He might be small in stature and young in age, but his heart is as big as any experienced adult. He’s just 7 years old and has helped rescue over 1,300 dogs from kill shelters.

Roman MacConn from Augusta, Georgia, is being recognized as a hero for his loving heart. Since he was 4 years old, he has been passionately involved in helping to save animals, especially shelter dogs.

Over the past three years, Roma has saved 1,350 dogs and 50 cats whose days were numbered in high kill shelters.

And his accomplishment didn’t go unnoticed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), who recently honored him with the ASPCA Kid of the Year Award for doing something that has really changed the lives of homeless pooches.

Together with his mother, Jennifer McConn, Roman transports pets in danger of euthanization from high-kill shelters in Texas to forever homes in the Pacific Northwest.

Roman’s mission to rescue animals began on his 4th birthday, when he asked his family and friends not to get him any gifts but instead use that money to contribute to his favorite animal rescue organization, Project Freedom Ride.

With the help of his mother, Roman angled towards more hands-on ways to help dogs in need.

So as their first family goal, they transported 31 dogs from a kill shelter in Texas to Washington and assisted in finding the dogs’ best homes. Since then, they’ve rescued more than 1,300 canines.

Speaking about his son’s passion, Jennifer said:

“He’s unique. He’s super empathetic and compassionate and he is like a ball of fire all wrapped into one, so he’s definitely a lot to keep up with.”

She also wrote on the Project Freedom Ride Facebook page:

“The only way I can describe Project Freedom Ride is we are a community. We partner with amazing Texas Rescues who help by pulling dogs from high-kill shelters or taking in strays and otherwise unwanted dogs prior to them entering such shelters and caring for them through their programs (vetting, fostering, etc) while we look for adopters and/or receiving partners in the Pacific Northwest to take them in.”

According to Roman, rescuing dogs gives them a chance to showcase their personalities.

And to spread awareness about animal protection, her mother captures videos of Roman playing with shelter dogs. She then uploads them on Facebook, giving people the chance to see that they don’t pose any dangers to children.

Roman explains:

“I think it’s very important for the dogs I meet that I give them the best chance at finding the right home that they need.”

He has since been recognized by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and hailed as “a born dog whisper.” He also made an appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show, which donated $20,000 to his non-profit organization.