Facebook | Project Freedom Ride

Young Boy Has Rescued Almost 2,000 Dogs From High-Kill Shelters

Amy Pilkington 20 Feb 2020

Many of us try to do our best to help out animals in need. Maybe we volunteer at a local shelter, donate food or funds, or even foster animals while they look for their forever home. Often, we wish we could do more, but life and practicality get in the way.

But a boy named Roman and his mom Jen didn't let that happen, and since 2016 have saved almost 2,000 dogs from high-kill shelters in Texas.

It started when the family lived in the state for three years, 2013-2016.

Facebook | Project Freedom Ride

While there, Jen took Roman to adopt a dog and they were introduced to the tragic reality of Texas' high rates of euthanasia in their shelter system.

In 2018, Texas had the highest number of kills in the country. Though major cities in the state are beginning to see progress in getting the numbers down, tens of thousands of animals still lost their lives in the shelter system.

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Both Jen and Roman became heavily involved with aiding their local shelters.

Facebook | Project Freedom Ride

In 2016, Roman's dad was ordered to serve overseas and the family moved to Washington state, where they continued to volunteer and discovered a very different shelter system.

After joking with her friends back at Texas Rescues about bringing dogs to the Pacific Northwest, Jen and Roman decided to actually do it.

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In December 2016, Project Freedom Ride was born and the first 31 dogs were brought from Texas to Washington.

Facebook | Project Freedom Ride

Project Freedom Ride works with partners in Texas and Washington to pull dogs from shelters with high-euthanasia rates and transport them to direct adopters or rescues in the Pacific Northwest.

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Since that first transport mission, PFR has grown in scale and in publicity, especially for Roman.

He's been featured on local and national news programs, Animal Planet series, and has received multiple awards for his work.

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Eventually, the family moved to Augusta, Georgia, but Project Freedom Ride continues.

Facebook | Project Freedom Ride

They've also partnered with a Georgia rescue to start sending dogs to Northeastern states.

When he's not in school, Roman spends his days helping out the dogs who are waiting for their trip north. But he doesn't think he's that special.

"I hope people learn that they can help and do anything if they just want to help," he told The Augusta Chronicle. "It doesn’t take a lot at all."

To learn more about Project Freedom Ride, be sure to visit their website or follow them on Facebook.

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