Local News

Former mill dog from Colorado named 2015 American Hero Dog

Harley is Top Dog

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - A one-eyed dog from Berthoud is in the national spotlight.

Harley the Chihuahua was named the American Humane Association's 2015 American Hero Dog.

"I see hope in the near future, thanks to Harley," said  Rudi Taylor, Harley's owner.

Taylor rescued Harley in 2011- after Harley lived 10 years of his life in a puppy mill.

"He suffered abuse and neglect," Taylor said.  "His spine was fused at his neck. His legs were very crippled. He has severe subluxating patellas. He had lost his eye due to the cages being power washed without taking the dogs out."

Taylor said she thought Harley deserved a better life.

"I just thought I could give him a home and give him love for the first time in his life," she said.

Nearly four years after being rescued, Harley is making a big name for himself.

He has become the poster dog the National Mill Dog Rescue, an organization that finds homes for commercial breeding dogs.

"Harley represents to me what many, many puppy mill survivors are: strong, resilient and forgiving," National Mill Dog Rescue founder Theresa Strader said. "His message is so desperately needed."

Harley's message is getting national attention. He was selected among eight other finalists Saturday to be the 2015 American Hero Dog, which recognizes "ordinary dogs doing extraordinary things."

"Harley winning this award, it was kind of surreal," Strader said. "People need to know where pet store puppies come from. He is going to tell that story, and he's going to tell it well and big."

Harley might be small, but he has a big purpose.

"The reality here is this isn't really about Harley," said Taylor.  "It's about millions and millions of puppy mill dogs."

Click here to learn more about Harley's campaign against mill dog breeders.

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