Teri Holden’s ‘Louisville, Kentucky Harley’s Heroes’ Team is educating people about puppy mills in a unique way … and they’re having a great time doing it! Read Teri’s story below:
I will tell you that I have been a dog lover since elementary school, a former vet assistant, and almost went to vet school, so I am incredibly passionate about spaying and neutering, adopting and rescuing, and absolutely 100% against any breeding no matter how small scale, personal or private.
My first rescue was Corky, a 7-year-old Yorkie who had been bred repeatedly, abused, and kept mostly in a cage. I gave him a wonderful life, and he lived to be 15 years old! I was absolutely broken when he passed on Nov 13, 2015. I struggled with rescuing another dog, I felt guilty like I was ‘replacing’ him, but 6 weeks later, my husband showed me a picture of this poor, emaciated Chihuahua in a shelter. I submitted adoption papers minutes later, and the very next day, first thing in the morning, we rescued him! My baby, Taco, had been at that facility for 2 weeks receiving medical attention, and was still so emaciated – his little spine was sticking out. We rescued each other that day. We knew nothing about his past other than he was a stray. I promised him that day that he would always be safe, cherished, and never ever be thirsty or hungry ever again. He is my whole heart and world!
Shortly after I brought Taco home and posted pictures on Facebook, a friend of mine, who rescues Chihuahuas, told me about Harley’s page. I liked and followed and read his story and began sobbing uncontrollably. Harley weighed on my heart so deeply, I prayed and asked God for guidance and direction … I love dogs and I am a true believer in adopting, rescuing, spaying, neutering … how can I get involved? How can I use this drive and passion?
Soon after I read a post that Rudi wrote about becoming a Harley’s Hero, and I jumped on it and started the Harley’s Heroes Louisville, KY Team!! I saw other Harley’s Heroes Teams taking action by spreading awareness about puppy mills at events in various venues and locations, and I wondered how I could use my life, hobbies, and my husband’s hobbies to educate people about Harley and puppy mills. SOFTBALL, of course!
My husband has played softball forever, so I approached him with the idea of having a team and shirts made with the Harley’s Heroes logo on them, and he was immediately on board. The spring softball league began this past May and we play every Monday. I wear my shirt, and hand out flyers and Harley cards. I’m grateful for this opportunity to honor Harley and to educate the community about him and how to end puppy mills.
Learn more about our Harley’s Heroes Action & Awareness project here.