Pet Care

Molly Meets Her Match

Jared K. had always wanted a dog, but growing up, was never allowed to get one. In 2017, he met a pit bull named Luna who belonged to a friend and got him thinking more about having a dog by his side. 

“I absolutely fell in love with the breed and that dog changed my life,” Jared says. 

Having never had his own dog but wanting one, Jared decided that fostering was the way to go. He would be able to care for a dog in need without the commitment of keeping them, while also giving the dog an opportunity to live outside of the shelter for a while. 

In 2021, Jared fostered his first dog, a pit bull-mix. He found that he adored fostering and shortly after his first foster left, Jared reached out to help another pup. 

“I wanted to have a bully breed,” Jared tells us. “I think that they’re often misunderstood, stereotyped and judged in ways that are really unfair.” 

Jared and our foster team discussed potential options, but it was a dog named Molly that caught Jared’s eye.

“Molly reminded me a lot of Luna, so it felt like it was meant to be,” remembers Jared. “We met, she jumped up on the couch, and the rest is a dream. It’s unbelievable.”

A Tragic Past

Molly came to the ASPCA in April 2022, with nearly 30 other dogs, all of whom were rescued from filthy conditions in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The dogs were discovered in multiple areas of the building, including the backyard and in cages in the basement, many without access to food or clean water and in crates covered in feces and urine. The basement also had poor ventilation and a strong odor of ammonia. 

Some of the dogs were found to be dehydrated, underweight and suffering from varying medical issues including open wounds, ear and skin infections, overgrown nails and dirty hair coats with fecal staining and a strong urine odor. Molly was no exception. 

Upon examination, Molly was underweight and diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), a condition where the portion of the pancreas that produces digestive enzymes no longer works properly. Without these enzymes, the body is no longer able to digest food properly. In addition, due to her breed, Molly has brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) which prevents her from being able to breathe and dissipate heat normally. She also has a history of ear infections in both ears and some orthopedic abnormalities. 

Despite these medical conditions, Molly is able to live a happy life—one made even better with Jared by her side. 

Making It Official

Jared fostered Molly for around two months, but says he knew right away that he was going to adopt her. 

“Some people call it a foster fail, but let’s be real, it’s a total win,” says Jared. 

As he started to see her personality blossom in his home, he knew that he didn’t want her to go back to the shelter. 

“December 13 rolled around, and I got the call that I could officially adopt her,” Jared tells us. “I was in the office maybe an hour later signing the paperwork.” 

Jared not only showed up ready and excited to adopt the love of his life, but he came wearing a t-shirt with a dog that looks exactly like Molly on it. 

“She jumped on my lap and started licking my face while I was signing the paperwork. Which was unusual for her. The first time she had zoomies was when we got home right after I adopted her. That kind of blew my mind. She knew something.”

Living the Life She Was Meant For 

Since her official adoption, Molly has settled into Jared’s life seamlessly. However, due to her traumatic past, it took her some time to really open up and learn to be a “normal” dog. 

“She was very hesitant to do anything,” says Jared. “She would sit outside the apartment and wait for me to urge her to come in, she wouldn’t just come inside. Sometimes I have to tell her it’s okay to eat more. She’ll stop and look at me as if asking ‘Is it okay that I ate that much?’ Which is really sad to see, but in the last two months her playfulness and silliness has really come out. She loves her toys and is willing to play with them without reassurance.”

Having now become more confident, Molly is a joyful, playful pup with a huge heart. She, like Jared, doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning and loves to go swimming at Jared’s parent’s house. 

She has become a Giants and Rangers fan, wearing their jerseys around town and to local bars to watch the game, where she’ll sit at the table like a human. She also is a regular at their local coffee shop. 

“Molly loves it there, and the staff really embrace her. We go in the morning and sit on the same bench every day. I get my coffee and she gets her treats and love from everyone. People say hi to her first now, and I’m okay with that. It’s a special place for both of us.”

Recently, Jared was walking Molly when they came across a dog that looked awfully familiar. He realized that it was one of the dogs from Molly’s case who he almost fostered. He stopped the couple walking the dog and ended up chatting with them for a while. 

“We exchanged information and we’re hoping when the weather cools off, we can take them on a walk together and become sisters and best friends.”

Whether they’re at their coffee shop, playing in the apartment or getting ready for bed, Jared’s life is immensely better since he’s adopted Molly.

“I wouldn’t say Molly has changed my life so much as she’s enhanced my life,” Jared explains. “I come home and it’s pure love, we go to sleep at night, and it’s always a happy evening, just every moment with her is special, especially watching her personality continue to come out. There’s still surprises ahead and I’m excited to see them.”

Find Your Molly 

This week is National Animal Foster Appreciation Week, and we couldn’t be more thankful for foster caregivers like Jared who help change the lives of animals in need. Though Jared fell hard for Molly and ended up adopting her, fostering doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment. 

“Fostering doesn’t have to be forever. I think a lot of people get concerned about creating that bond and then they’re stuck,” says Jared.  “But I would encourage everyone to foster whether it’s for a couple of days or a couple of weeks. Being able to give the dogs an opportunity to enjoy a part of their life outside the shelter that they may never get to experience is a form of charity in and of itself. So even if it’s for a few days, give them that joy, that love.”

He continues, “What you’re doing is also helping out the shelter that may be overrun. To be able to take dogs in and out gives other dogs the ability to get the attention they need, so give it a shot.” 

As for what’s next for Molly and Jared, they’re continuing to enjoy life together and watching Molly’s personality continue to blossom.

“She was just the missing component in my life. Though, even today she still gets this look that’s like ‘Is this forever?’ But I think she’s starting to realize that this is her home, and it’s never going to change.”

You can sign up to foster for the ASPCA in New York City, Los Angeles, Columbus, Ohio, and Asheville, North Carolina, or foster through your local shelter! 

See all of Molly’s adventures on her Instagram: @molly_the_matzahbull

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