Molly the pony

pony with false leg

She's a gray speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane 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 dog 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 andher story really begins there.

'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 horse.

Molly's story turns into a parable for life in Post-Katrina Louisiana .........

The little pony gained weight, and her mane finally 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, and 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.' Barca concluded, 'She's not back to normal, 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.

If you feel like it, share this with animal lovers that you know. God's creatures often reflect the character we aspire to.

What an amazing story. Really does show why we love our four legged friends so much.



PS If you've enjoyed the emails so far, I suspect you will quite like Lara's book...


  1. Oh yeah, I’ve read about Molly in “Amazing Horse Facts and Trivia. Molly is simply an amazing and happy (because of her hoof print) horse. Her story is one of my favorite animal survival stores.

  2. Anne Vevers

    What an amazing pony, I am so happy she is safe and walking it is fantastic 🙂

  3. Kinz

    What a sweetie! So glad she made it!

  4. Rose

    Very special!!! She is an inspiration for us all to never give up!

  5. Tracy


    what a heart warming story, very special little pony.

  6. Barb

    How we take care of animals is a direct indication of a person’s soul, God Bless all of those involved in her rescue and continued care. I agree, she does have a higher purpose and her mission is grand!!!

  7. Lois

    Amazing Story i bought a tear to my eyes….
    Its amazing how these beautiful creature play such a huge role in our lives,I would never live without my 4 legged family members…Molly you are such a fighter & how lucky to have people who will make it possible for Molly to have a better life…

  8. Rachel

    😯 WOW i can’t beleive it that is absolutley AMAZING. That is soooo inspiering and i love that story…remember it for ever!!! 😆

  9. jacque steele

    A little fighter. Bless her.

  10. Brilliant, amazing … how beautiful is this?? All the very best from across in Australia!!

  11. Brian

    This is an amazing story, praize God for her rescue and the work she is doing and give thanks for the people who done the operation and built her synthetic leg. God works in mysterious ways. This proves that no animals needs to be put to sleep. I hope and pray that this comes through to various other disapplines with equine industry. Praise be to God. If you don’t beleive in God invite him in and see what he can do for you. Amen

  12. brian

    praise God for the people who done this work and the people invold and work thay do in the animal kindom glory to God amen

  13. brian

    thank God for the people invold in this kind of work and the work thay may do for the animal kindom God bless them and those who love animal

  14. Patty

    How amazing! GOD bless the vet and care giver Molly now has!! They didn’t give up on her!! :

  15. We learn a lot from our animals don’t we, in more ways than one.

  16. 😀 I totally agree, Molly’s doctor, prosthesis maker, and owner are to be commended for their caring and skills to an animal other then human. God brought Molly to the right people who could save her. Thank you, for hearing the call and seeing God’s plan.

  17. Pam

    Sitting here with tears streaming down my face, what a beautiful story and inspiration for our wonderful 4 legged friends, all deserve a decent chance of life and can adapt, I am about to take in 3 foals and hope that they can now have a better life, instead of that other worst fate.

  18. Delane

    Wonderful story ,God bless the people who helped her. 😛 😉

  19. This is just one more story of what a gift animals are to mankind, what they can teach us and how they can help us… I had a dog once who used to stick her leg out to visitors to show them she had had an operation! DUMB animals? NEVER!

  20. Madii

    God bless all the people who took time to take care of this little pony!


  21. Terri Treakle

    Wow what a truly inspiring story. I love horses so am so glad that she was a fighter. She is beautiful too. Yay for Molly. I love her. Glad she has someone taking care of her now and that she can inspire other people.
    Thank you for sharing

  22. Mary

    Wow i am in tears!!!!! What a GOD SEND!!!!! How precious is she!!!!!! What a great story of human compation!!!!!!! Thank GOD!!!!!!! WE are BLESSed!!!!!

  23. lize de beer

    i am happy for her a lot of kisses and huggs

  24. Diana

    This is an amazing story. God bless the people involved in helping Molly live a good life, her doctor, prosthesis maker, and owner. Animals never stop amazing me. A little pony, with the drive to live and overcome all that has happened to her. Obviously, she never gave up and neither did those who helped her. If a pony can show hope and desire for life, so can we humans. Her story is worth spreading to the world over and over again. God bless this sweet pony. d

  25. Frederick Booth

    What an inspiring story.It is to bad that leg treatment could not have been used on the racehorse,Barbaro.It took a great deal of time and cooperation between the human and equine partners to accomplish the work.I hope many people and children gain inspiration from this story.Fred.

    1. Susan

      Fred, Time, money and lots of love and work went into Barbaro. Sometime we cannot accomplish what we so want to do. Remember Ruffian? She was a fabulous racehorse who broke her leg. Hours of surgery by a team of Veterinarians. When Ruffian woke up, she kicked and destroyed-in a few seconds- what the surgeons fixed. She had to be put down. There was no amount of time, money and expertise that could save her.

      Molly’s story is heartwarming but I wonder if we do these things for our benefit or the horse’s benefit. It seems Molly is happy, so that is key, here. Bravo.

  26. 😆 I think this story is really beautiful, and she has the best owner to love and take care of her, I`m so very glad that they did hep her than to put her down, i will not an never have had to put any of my animals to sleep, i try to make them better by medication and get the vet asap, i do not beleive in putting any animals to sleep unless it was exstremely bad. I just love this story, with its happy ending.

  27. What an amazing inspiration Molly is to all who read this story and for the even luckier ones who get a chance to meet her!

    Thank you so much for sharing this and for helping to keep me humble.

