La Vie de Ville: Rock ‘n’ Bowl bash aids furry friends

The iconic Rock’n Bowl in New Orleans was the recent setting for a fundraising bash that supported three community-based nonprofit organizations.

The annual Rock, Ride & Rescue event was created five years ago by animal lover and community activist Caye Mitchell as a creative way to support three causes close to her heart, namely the Louisiana SPCA, the Greater New Orleans Therapeutic Riding Center and the Molly the Pony Foundation.

The LASPCA offsite adoption initiative connects adoptable animals directly to the community by traveling to area shopping malls, stores and businesses that support the organization’s adoption program.

Upcoming adoption events are scheduled for July 27 at Clearview Mall in Metairie, Aug. 10 at Petco’s uptown location Tchoupitoulas Street and on Sept. 14 at MidCity Veterinary Hospital on Orleans in Mid City.

Anita Hefler, executive director for the Greater New Orleans Therapeutic Riding Center, reminded me of the organization’s 20-year history of service.

“GNOTRC receives no state or federal support, yet we provide services to Orleans, Jefferson, La Place and the surrounding River Parishes,” Hefler said.

The organization provides riding therapy to more than 34 physically or emotionally disabled individuals every month. Patients are often referred to GNOTRC through their physicians. To learn more about GNOTRC, visit www.grnotc.com.

The third beneficiary of this fundraiser is the Molly the Pony Foundation. This was my first encounter with Molly, a sweet 20-year-old Shetland pony. I learned of Molly’s story from her owner and the proprietor of Pony Tales, Kaye Harris.

“I’ve rescued animals all my life,” said Harris. “After Katrina, there were so many animals that needed help and Molly was one of them.”

Harris found Molly in bad shape, nursing wounds from a dog attack. Her right front limb had been mauled. The wound would eventually require amputation, an extremely rare procedure in the equine world.

Thanks to the team of medical professionals at LSU’s Equine Health Program, Molly received the lifesaving surgery and, along with her prosthetic new limb, has lived on to inspire both children and adults who have suffered debilitating injuries.

Molly is a frequent visitor at Children’s Hospital and often appears at the Ronald McDonald House as well as numerous area nursing homes.

The foundation also provides care to numerous other abandoned horses that rely on the foundation’s resources for survival. Take a moment and check out www.mollythepony.com. I promise you that her story will melt your heart too.

La Vie de Ville captures city life New Orleans style every Thursday in The Advocate New Orleans’ Community News Section. Please email information on your upcoming event to robertagrove@hotmail.com.