Molly, a border collie who suffered four broken legs when hit by a snowplow in Manchester last month, is recovering the use of her legs, thanks to physical therapy and care at the Center for Advanced Veterinary Care in Manchester. The dog is wearing an inflatable "tire" to keep her from licking her incisions. (Shawne K. Wickham photos/Sunday News)
Molly's on the mend, thanks to vet hospital, public support
Good golly, Miss Molly is back on her feet.
The plucky border collie won hearts across New Hampshire, the nation and even abroad after all of her legs were broken when she was hit by a plow during a December snowstorm in Manchester.
Molly's owner, an Iraq war veteran, brought the badly injured animal to the Center for Advanced Veterinary Care, where veterinarian Deborah Kelloway and the rest of her staff resolved to save her.
Kelloway was able to do so through her nonprofit adoption program, All Better Pets, which provides medical care for animals whose owners cannot - or in some cases will not - pay for the care. The owners agree to surrender the animals to ABP, which then finds new homes for them.
Molly, however, was a special case from the start. Thanks to an outpouring of financial and emotional support from the public, she's on the mend and will be going back home soon to her owner, who wants to remain anonymous.
The dog underwent more than nine hours of surgery at the Center for Advanced Veterinary Care on Dec. 21. There have been a few scares since then, including recurring temperature spikes that led to her being treated for a possible infection in a steel plate used to fix her hind leg.
But Molly is mobile again, thanks first to a canine "wheelchair" donated by Handicapped Pets of Amherst. More recently, she's been getting around with support straps that the veterinary clinic staff uses to help Molly bear her weight on her healing legs.
Kelloway said she's thrilled with the dog's recovery in just two weeks. "At this point, she's eating really well and walking really well."
"Every day she makes big progress."
Molly even managed to get up and walk on her own last week when she decided it was time to go outside to do her business.
Kelloway said in a few days, Molly should be able to go home, where her owner will have to guard against her slipping or falling.
It will be a bittersweet parting not only for the folks at the vet clinic and All Better Pets, but for the thousands of fans Molly has gained on social media.
Each time Kelloway posts a new photo or video of Molly on the All Better Pets Facebook page, it gets about 1,000 hits within an hour, she said. One video has been viewed by 18,000 people.
What is there about this dog that has touched so many?
"I think the fact that her injuries were so big," Kelloway said. "They fell in love with her because they got to see her right from the beginning. I think they felt connected."
Meanwhile, all the attention to Molly has helped other unfortunate animals as well. Donations in Molly's name reached nearly $45,000 by the end of last week, and Kelloway expects those funds will help ABP provide medical care to abandoned pets for the entire year.
Since Molly's been staying at the Manchester clinic, All Better Pets has taken in a black lab mix that was hit by a car, a 2-year-old female chihuahua that went into crisis during labor, and a cat that was brought in for euthanasia because of an infected uterus.
Molly, Kelloway said, has saved them all. "She's making it so we can continue to do this," she said.
Her clinic has become "an accidental shelter," she said. "I want these animals to get good care."
The vet thanked Granite Staters for their embrace of Molly and animals like her. "We've got to be the most dog-loving state. Cats, too. We just have very compassionate pet owners."
But Kelloway said the greatest gift has been Molly herself. "She's a blessing to us," she said.
"You think you're helping someone and they end up helping you."
For more: www.allbetterpets.org.