Overpopulation in animal shelters is an enormous problem, with many resorting to euthanasia when faced with overcrowding. Most animals end up in shelters because of circumstances completely unrelated to their adaptability, which means that countless animals are put to sleep every year simply because there aren’t enough homes for them.
Roman McConn has always loved animals, even asking for donations to his favorite dog rescue in lieu of gifts since his fourth birthday. Roman’s mom Jennifer McConn shares her son’s passion for animals and encourages him at every turn, even adopting a rescue dog from a kill shelter so Roman could have his own furry companion.
When Roman’s dad received orders to serve overseas, the family relocated from Texas to Washington. Of course, one of the first courses of action after relocating was finding a new shelter to volunteer their time. Once the animal-loving duo began lending a hand at a local shelter, they realized the overcrowding problem in Washington was far less severe than it was in Texas.
“I would joke with Texas Rescues about an underground railroad for dogs up to Washington because the world for a dog, generally speaking, was so much better up here in Washington than down there in Texas,” Jennifer wrote on the Project Freedom Ride Website. “And so it was born … on December 6th, 2016 Project Freedom Ride had its first transport of 31 dogs from Texas to Washington.”
Since the founding of Project Freedom Ride just five years ago, the volunteer-based foundation has rescued over 2,000 dogs from euthanasia. 2,000 dogs got a second chance at life thanks to Roman and Jen, not to mention their trusty volunteers. In 2018, Roman was named the ASPCA’s (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) “Kid of the Year” thanks to his tireless efforts to save as many dogs as he possibly could.
Project Freedom Ride is extremely active to this day, posting adoptable dogs as well as dogs who need transportation on their Facebook page. Roman remains the face of the rescue, sharing personal videos with dogs looking for homes. Roman and his mom are true heroes, giving us a touching reminder that you’re never too young to make a difference.