Those of us in the animal world are well aware of the atrocities of puppy mills.
The filthy conditions, lack of clean water, food, and veterinary care, the loneliness and neglect the animals suffer - while being bred over and over out of greed for profit.
Which is why it's wonderful to hear of puppy mill dogs who are rescued and get to spend the rest of their lives in a loving home.
Two such survivors, Harley, 13, and Teddy, 8, are doing more than enjoying their freedom, however. On April 26, they're leaving for a trip (not their first) with National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR) to save other puppy mill dogs. This Midwest mission, dubbed 'Harley to the Rescue,' has a goal of saving more than 50 dogs.
'Harley to the Rescue' started as a campaign to raise $2,500 to fund one rescue of 25-30 dogs. As of today, these brave Chihuhuas have raised over $150,000 and have rescued 265 dogs from mills. Watch video (above).
NMDR, a Colorado Springs based non-profit that rescues, rehabilitates, and re-homes discarded commercial breeding dogs from puppy mills, has rescued more than 8,700 puppy mill survivors while maintaining a strict no-kill policy.
Every dog that comes to NMDR is spayed/neutered and given medical care. The dogs are groomed, many for the first time, to remove years of filth and matted fur. They're given water, toys, treats, and a soft bed.
But most importantly, they're given human kindness, compassion, and love.
These tiny boys had a terrible start in life. Harley, who has become an icon for puppy mill awareness to over 44,000 Facebook followers, spent his first 10 years as a breeder in a mill. This was where he was power-washed and lost an eye, and is now suffering from congestive heart failure.
Teddy, aka Harley's "Team Driver," lived his first seven years in a puppy mill and was rescued just last year. He also has a Facebook page with over 17,000 followers, devoted to spreading awareness about the horrors of puppy mills.
Everyone can do their part by not shopping for your next pup at a pet store - instead, adopt from a local rescue or shelter, and educate others to do the same!
Click here to learn more or make a donation.
Wishing you a safe and successful trip, Harley and Teddy!
National Mill Dog Rescue relies on volunteers to care for the dogs, from the moment they are surrendered to the time they are adopted and beyond. The organization depends on the generosity of the public to provide the high level of care for our dogs and to continue to be able to save them. The organization started with an email that now-NMDR founder Theresa Strader received about a puppy mill going out of business, sending 561 dogs to auction. One of those dogs was 7-year-old Italian Greyhound, Lily - the dog who inspired Theresa to bring about lasting change. NMDR was established in honor of Lily in 2007 to give a voice to mill dogs across America.
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