Fickel Park is the place to be in Berthoud this Sunday as it is the venue of the 2nd Annual Hops & Harley. The festival is a fundraiser for National Mill Dog Rescue, a Colorado Springs based nonprofit with close Berthoud ties. After all, Harley, the rescue’s celebrity spokes dog lives here with Rudi and Dan Taylor, owners of Wishful Living.
National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR) rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes retired and commercial breeding dogs from puppy mills around the United States. While puppy mills are not illegal, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), “Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization.”
Both the ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States have taken a stand against puppy mills.
In addition to rescue efforts, NMDR educates the public about the conditions they have discovered at puppy mills across the country.
Harley, a tiny, one-eye Chihuahua is the perfect ambassador for NMDR. The first 10 years of his life were spent in a filthy cage at a puppy mill where his job was to produce puppies to be sold at pet stores around the country.
According to Harley’s wildly popular Facebook page, Harley most likely lost his eye when his cage was power washed with him still inside. A practice NMDR says is standard at puppy mills, and many rescued mill dogs, especially smaller breeds, are missing eyes because of this practice. NMDR has found that dogs at puppy mills receive little to no medical attention during their lives, and many of their rescue dogs have lingering medical problems.
Last June, City Star Brewing hosted the first Hops & Harley in their tap room.
“Last year we received an overwhelmingly positive response from our local craft beer and dog loving community and the event was far too big for our tap room,” said Whitney Way, owner of City Star Brewing and daughter of Rudi & Dan Taylor. “We moved Hops & Harley from City Star Brewing to Fickel Park this year to enhance the event and allow for a large turn out.”
The goal of Hops & Harley is to not only raise funds for NMDR, but also to raise awareness about the conditions of puppy mills and the mission of NMDR.
“With Hops & Harley in Fickel Park we can accomplish both of these goals and offer a fun-filled day for families in the local community,” explained Way.
“We here at City Star Brewing have seen the awful realities of puppy mills first-hand. We are essentially ‘related’ to Harley, after all. This has made us passionate about dog rescue,” she added.
Hops & Harley takes place this Sunday, June 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is a chance for the public to meet Harley, learn about NMDR, enjoy a City Star brew and listen to live music provided by the Monocle Band, Frank Taggart and Todd Silas. Participants can chow down on delicious fare from the Oskar Blues’ CHUBurger Bonewagon and the Giggling Greek.
There will also be children’s activities, a silent auction, a photo booth and Hops & Harley souvenirs. One hundred percent of the proceeds from this event go to NMDR and both food trucks businesses are donating 10 percent of their festival sales to the rescue.
Learn more about National Mill Dog Rescue at milldogrescue.org.