Who doesn’t love dogs? People you should not trust is the answer we were looking for. Only kidding! Whether you are a dog person or cat person, I think we can all agree – animals are precious and deserve to be treated with lots of love, care and respect.
Sometimes, this cannot always be the case – especially when there is limited space for dogs at shelters — which can lead to putting the animals down.
But Rowan McConn, age seven, wanted to change that.
The passionate kiddo started helping dogs in a big way after he visited a ‘high-kill’ dog center with his mom. He has spent the past two years placing dogs in new homes across the country.
Both Roman and his mom, Jennifer, 36, started the organization Project Freedom Ride.
Roman was so distraught by seeing so many dogs left behind in the shelters without families that in 2016 – instead of asking for birthday presents, he asked for donations to help his new found furry friends.
The money Roman received for his birthday went straight to having 31 dogs move across the country with both Roman and his mom, all the way from Texas to Washington State.
Roman, Jennifer, and the organization continued on – working for the next two years to help over 1,000 maligned pups find a safe space in non-kill shelters as well as foster families in Texas. As the cost to transport doggos from Texas to the Pacific Northwest is not cheap ($11,000 per transportation) the McConn’s rely on donations, as they raise money on their own.
Second-grader Roman also plays a big role in the organization, from presenting intro videos for the dogs in need featured on the Facebook page or calling families about their interest.
Roman’s proud mom, Jennifer shared:
“We hit a spot in the beginning where we thought we couldn’t continue – we were keeping what Roman was doing very separate at the time. “[Roman] inspired me to get involved in rescue and after a video of him visiting with a shelter dog went viral, Project Freedom Ride was renewed. We were able to fund transfers again. I never thought Project Freedom Ride and Roman would receive this much attention – we thought we’d just save a few dogs. People have really gravitated towards Roman because he’s articulate, empathetic with the dogs and when he sees a problem he wants to fix it. It’s because of him that we’ve been able to do this – it’s been incredible. Without him, we wouldn’t have been able to continue.”
While the excitable Roman added:
“We saw a local shelter in Texas every other weekend at Petsmart. We saw so many dogs that needed homes, so for my birthday, instead of presents, we raised donations for our local shelter. There have been a few dogs that are very hyper and I’ve been scared to meet with them, but they’re really just puppies and they’re so sweet. We really enjoy it. “I don’t know what my favorite part is – it’s all my favorite part. We would love, love, love your support.”
You can donate now to Project Freedom Ride by visiting their Facebook here.
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