Harley gave them a face. He narrowly escaped death to tell his story and inspire hope and action in others. I’m talking @Harleypuppymilldog, the world famous Chihuahua puppy mill survivor and son to the wonderful Rudi and Dan Taylor. Harley passed over the Rainbow Bridge last year, but not before helping to save over 1,000 mill dogs and educate millions of people around the globe. His legacy lives on.
Millions. Over 2 million puppies are bred in mills each year in an estimated 10,000 puppy mills around the country. Some are licensed breeders; others not. But, if you’re termed a puppy mill, there’s too much breeding going on, especially when over 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters each year.
Do you have a puppy mill dog? If you do, you know that some scars take a very long time to heal, if ever. Albie, our 8 year old Chihuahua, spent 7 years living in a puppy mill. He was probably born there. I don’t know what his days were like. I only know he was a breeder dog, made to procreate over and over again. I also know he must’ve been hit, shoved around, mishandled probably by a man or men, because he is especially afraid of them and still, after a year and a half of living with us, even though Albie loves his dad, he still won’t let my husband pick him up or put on his harness. Not yet. He’s made huge strides, thus far.
Albie is my heart dog and I am his person. I had no idea we would become Chihuahua people; never were. Never thought too much about them. But meeting Al and his daughter, Ani at Abandoned Pet Rescue, our local no kill shelter, walking them, having those life affirming moments with them where they experience pure joy in the simplest things they were denied…all this led to us become Chihuahua fosters and then foster failures.
Now, when I see how happy Albie and Ani are, what pleasure they get from rubbing their little faces in the grass or laying in the sunshine or getting a cuddle from their mom, my heart swells. We couldn’t imagine our lives without them.
So, what can we do to help more puppy mill dogs living miserable lives? This is Puppy Mill Action Week, so let’s take action!
There are three wonderful organizations I chose to highlight, who are drawing more attention to, educating and rescuing mill dogs. Choose one or more and donate, promote, share the work they are doing or find your own. For social media, use the tags #stoppuppymills and #notaproduct.
Harley set up his own organization before he passed, which is doing amazing work, carried on by his mom and dad. It’s called Harley’s Dream. Learn more about them.
The National Mill Dog Rescue has worked tirelessly for years rescuing mill dogs and educating us about them and the horrible mill system they live within. Social media stories the org share on their site about humans rescued by them and the dogs they’ve rescued are beautiful ones. I encourage you to check them out. Learn more about them.
The Puppy Mill Project is having its Mothers in the Mills annual fundraiser May 13 in Chicago. Find out more about them.
Visit The Humane Society’s Don’t Buy Into Puppy Mills site for more info and stories of rescues and survivors.
What can you do this Puppy Mill Action Week? Take action!