Like many people I used to love to go into the pet store and look and all the cute little puppies and even play with them sometime, although I could never afford the high prices that pet stores ask for their little adorable bundles of fur. I never thought much about where those puppies came from either, that is until I started following a Facebook page about a little dog named Harley. When I first read Harley’s story I was dumbfounded to learn about the evil of Puppy Mills.
Harley was an adorable little one-eyed chihuahua who had spent the first 10 years of his life in a Puppy mill. His sole purpose in life was to produce puppies to be sold in pet stores. He spent his days in a tiny wire cage where he barely had room to turn around, he never knew love or a human’s touch, a soft bed, what it was like to run outside and play or feel the grass under his feet. He was simply considered breeding stock to make money for the greedy puppy mill industry. His little body was deformed from years of being locked up in a cage, and he only had one eye because the dogs’ cages were cleaned out with a power washer, with the dogs inside! By the time Harley was 10 years old he had a bad heart, rotted teeth, and was deemed too old to be useful any longer, so he was tossed in a bucket to die. You see, once a dog in a puppy mill has outlived its usefulness it is destroyed. That is unless some kindhearted soul comes along to rescue it. Fortunately, that is what happened to Harley, someone saw that the little dog was still breathing and rescued him from that bucket.
National Mill Dog Rescue in Colorado has made it their mission to rescue as many dogs as possible from puppy mills and bring them to freedom where they are socialized, rehabilitated and adopted into loving families. Little Harley was adopted by Rudi and Dan Taylor of Berthoud, Colorado and what a lucky little dog he was! They fell in love with this little dog with a big heart and realized he had a mission to rescue other dogs from deplorable conditions such as he had been in. In fact, Harley and his buddy Teddy have gone on many such rescue missions over the past several years.
Because of their #Harley to the Rescue mission, thousands of dogs have been saved and in the fall of 2015 Harley won the National Humane Society’s top honor, Hero Dog of the Year. I was so happy for him, as well as his loving parents! Sadly, Harley passed away a few months back and like thousands of his other fans out there I shed a lot of tears over the passing of this brave little dog. Even though I never got to meet him in person, he captured my heart and made me passionate about carrying on his mission to stamp out puppy mills.
So please, if you love dogs as much as I do then help spread the word about the evil of puppy mills and remember, adopt, don’t shop!