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A Chihuahua Who Brought National Attention to Puppy Mills Has Passed Away

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One of the “spokesdogs” of the puppy mill crusade has passed away.

Harley, an influential Chihuahua, died this past Sunday at the age of 15.

The pup became a strong figure in the fight against puppy mills after he was rescued from a commercial breeding facility in Oklahoma. He had spent 10 years in a cramped cage and endured horrific conditions including having his cage power washed while he was still in there, causing him to lose his eye. He also had a diseased heart, a fused spin, broken tail, gnarled toes (from standing on wire cages), a mouth full of rot and deformed legs.  After becoming sick and deemed useless, he was discarded like trash. Fortunately, a worker saved him, and he was adopted by Rudi and Day Taylor.

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His plight was documented and covered by many media outlets, leading him to become on the faces of the puppy mill cause. His campaign, Harley to the Rescue, raised more than half a million dollars, and he would visit schools and events to educate people about commercial breeders. Because of his active role in the puppy mill cause, he was named an “American Hero Dog” in 2015.

Related: A Puppy Mill Survivor Named Harley Is Awarded “American Hero Dog”

“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,” said Theresa Strader, the executive director of the National Mill Dog Rescue.

His campaign, “Harley to the Rescue,” raised more than half a million dollars, and last year he was named an “American Hero Dog.”

This past week, his health took a turn for the worse. While the Taylors sent out a plea on Harley’s Facebook page asking for prayers, he decided it was his time to go.

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“He went on his own terms…he chose his moment, he did not suffer, and he was not in pain,” the owners’ friend Mary wrote on Facebook. “He passed peacefully surrounded by the love of his mom and dad.”

Strader added, “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.”

RIP Harley. Your legacy will live on.

Images via Harley Puppy Mill Dog

Reltaed: Nearly 300 Dogs Seized in Top Puppy Mill State

By Andrea Huspeni

Andrea Huspeni is the founder and CEO of This Dog's Life. Her mission it to help dogs live a happier, healthier and longer life. When she isn't working, she spends time with her two dogs, Lola and Milo. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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