Superhero Story

Harley and Teddy – Two Tiny Superheroes Against Puppy Mills

Harley was a little Chihuahua who was born in a puppy mill where he lived in a wire cage for 10 long years. He never saw the sunshine or felt the grass under his feet. The only thing he did was help make puppies. He never even got to see his puppies, because they were sold and shipped out to pet stores soon after they were born. The moms and dads of most pet store puppies live like this their whole lives.

In the puppy mill, Harley never ate good food or drank clean water, or received any care from a veterinarian. He never had anyone to love, or anyone who loved him. Harley lost his eye when they washed his cage with a powerful sprayer because the puppy mill owner didn’t even take him out of the cage when they were cleaning it!

After living in that cage for 10 years, Harley got sick – so the puppy mill owner threw him away. Fortunately for him, he was rescued by someone who worked there and who helped him find his perfect forever family. He was finally in a home! He had a family to love and a family who loved him back. In that home, he learned about warm sunshine, grass under his toes, good food, fun toys, and soft beds – all the things he’d never had before. And he finally learned about love … lots of love. He got healthier and healthier, and decided that he wanted to make a difference to help the dogs still in the puppy mills.

Teddy lived in a puppy mill cage for 7 years. When he was rescued he had scars on his nose, ears, and eyes. He, too, found his perfect forever family and learned about life outside the cage, just like Harley had. They were both puppy mill survivors!

It wasn’t long before Teddy and Harley met, became best friends, and created a campaign called “Harley to the Rescue.” They went to puppy mills and rescued lots of dogs. Together, they rescued more than 700 dogs from puppy mills and helped them get adopted, and they raised money to help rescue a lot more. Teddy was Harley’s sidekick and he helped drive the rescue van. They both wore capes on their missions and people called them Superheroes!

In 2015, because of his work to help the dogs in puppy mills, Harley won the highest award for dogs in all the world; the American Hero Dog of the Year. What an honor for a tiny old one-eyed Chihuahua! He flew to California and walked on the red carpet to receive his award, cheered on by Teddy in the audience. Harley met celebrities and he was loved by everyone who met him. Everywhere he went, through interviews, television, radio, and events, he educated about puppy mills.

Sadly, the years in the puppy mill caught up with Harley and he passed away in 2016 after five years of freedom. But in his memory a group called Harley’s Dream was formed, and in his honor they continue Harley’s work. Teddy, as Harley’s DreamKeeper carried on until he passed away in 2019. But Harley’s Dream carries their mission forward, teaching people about puppy mills, why you should never buy a puppy from a pet store, and why you should never buy a puppy if you can’t see how the moms and dads are living. And they ask people to please first consider adopting a dog from a rescue or shelter.

Harley & Teddy – the two tiniest superheroes – helping to save the puppy mill dogs and educating people about pet store puppies. Everyone can be a superhero against puppy mills … all you need to do is put on the cape!

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