puppy mill awareness month-harley art exhibit finding the light


Even in heaven, Harley is always busy. And, September is one of his busiest times. It’s Puppy Mill Awareness Month, and for the puppy mill survivor poster boy, creating awareness for the suffering mill dogs, Harley is continuing his mission with an exciting new project to announce.


It’s called FINDING THE LIGHT, and it is, indeed, luminescent in its beauty and power. Artist Martha Cares collaborated with Rudi and Dan Taylor, the angel couple who adopted and loved Harley after his ten grueling years in a puppy mill, to create a sculptural installation and tribute to our 2015 American Hero Dog.


puppy mill awareness month. harley puppy mill dog and finding the light art exhibit


Cares, who we’ve profiled here on Bark & Swagger, is a gifted sculptor and opera singer, whose work graces public buildings and other outdoor spaces around the country.


For the FINDING THE LIGHT installation, exhibiting at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine, Martha created a large steel and enamel likeness of Harley, sitting in a field of 100 colorful flowers, also sculpted from steel and coated in enamel. The effect is life-affirming, hopeful and very much tapping into the light in us all.


puppy mill awareness month. Harley, puppy mill dog and finding the light art exhibit

Harper with the Harley sculpture.


And, that’s the point. Harley’s life had purpose. His years of suffering in a wire cage, unloved, uncared for, led him to Rudi and Dan, who saw the light in Harley. After five years of love and public adoration spreading the word about the horrors of puppy mills, Harley’s light had touched millions. I was honored to have met Harley with Rudi and Dan at an American Humane Association’s Hero Dog Awards Luncheon in 2015, and was so inspired by this kind and loving family. Last year, I profiled the Taylor’s beautiful fur kids – seniors with issues who most wouldn’t have adopted – reaffirming how special they are.


For National Puppy Mill Awareness Day we honor Harley & meet his siblings

Rudi with Riley, Fernando, Cricket and Olive.


Now, even in heaven (Harley crossed the Rainbow Bridge in March, 2016 and the world mourned), Harley’s Dream lives and continues to touch lives.


For National Puppy Mill Awareness Day we honor Harley & meet his siblings


“FINDING THE LIGHT is devoted to Harley’s memory and to raising awareness about the realities of the puppy mill industry,” explained Cares. “In creating and exhibiting FINDING THE LIGHT, I hope to spark a dialogue of awareness about the realities of the puppy breeding industry and by means of education initiate positive change to help allow us all to FIND THE LIGHT and to help our innocent animals.”


The exhibit launched on September 20th, 2017 for a limited engagement.


To learn more about Martha Cares and the FINDING THE LIGHT exhibit.
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Written by Jody Miller-Young
What does stylish mean to you? I’m passionate about animals, fashion, travel, home decor and rescue, and that's what you'll find here. After a recent move to Fort Lauderdale from NYC, we're loving our new life in the sunshine. Welcome to my world! Grab your favorite beverage, curl up and stay awhile.