After 10 Years in Puppy Mill, One-Eyed Dog Wins 2015 American Hero Dog

After 10 Years in Puppy Mill, One-Eyed Dog Wins 2015 American Hero Dog

When you first look at Harley, he looks downright tiny - even for a Chihuahua. Beyond that, you are sure to notice that he is missing an eye and has his tongue perpetually sticking out of his mouth. And while some may see these traits as blemishes, in reality they are all badges of Harleyโ€™s tenacity and ability to overcome extreme adversity.That is because Harley spent the first 10-years of his life in a puppy mill.

Harley in the Mill

harley-2He was rescued by the National Mill Dog Rescue back in 2011, and were likely the first people to offer him any human interaction in almost a decade. Beyond that, they provided Harley with some much needed veterinary care. When he was taken from the puppy mill, Harley was suffering from a broken tail, mangled toes, infections in his mouth, and heart disease - all as a result of severe neglect. Whatโ€™s more, Harleyโ€™s missing eye was likely caused by an incident with a power-washer. Many puppy-mill dogs are left in their cages when someone comes around with the highly pressurized hose to clean away all their waste. This practice often results in dogs losing an eye.After his rescue, Harley was given an estimated 3-4 months left to live, given the state he was in. But here we are, four years later, celebrating this brave pooch for the hero he is.

Why Harley is a Hero

Being a tiny, one-eyed, 14-year-old Chihuahua, Harley isnโ€™t exactly running into burning buildings and saving families trapped under crumbling staircases. Rather, Harleyโ€™s heroism stems from what he represents - the damage that unregulated dog breeders (AKA puppy mills) can do, as well as the amazing ability for these brave animalsย to overcome the years of abuse.harley-3Harley was the mascot for a โ€œHarley to the Rescueโ€ campaign, in which money was raised for the National Mill Dog Rescue. The money raised by Harley went to save upwards of 500 dogs to date.Harleyโ€™s survival was miracle enough, but the fact that he came out the other side and was able to then aid in the rescue of hundreds like himself truly makes him worthy of being the 2015 American Hero Dog.Want more stories like this? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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