In 2003 a scared puppy named Harley came into my life and changed it forever. This dog confirmed for me that veterinary medicine was my career, and that rescue was my passion. At the time, I was in college and living in a dorm. But then this adorable 10 week old puppy was surrendered to the veterinary practice where I worked for ‘behavior issues’ and I knew I had to take him in. He had clearly been abused already in his short life and he was terrified. We immediately became best friends, and I changed my world to keep him – got an apartment, moved off the campus of my college, and the rest is history. This dog confirmed my drive to become a veterinarian, and I went on to graduate as a veterinarian in 2010 from the University of Pennsylvania.
In 2011, Harley’s Haven was born with myself and a small group of friends saving one dog in need – and that one dog led to the formation of our rescue, and the countless other dogs and puppies we have saved to this date. Our rescue is named for the very first dog that I saved, who has defined my life. Our core group of founders has led to now over 50 volunteers, foster homes, and so much more! In 2014 we completed our paperwork to become an official 501(c)3 tax exempt organization, and have continued to grow! Though we get larger, and though we have expanded in many ways – our heart and focus is always the dogs.
Every dog saved is one less, and every dog given a chance is another ‘Harley’ who can go on to change another life.
- Dr. Beth Mehaffey, VMD - founder of Harley's Haven Dog Rescue and owner of Pennridge Animal Hospital
Yes, there really is a Harley.
Hi I’m Harley Mehaffey. I was rescued by my amazing mom, Beth, when I was just 10 weeks old. I had lived for a short period with a really terrible man who was mean to me and hit me…so I have spent a long time being afraid of men, but my mom worked with me to help me overcome my fears! With her, it was love at first sight…she was the first person to be kind to me, so we became best friends pretty much immediately. She likes to call me her ‘doggy soul mate’ – I have been with her through several different apartments and houses, a man who I now call Dad, and this annoying little crying thing that has slowly become a small human who also feeds me treats – winning! There are always a million dogs at our house, which is so annoying, but mom makes sure to tell me that I am still her main man, and that they are all saved because of me.
I’m not sure really what has made me so special, but I am glad that other dogs are getting the chance to know the kind of love that I know, because of my mom and everyone at our rescue. As I get older, I am so annoyed by these darn puppies – they jump on me and bite my ears! But I try to be nice, for mom’s sake, and she still does all of my favorite things for me! We go hiking, and sometimes swimming, and I get lots of treats and time to wander around our yard smelling all the good smells (and she sneaks me lots of treats!).
Life is good for this old man, and I am very proud to be a part of rescuing all of these other pups in need – can you just maybe have less of the tiny, bitey ones come to our house? Please?