  28. reading this brought tears to my eyes and at the same time put a smile on my face and made my heart all warm and fuzzy thank god some poeple can hear horses or molly would be dead, i hear what my horse says to me and some poeple think i am nuts but i know other poeple hear their horses so there is hope yet that some day more poeple hear what theire horses say and want,

    like i allways say ther is horse owners and horse lovers i am a horse lover it makes a big difference in the relationship with ur horse

  29. cynthia curtis

    Love this story of Molly, the little pony who could and can do anything!!
    Much needed good news such as this heartwarming tale of one of God’s creatures!

  30. Linda Parker-Fedak

    What a wonderful pony! I love her!!! So glad she has a happy ending. And such a smart girl! Knows who is helping her. My heart melted when I read this story. Shame on the person who mistreated and abandoned her! Hope they never have a chance to do that to another living creature!!!

  31. Pam Kaster

    While I am pleased with the interest in Molly, I would like to mention that you are using my photograph from the front cover of my book, Molly the Pony, A True Story without giving me credit as the photographer. Please include my name on the photograph. Thank you! Pam Kaster

  32. Hunter Jones

    😛 What an amazing story! Kudos tho the vet that didn’t give up and the owner as well.

  33. J

    It really is amazing and there is a book all about her that children can read alone.

  34. Kay

    That had touched my heart, i know what it is like to have a animal that is hurt and needs your full attention love and care thank GOD for those that take that time because they will be rewarded for their good heartedness and have a friend for life.

  35. Toni

    Great story. Wonderful pony and so is her care-giver & the surgeon.

  36. Jane

    Molly is truly inspirational.

  37. Kasia

    Wow what a beautiful story I hope she gets better and better god bless you .

  38. Meleen Drewery

    😀 🙂
    Bless Rustin Moore for seeing that Molly deserved a chance at life.

  39. SA Spinks

    Gosh Pam, can’t you just let it be about the horse?

  40. Iam glad their are people out there that care about the animals, that are caught up in the bd weather we have been having. I have an AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG, who is blind and we had to have his eyes removed because of a genetic defect. I thought about putting him down , but Iam glad I didn’t because he plays and gets around and seems to be happy as long ashe knows he his loved. He means everything to me he is a very smart dog. 😀

  41. Ruth Burns

    😛 loved this story!

  42. lorne

    THATS AMAZING I know Im a better person knowing that story now . Thanks for touching my heart

  43. Linda

    You have a pretty tough pony.

  44. Christa

    this beautiful story gave me goosebumps

  45. Debbie

    God bless all involved. what a beautiful ending.
    so happy she made it. yip, she must feel all the love and attention given to her.

  46. Lois Hawkins

    😆 there is a special place in Heaven for these beautiful animals. I believe God loans them to us to teach us that angels come in many forms. They teach us life’s lessons in such a unique way without ever speaking a word. And God bless the caregivers and hearts that help all God’s creatures

  47. Liz

    I am a school librarian who has read this book to more than a dozen classes through the years, and the one question that is asked that I can’t find an answer for, is “Is Molly still alive and kicking?” Does anyone know the latest on Molly? I would love to be able to update the story for my students.

  48. Elaine Brown

    Most of all, Molly is beautiful!

  49. Eyvonne Stewart

    This story really touch my heart . Makes me love m y horse even more now an thank you mr moore for helping her may God bless you always Amin

  50. Laura

    This story holds a special place for me. I’d first read this shortly after this news about Molly came out. I’d been talking to a newly licensed TB trainer, who’d believed that Barbaro should have been put down immediately following his injury in the Preakness Stakes where he’d been so badly injured. Saying to me, it’s not like these Vets can make a prosthetic for a horse. I’d told her Molly’s a pony who’s got a prosthetic leg on her, and she’s doing great with it! She got really angry at me, called me a liar, and was genuinely pissed off for a long time over my giving her the lowdown on Molly! Astounded she’d believed I’d make up such a story,… I just couldn’t believe how she’d sounded and her rage wasn’t even close to being realistic! She’d wanted me to come and be her Asst. Trainer before this conversation,…. afterwards, not so much! After I’d gotten hung up on, I’d looked high and low for the article on Molly! Finally found it a few days later, and sent it to this newly licensed, very skeptical trainer! She wrote me back and said, yeah right, ya know they can do anything with Photoshop these days! I’ve not spoken to her since then, and her license as a TB trainer,…? Well lets just say,.. she’s not ever had the cause to use it! Anywhere! Likely never will either. Some people are so out of touch!!

  51. caitlin warren

    aww so happy she got rescued who can abandon a beautiful horse like her 🙁 so happy she survived :)some people are so heartless and just care more about their selfs

  52. Margo

    GOD BE WITH YOU ALWAYS MOLLY. You have wonderful people taking care of you. And God bless your owners.

  53. joan robertson

    This gives a lot of hope for future veterinary care 🙂

  54. Jacky

    Absolutely amazing story. What an astounding pony. So much heart and courage. Well done to all!

  55. Micaela

    What an amazing story! really touched me, GO Molly and thank you to the wonderful people who helped her 🙂

  56. Dennis

    There is not much I can add to what was already said.outher then. what a Big heart Molly has to have.she must outweigh the dog.and be much bigger and stronger.still she did not stop the dog from biting her leg.insted she put up with the pain and did not stomp or kick the dog to get stopped.

  57. Gwen

    I will think of Molly from my heart, i wish all humans were like her.

  58. Chantal

    I love to see the good that is still in this world.. this story brought tears to my eyes.. Happy ones! An amazing horse & amazing people! 😀

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