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Heroes are not judged merely by their size, but by the size of their hearts. Following more than a million votes by the American public and the opinions of an expert panel of celebrity animal lovers and dog experts, a tiny Chihuahua named Harley from Berthoud, Colorado has been named this year’s most courageous canine and biggest dog star, beating out 170 other heroic hounds and capturing the top title of “American Hero Dog” at the 2015 American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards®!
The awards show, presented by the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., will be broadcast nationally on Hallmark Channel October 30 at 8 pm ET/PT,7 pm Central Time.
Harley, an adorable, tiny, brindle Chihuahua spent 10 years of his life trapped in a wire cage at a puppy mill. Harley’s fans and friends will easily recognize the wild-eared, one-eyed boy, who lost his eye when his breeders power washed his cage, with him still inside. When the commercial breeder no longer had a use for him, they’d planned to toss him away like garbage. But thanks to one puppy mill worker with a conscience, he was saved and finally rescued.
Very sick, with almost no teeth, a broken tail, and a bad heart, Harley was given 3 months to live after his rescue. However, against all the odds, this little fighter will soon celebrate his 4th Christmas in a loving home.
Despite years of abuse and neglect, Harley, along with his best friend and fellow puppy mill survivor, Teddy, has become an advocate for National Mill Dog Rescue and an ambassadog in the fight against puppy mills.
In addition to educating all who will listen about the horrors of the commercial dog breeding industry and the plight of puppy mill dogs, Harley is heading up a mission to rescue other dogs just like him in his “Harley to the Rescue” campaign which has raised the funds to save and provide medical care for more than 500 dogs from puppy mills over the past two years. Harley personally goes on rescue missions, and there is no doubt Harley is keenly aware of what is happening. There is something indescribable in the way he communicates with the sad and scared dogs. As a spokes-dog against puppy mills, Harley has educated thousands of people of all ages about the horrors of the commercial dog breeding industry. Harley also makes public appearances at events and schools where he gladly accepts love and attention from everyone.
To change this reality, Harley is a voice for the countless breeding dogs still living in puppy mills around the country. As a result of his work, Harley won the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards’ Emerging Hero Dogs category, for “ordinary” dogs who do extraordinary things.
Follow Harley on Facebook at www.facebook.com/harleyfreighttraintaylor.
Harley was the one chosen as 2015 American Hero Dog, but all eight finalists were winners in their categories, and we salute them for their courage, service and compassion. To meet the other finalists, visit herodogawards.org.