A little Colorado dog with a big message traveled to Washington, D.C. to bring awareness to puppy mills.
“Dear Mr. President, I had to ask my mom to read this letter, because I am only a dog,” said Harley’s owner Rudi Taylor in a video before going. “I am a puppy mill survivor. I spent 10 years living in a small, filthy wire cage in a puppy mill.”
Harley, one-eyed and crippled, wasn't expected to live long. He lost his eye because the cage was cleaned with a power washer. His tail was broken and his spine was fused together; Harley never touched grass. He was rescued four years ago, and now lives in Berthoud. After testifying, Harley "posted" on his Facebook page:
My story made a lot of people cry, and I guess that is a good thing because it shows that people care. There are senators and representatives who want to see an end to puppy mills, and many other people as well. Mom, Dad, and I talked until I fell asleep. We were interviewed by a lot of different press. That is good because that means that the puppy mill message will be spread further and further.
During the Congressional briefing I was approached by somebody who told me that President Obama could not see me because at that very moment, Vice President Joe Biden decided not to run for president and that caused a chain of busy events for the President. I didn't fully understand because, of course, I'm only a dog, but I was glad to know that the President really did want to meet me.
Puppy mills are a multi-billion dollar industry – something Harley shared with Congress on Wednesday.
“The reality here is this isn't really about Harley. It's about puppy mills dogs. It's about millions and millions of puppy mill dogs,” said Rudi Taylor, Harley’s owner.
When not in Washington, D.C., Harley spends his time advocating for National Mill Dog Rescue, which in May, rescued its 10,000th dog.
“People need to know where pet store puppies come from. And he is going to tell that story, and he's going to tell it well and big,” said Theresa Strader, the founder of National Mill Dog Rescue.
Story originally appeared on KRDO.