Loving Harvey—Adopting a Puppy Mill Survivor

Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 4:45pm

This guest blog is written by Toni Curly a long-time supporter of the ASPCA and proud pet-parent of Harvey the Pug. Read on as she discusses the story of adopting her family’s beloved companion.

My husband and I always searched for the sad story before adopting a dog—we always want the ones who are harder to place. One eye? No problem! A senior dog? Bring him here! So how could we say no when we read about Harvey? Harvey was emaciated. He had a crooked-looking spine, a bulging eye and rotted teeth, and his tongue hung out. Harvey also wore a diaper. How could we resist?

The sad truth is, Harvey’s poor condition was the result of spending eight years living in a cramped wire cage, in complete darkness—he is the victim of a puppy mill.

While Harvey happily joined our family, it took a long time for him to settle in. We wondered if the horrid conditions he experienced had left him shell-shocked. It took nearly six months of patience and love for Harvey to finally trust us—and realize he had found his forever home. Harvey's days are now filled with care: a warm bed, walks around his neighborhood, plenty of nutritious food and, above all, love.

Harvey and our son bonded immediately and love each other dearly. As sleeping companions, they comfort each other when needed. If our son wakes in the night, he knows that Harvey is there with him. And, I suppose, if Harvey awakes in the dark remembering his puppy mill days, he finds comfort snuggling up to Connor. 

Every day we share Harvey’s story with everyone who stops to meet him. Our hope is that puppy mills will be a thing of the past within in our lifetime, and that dogs like Harvey will suffer no more.

For more information about living with a puppy mill dog, visit our Puppy Mill Section.

And don’t forget to share this heartwarming story with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter!