At such a young age, seven-year-old Roman McConn has successfully rescued over 1,000 dogs from kill shelters and put smiles on the faces of people who adopt the dogs. His story is very inspiring.
When Roman turned four, he made an unusual birthday gift request. He didn’t want candy or toys. Instead, the lad asked for donations for a rescue dog.
THE SELFLESS REQUEST THAT STARTED IT ALL
Roman’s mom, Jennifer McConn, said in an Instagram video for “Project Freedom Ride:”
"It kind of started on his fourth birthday. He opted to collect donations for a rescue that he saw outside of PetSmart on every other Saturday. He kept saying that they need homes and he kind of was like, ‘How can I help?’”
Roman and Jennifer first became aware of kill shelters in July 2015 after they adopted their dog, Luna from a Texas 'kill' shelter.
“I was sunk,” said Jennifer in a Facebook post. "I became heavily involved with volunteering at the local shelter, with Roman’s help in making videos to help network the dogs."
PUTTING HIS WORDS INTO VIDEOS
The videos often show Roman displaying the dogs for potential adopters, providing details such as their breed, age, and why they need to be adopted.
After Roman’s dad, a Navy officer, was relocated overseas, Roman and his mom moved from Texas to Washington, taking along 31 dogs with them, CBS reports.
THE JOKE THAT CAME TRUE
After the move, Jennifer joked one day about creating an underground railroad to transport rescue dogs from Texas to Washington.
“The world for a dog, generally speaking, was so much better up here in Washington than down there in Texas.”
That joke grew into what is today known as Project Freedom Ride, an initiative that connects “unwanted, abandoned dogs who may otherwise be bound for euthanasia in Texas” with loving families.
Since December 2016, Roman and his mom have been rescuing more than 50 abandoned canines per month. Jenifer revealed that the most fulfilling part of their efforts is seeing the connection between the dogs and their new families.
WISE WORDS FROM A YOUNGSTER
An Inside Edition feature on the mother-son duo showed families gushing over their new canine members.
Quite exceptional for a kid his age, Roman is deeply concerned with finding “forever homes” for the dogs:
“It makes me feel happy saving all these dogs. But it doesn’t just make me happy, I’m sure it makes all the dogs happy."
While Roman’s canine friends are lucky to have hum, Jennifer said it’s the same for her and her husband. “We just got lucky,” she said. “It’s been super rewarding to have that little person be your child."
Jennifer concluded in the Instagram clip:
“Without him, I can tell you right now there’s no way we would still be going at the speed that we’re going.”
GOING THE EXTRA MILE FOR CANINES
It’s amazing to see the extent to which people will go for abandoned dogs. Like Roman, two volunteers from the Hope for Paws organization rescued a Newfoundland in Los Angeles.
After naming him Everest, and giving him a bath and medical treatment, they received an adoption application from a family 1,000 miles away in Oregon.
You can read the rest of Everest’s story and watch the L.A-to-Oregon journey here.