My name is Mary, and I am a friend of Harley’s mom and dad. They have asked me to let you know that their beloved Harley took his last breath today. He went on his own terms … he chose his moment, he did not suffer, and he was not in pain. He passed peacefully surrounded by the love of his mom and dad. Harley's parents, Rudi and Dan, want you to know how very much your love, prayers and support have meant to them today and throughout Harley’s journey. They will have much more to say in the coming days when they are ready. For the moment, they ask for your understanding as they walk through this incredibly difficult time. We all feel as though Harley belonged to each of us in some way. Now, we all share a common grief that we must each somehow come to terms with. Just know that Harley’s mission will continue, his voice will still be heard, and his light will shine brighter than ever. This is not the end. As today is the first day of spring – a day of new beginnings – let this be a new beginning in the fight against puppy mills, and let Harley’s voice be heard through each and every one of us. Harley, run free. You were loved immeasurably, and our lives and the lives of so many puppy mill dogs are better because you were a part of us. You will be missed more than you’ll ever know. <3
Harley had issues: a diseased heart, a mouth filled with rot, a fused spine, a broken tail, gnarled toes, and legs that were deformed. And then there was the missing eye---the result of his cage being power-washed with him in it (an all too common practice in puppy mills). All of these conditions were the result of years of horrendous neglect and abuse.What the humans who worked there didn't realize was that every day Harley endured this existence, every day they let these things continue, Harley's spirit grew stronger. He probably didn't realize it. He certainly didn't know that there were such things as grass, toys, or treats, or that people could be kind. But when he found refuge with Taylor (and became cushioned by the support of an entire country!) that little bit of spirit awoke inside him. And the result was what we can describe as no less than a movement. A unified outpouring of compassion, encouragement, and most importantly, awareness. Because of Harley, there is no measure of the number of people he helped educate, and the number of active supporters he gained who will continue to fight his battle until the day puppy mills are a thing of the past. All of this, from the tiny but powerful voice of a Chihuahua. Harley... we cannot thank you enough for your bravery and the impact you've had on the animal lovers of the world. And to Rudi Taylor and her family, you are the reason Harley gained the confidence to do it. We'll miss you, little guy. And we won't stop fighting. To see how you can further Harley's mission to end puppy mills, please visit the National Mill Dog Rescue.