When an adorable Pit Bull made headlines around Baltimore this year, everyone called her Miracle Molly. The name fit — after being struck by a train on Jan. 20, Molly sure needed a miracle, and luckily she got one in the form of Amtrak Police Officer Kevin McMullen.
When he climbed into a train tunnel to help an injured dog, McMullen had no idea that he would not only give her a second chance at life, but eventually give her his name as well. Miracle Molly is now known as Molly McMullen, and this is the story of how she went from lying on the train tracks to lying on her rescuer’s couch.
“That night, Jan. 20, the train engineers were reporting there was a dog inside the tunnel,” Officer Kevin McMullen tells Dogster.
A dog lover, McMullen was quick to assess the situation and climb down into the train tunnel to see if he could help this wayward pup. She had run right into the path of an oncoming train that just couldn’t stop, but an emergency alert stopped the other incoming trains, allowing McMullen to get to her.
“When I saw her, I thought she was just afraid because there was nowhere to go to, with the trains all around her,” the officer recalls. “When I go to pick her up, I noticed there was blood everywhere and one of her legs was severed off.”
Molly was in bad shape. She’d lost more than half of her little 30-pound body’s blood supply, as an artery was cut. Her left back leg was gone, as was the tip of her tail. Despite all her injuries, Molly seemed to know that she was in good hands as soon as McMullen scooped her up. She turned her lacerated face toward her rescuer and tried to give him kisses.
“I just couldn’t believe she was actually responding to me,” McMullen says. He knew the injuries could quickly become fatal unless the dog got medical help fast.
“I was able to get Baltimore City Animal Control to help me, to see if they could try to save her life — I wasn’t even sure if they could.”
Molly was transferred into the care of the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), a nonprofit that works directly with Baltimore City Animal Control.
“They sent her to one hospital that night I found out, and that one hospital was doing a lot of just cleaning her up and fixing some minor lacerations,” McMullen explains. “And then they sent her to another hospital, and that hospital addressed the leg issue.”
According to BARCS, those hospitals were the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Catonsville and Everhart Veterinary Hospital, two of the organization’s emergency vet partners. Both were already fully booked when they heard about Molly, but got her in right away anyway.
Within 48 of being saved from the train tracks, Molly was recovering in foster care, but McMullen didn’t forget about her. He frequently visited her and donated to her medical care.
“I saw her once or twice a week every week,” says McMullen. “They would tell me when she was at the shelter with her foster mom, who works there.”
McMullen hadn’t been thinking of adopting Molly early on — when he rescued her, his singular focus was simply on giving her a chance to survive. That changed as Molly grew stronger day by day.
“No one thought she would be recovered in two and a half weeks. We were thinking months,” explains the officer.
As the bond between the officer and the dog deepened, Molly’s celebrity grew. Her story was in the newspapers and on the evening news. Soon, BARCS was getting calls from people all over the United States who were interested in adopting Molly — but it seemed Molly had already chosen a human for herself.
“They said I was first in line if I was interested in adopting her,” McMullen recalls.
The officer knew he wanted to adopt Molly as much as she seemed to want to come home with him, but it wasn’t that simple. Officer McMullen and his girlfriend, Claire, needed to wait for Molly’s 40 stitches to fully heal before she could meet the other animals already in their home. They were committed to making sure any adoption worked for everybody.
“We have an English Lab, a Pit Bull mix — we don’t know what he’s mixed with but he’s got legs that look like a Greyhound — and there’s a German Shepherd,” says McMullen. “Three dogs and a cat — so it’s now four dogs and a cat in the house.”
Obviously, all three of McMullen’s other dogs got along great with Molly during their initial meet and greet, so on Valentine’s Day, Molly moved in, officially becoming Molly McMullen. At home, she continues to enjoy the company of her new canine companions.
“She’s runs around trying to play with them,” says McMullen, who has no plans to have Molly fitted for any kind of wheelchair or prosthetic. “She seems to be doing fine for missing a leg. I don’t think anything slows her down, besides jumping up on the bed or the couch. That’s where she needs help. Other than that, she’s perfect.”
The perfect tripod pup remains a bit of a celebrity in Baltimore.
“When we take her for walks people are like, ‘Is that the dog? Is that Molly?’” says McMullen, who says it’s hard to keep up with social media requests on Molly’s new Facebook page. “Within the first 24 hours, it already passed a thousand likes.”
In the last couple months, there’s been a lot of local media attention around Molly, but according to McMullen, things are finally starting to slow down for the pup, who is estimated to be 1 or 2 years old.
“Besides having to make her celebrity appearances at the BARCS fundraisers, it’s just playtime,” McMullen says.
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About the Author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but the addition of a second cat, Specter, and the dog duo of GhostBuster and Marshmallow make her fur family complete. Sixteen paws is definitely enough. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook, and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google+.