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Little boy saves 1,000 dogs from high-kill shelters

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STANWOOD, Wash. -- A 6-year-old boy in the Puget Sound has helped save more than 1,000 dogs from high-kill shelters.

Roman and his mom, Jennifer McConn, started Project Freedom Ride less than two years ago. They transport at-risk dogs in Texas to the Northwest to get adopted.

Roman uses social media to springboard his quest to save lives, posting videos of him with adoptable dogs on Facebook.

"We're trying to get her adopted," Roman said in one video while sitting cross-legged on the grass petting a dog named Ru. "She's deaf and she's been through two homes. We really want her in a home where she won't bounce back and forth again."

I asked Roman how many dogs he's saved. "Countless," he replied.

His mom, Jennifer, said it's more than 1,000 and counting, and it all started when Roman was four years old and saw a dog adoption event while living in Texas.

"He kept asking why they were there and I would tell him, 'They're looking for homes.' In that 4-year-old mind, he's like, 'We just need to find them homes,'" Jennifer said.

His solution is simple: "We make videos for dogs and we get them adopted."

When Roman and his mom moved from Texas to Washington state, they took it a step further, pulling dogs from high-kill shelters in Texas and transporting them to the Northwest, into the arms of eager adopters.

We meet Roman and his mom, along with dozens of adopters, at The NOAH Center in Stanwood, Washington, where the latest transport of 65 dogs is about to arrive.

The greeting crowd is full of adopters who fell in love over pictures of these dogs on Facebook, but are meeting them in real life for the first time.

Karen Ray is giddy as she shows me pictures on her phone of her soon-to-be best friend, Conan.

"I am over the moon," she said. "I'm so excited!"

One by one, dogs come off the truck until it's finally Conan's turn.

"Conan!" Roman yelled out, and Karen eagerly stepped forward. "Here's a KONG for him," Roman said as he handed her the donated gift.

As Conan is carried off the truck, Karen takes him in her arms, tears streaming down her face.

"My heart is just bursting," she told me. "I'm overwhelmed. I have so much love for this little boy. I'm gonna give him a good life."

It's a good life made possible by the big heart of another little boy, Roman.

"It feels really, really good," he said.

But his work is far from done.

"Bindi!" he yells, and the next adopter steps forward.

While many of these dogs go straight to adopters, dozens of them have yet to find families. They have been handed off to rescue groups in the Puget Sound.

If these dogs are not immediately adopted, Roman will visit them and make Facebook videos to bring attention to them until the dogs find their forever homes.

Project Freedom Ride's next transportation of dogs is June 12. You can visit the Facebook page for more information.

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