Why did you become a Harley’s Hero?
I became a Harley’s Hero because of a little dog I saw on Facebook one day. He had a BIG DREAM! I fell in love with the little dog named Harley and knew someday I wanted to meet him and help in any way I could. I got to meet that “Little Dog with a Big Dream” the year before he passed away, and holding him in my arms I knew this was the “someday” I had thought about and I just started posting on Facebook about puppy mills and that led to a whole new personal mission for me. One day my co-worker, Michele, came to my office and said, “I am starting a Harley’s Hero team, would you like to do that?” And here we are today!
Which city/state are you working in as a Harley’s Hero? Which Team are you a member of?
I am working from Sawyer, Michigan and our team is Harley’s Heroes SW MI.
What difference do you feel you are making as a Harley’s Hero?
Well, when we do the (doggie) kissing booth at farmers markets and I see the faces of people when I explain why we are doing this (educating about puppy mills) … I know we are making a difference. I am surprised that many people do not know what a puppy mill is, so even if I educated one person, I know I am making a difference. I’m also very pleased to hear people say “my dog is a rescue”. I have been doing rescue for over 25 years and I have seen a big change in people wanting to get a rescue rather than purchasing from pet stores or breeders – that is a good thing!
What motivates, inspires you in the fight against puppy mills?
Living with a house full of rescues, and seeing Harley’s face on Facebook or on my calendar I have in my office at work. Seeing how happy my little Chihuahua, Giget, is when she’s “working” in her kissing booth!
What would you like everyone to know about puppy mills, pet stores and animal welfare laws in your state?
In Michigan our laws need to be changed! I have good friends working on issues with our local animal control and I am pushing hard for a new Congressman who I’m praying is elected here in SW MI. We have spoken with him about many issues, educating him about puppy mills – so now that he knows, I’m sure he will help us in this fight.
Tell us about your pets!
I have a “herd” of small Chihuahuas! In the years of doing rescue, I learned many people with breed them but they often don’t keep them and they end up in shelters. I have some that were biters and leg-hikers, you name it, but I love them all dearly and when they were never adopted I gave them a home for life. I also have a pitty-mix who was horribly abused; she is a great dog but when adopted from the shelter, she was always returned for one reason or another and, finally, I said “enough” and adopted her myself. I have 2 Poms one is blind and the other has a heart condition. Plus I have 2 rescued Collies, and a few others who were never adopted because sometime people want a “perfect” dog, oh and cats too. We call it the Sawyer Zoo! They are all perfect in my eyes.
Can you offer words of advice to someone who is considering becoming a Harley’s Hero?
Please do it! Don’t be afraid to jump in as much or as little as you want. Every little bit helps, every person you tell the story to helps, every penny you raise helps!
Do you have a favorite quote?
ADOPT, DON’T SHOP! and “Sometimes you have to do the wrong thing for the right reason.”
Learn about our Harley’s Heroes project here: www.harleysdream.org/harleys-heroes