abandoned by her owners
when Katrina hit southern Louisiana, USA. She spent weeks on
her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where
abandoned animals were stockpiled. While there, she was attacked
by a pit bull terrier and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg
became infected and her vet went to LSU for help. But LSU was
overwhelmed and this pony was a welfare case. You know how that
But after surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed
his mind. He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different
sides so she didn't seem to get sores and how she allowed people
to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly
shifted her weight and didn't overload her good leg. She was a
smart pony with a serious survival ethic.
Moore agreed to
remove her leg below the knee and a temporary artificial limb was
built. Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins
"This was the right horse and the right owner,"
Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million
patient. She's tough as nails, but sweet and she was willing to
cope with pain. She made it obvious she understood that she was
in trouble. The other important factor, according to Moore , is
having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to
providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the
Molly's story turns into a parable for life in
post-Katrina Louisiana. The little pony gained weight, her mane
felt a comb. A human prosthesis designer built her a
The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life,
Allison Barca DVM, Molly's regular vet, reports. And she asks
for it! She will put her little limb out and come to you and let
you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you
to take it off too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca.
"It can be pretty bad when you can't catch a three-legged horse",
Most important of all, Molly has a job now.
Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters,
hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers. Anywhere she
thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed
people her pluck. She inspired people. And she had a good time
"It's obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role
to play in life", Moore said, "She survived the
hurricane, she survived a horrible injury and now she is giving
hope to others."
"She's not back to normal," Barca concluded,
"but she's going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for
New Orleans itself."
Molly's most recent prosthesis. The bottom photo shows the ground
surface that she stands on,
which has a smiley face embossed in
it. Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print