Summary of the eRumor: Pictures and a story of Molly, a horse that
survived hurricane Katrina in Louisiana but lost a leg to infection after
a dog attack. It's a story of survival and Molly is now being used
as a source of inspiration to people in shelters and hospitals.
The Truth: According to media reports, including an
article in the New York times from May 16, 2006, this is true.
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 caused a lot of
havoc for animals as well as people. Nobody knows how many pets died or
were displaced as a result of the storm.
Kaye Harris loves animals and lives on a pony ranch in St. Rose,
Louisiana. She willingly participated in adopting some of the homeless
pets and, among other animals, took in an appaloosa that had been found
wandering in St. Charles Parish. She named it Molly.
One day Harris arrived at her ranch to the shocking scene of Molly being
attacked by another adopted animal, a pit bull. She said Molly’s lip was
torn, she had a gash in her side, and all four legs had been severely
injured. She thought Molly was going to die.
She sought the help of veterinarian Dr. Allison Barca who treated Molly
but knew that the horse’s right leg was too far gone and a few weeks after
the attack Molly’s hoof fell off. Both Dr. Barca and Harris made a
passionate appeal to experts at Louisiana State University to consider
fitting Molly with an artificial leg. It was an uphill battle
but after being with Molly for a couple of days, Dr. Rustin Moore, a
veterinary surgeon, was impressed with the horse and began to feel like an
artificial leg was worth a try. After surgery to remove the leg below the
knee, Molly was introduced to the folks at the Bayou Orthotic and
Prosthetic Center, which had never before made prosthesis for an animal.
They succeeded, however, and Molly uses the artificial limb on a regular
basis. She is able to get around on three legs but has been known to
communicate some of the times when she wants to use her new leg.
Molly has now become an inspiration to others facing challenges in their
lives and a book has
been written about her titled Molly the Pony A
True Story by author
Kaster told TruthOrFiction.com that she also took the photos in the
The pit bull was not destroyed, by the way. Harris gave
the dog some grace because so many animals were traumatized by Hurricane
Katrina. She found a home for him among people who were good at
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
This is such a nice story:
Meet Molly. She's a gray speckled pony who was abandoned
by her owners when Katrina hit southern Louisiana. 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 goes.
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," Moore insists. 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 leg.
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", she laughs.
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 doing it.
"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."
This is 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 behind!