What a Champion! 6-Year-Old Boy Rescues 1,000 Dogs From Being Put Down

McConn with his mom and dog
Project Freedom Ride | Project Freedom Ride

At 4 years old, Roman McConn knew he wanted to help save dogs. He had a strong connection to them from a young age, having grown up with two dogs in his home that he considered part of his family. When he and his mother saw adoptable dogs in cages at a PetSmart in San Angelo, Texas, something inside of Roman sparked. He knew he wanted to get them out and help them find homes.

“I always counted them as family, They are my brothers and sister or my cousins,” he said.

Roman's Birthday Wish to Help Dogs in Need

Roman with his dog
Project Freedom Ride | Project Freedom Ride

Inspired by this desire to help, Roman decided to collect donations for the rescue instead of receiving gifts for his fourth birthday. His selfless gesture raised $200, and every dollar went to the shelter. This was just the beginning of Roman and his mother's journey to save countless dogs from death row.

The McConns' Decision to Do More for Shelter Dogs

Roman with his dog
Project Freedom Ride | Project Freedom Ride

After donating the money, Roman's mother saw a photo on her Facebook feed of a dog at San Angelo Animal Services, the city's high-kill shelter. The dog resembled one that their family had lost a few years prior. Seeing it brought Roman's mother and father into the shelter, where they were overwhelmed by the hundreds of kennels full of dogs. They ended up adopting the dog in the photo and named her Luna. This experience led them to want to do more to help the dogs at the shelter, so they started visiting regularly and making videos to give the dogs more exposure.

Raising Money To Fund Adoptions and Transport for Dogs

Roman with his dogs
Project Freedom Ride | Project Freedom Ride

When Roman's mother started bringing him to the shelter, the dogs were no longer allowed to be walked in the kennels. Instead, they were brought to a visitation room where Roman could play with them and make videos featuring him talking about the dogs. In early 2016, Roman and his mother raised $10,000 in two months simply by asking for donations. They used the money to cover adoptions and host adoption events, and also helped other rescues in the area with events and fundraising.

Roman and His Mother’s Mission To Save Dogs Continues To Grow

roman with his dog
Project Freedom Ride | Project Freedom Ride

When Roman's father, a member of the Navy, received orders to relocate overseas, the family moved from Texas to Jennifer's home state of Washington, bringing 31 dogs with them.

“We knew we needed to help the Texas dogs,” McConn said.

The move inspired the creation of Project Freedom Ride, which works with rescue shelters in Texas to relocate stray, unwanted, and shelter dogs to the Pacific Northwest.

The Success of Project Freedom Ride

roman and his dog
project freedom ride | project freedom ride

Project Freedom Ride now partners with multiple rescue shelters in Texas, helping to find new families or shelters for dogs in the Pacific Northwest. Roman plays a crucial role in the project, helping with everything from making marketing videos to calling families interested in adopting the dogs.

The Challenges of Transporting the Dogs

So may happy faces from our Pacific Northwest (PNW) transport
project freedom ride | projectfreedomride

Since it started in December 2016, the project has successfully placed over 1,050 dogs with new owners or humane societies. However, transporting the dogs to their new homes is not cheap, with each transport costing around $11,000. Project Freedom Ride raises the necessary funds through donations.

The Importance of Adoption

roman and his dog
other | project freedom ride

It is a big undertaking to vet the dogs, transport them, and place them with families or in a humane society, but Roman is up to the challenge. His love for dogs and dedication to rescuing them has inspired many people and has brought attention to the importance of adoption. His message is simple: "Adopt, don't shop." By choosing to adopt a shelter dog, not only are you giving a deserving animal a second chance, but you are also helping to make a difference in the fight against pet overpopulation and animal cruelty.

The Inspiring Story of Roman and Jen McConn's Dedication to Saving Dogs

Roman was the recipient of the Tommy P Monahan Award
project freedom ride | Project Freedom Ride

Roman and his mother were not a rescue or transport company, but they were able to connect unwanted dogs and cats from high-kill shelters to no-kill rescues and humane societies in Washington. This allowed the animals to have a chance at finding forever homes and being spared from euthanasia. Over the years, Roman and his mother have continued their mission to save as many animals as possible, and they have made a significant impact in their community. Roman's compassion and desire to help animals at such a young age is truly inspiring, and his efforts show that one person, no matter their age, can make a difference in the world.

The Power of One Person to Make a Difference

project freedom ride | project freedom ride

Roman's story is a heartwarming reminder of the power of one person, no matter their age, to make a positive impact on the world. Through his dedication to rescuing shelter dogs, he has proven that anyone can make a difference in the lives of animals in need.