PEYTON, Colo. - An influential Chihuahua rescued from a puppy mill who went on to lead a movement died Sunday night.
It was a power washer that claimed Harley's left eye as his cage was cleaned inside an Oklahoma puppy mill years ago.
But in losing his own sight, he helped so many others to see the reality of life and often death inside substandard mills that breed dogs to sell to pet stores.
Harley became the face of the fight against puppy mills, his journey to Washington and to other rescues around the country carefully chronicled by his Colorado owners and the leaders of the National Mill Dog Rescue.
Theresa Strader, Executive Director of the group, said Harley leaves a powerful legacy.
"Harley became truly became a super important dog in the history of dogs and the history of educating this country and the world about puppy mills," she said.
His campaign, "Harley to the Rescue," raised more than half a million dollars, and last year he was named an "American Hero Dog."
But more than his heroism, those who knew him best will miss his heart.
"Thinking about going down the road without ever seeing him again, it's difficult. He really, just his presence, was just a good feeling a good vibe for all of us. We're going to miss him," said Strader.
For more information on the rescue group, go to National Mill Dog Rescue.