DENVER — Last weekend, a one-eyed chihuahua named Harley won the award for American Hero Dog of 2015 by the American Humane Association. He was celebrated for his hard work in bringing awareness to puppy mills through his Harley To The Rescue campaign.
Harley spent the first 10 years of his life in a puppy mill. Those years of neglect have caused him to suffer from several health conditions. Unfortunately, he also lost an eye while his cage was being power-washed— with him inside it. He finally began his life four years ago after he was rescued by the National Mill Dog Rescue. He resides in Colorado with his owners, Rudi and Dan Taylor.
Traveling through the United States, Harley and his best friend, Teddy, work together to raise money and educate the public about puppy mills and their consequences. Since the beginning of the Harley To The Rescue campaign, the duo has raised enough money to rescue and give veterinary care for over 500 puppy mill dogs.
Harley and Teddy flew to Los Angeles for the event where they competed against eight other dogs for the Hero Dog Award. The awards ceremony celebrated “ordinary” dogs who do extraordinary things.
READ MORE: PUPPY MILL RESCUE SAVES ITS 10,000TH DOG
“Harley survived in hell for 10 years and there’s only one thing that allows the spirit to do that and that’s to be indomitable,” said Dan Taylor during the acceptance speech. Rudi Tayler added, “That spirit is allowing him now to be the voice for dogs who cannot speak for themselves and give everybody hope that tomorrow’s going to be a better day.”
If Harley could have one wish, it would be that he and other animal advocates will be able to increase awareness about puppy mills enough so that people will completely stop supporting bad breeders and to give adoption a chance.