8-Year-Old Boy Starts Bike Ride Fundraiser to Help Save Rescue Pups from the Dog Meat Trade
Rhys Stevens is pedaling for the pooches!
The 8-year-old from Willingham, England, recently created a fundraiser to benefit canines rescued from the dog meat trade. According to a release from China Rescue Dogs, Rhys was inspired to start the effort after watching a documentary about the dog meat trade.
Encouraged by his mother, Kathleen Stevens, to find a way to help dogs like the ones in the movie, Rhys decided to raise money for China Rescue Dogs by riding his bike.
China Rescue Dogs is a nonprofit organization located in Vass, North Carolina, dedicated to pulling dogs from the meat trade. The pets China Rescue Dogs saves are then transported to North America to find forever homes.
In support of Rhys' passion for helping animals, the boy's neighbors, friends, and family have all started donating money to his cause for each mile he rides.
So far, Rhys has raised over $400 dollars for China Rescue Dogs, and he is still pedaling.
"Rhys is passionate about dogs and animals in general. He just wants to do good things and make a difference," Rhys' mom said of her son's spirit in the release.
China Rescue Dogs is moved by this little boy's commitment and has added a link to Rhys' fundraiser on their website.
"The fact that an 8-year-old boy, halfway around the world, is so selfless that he would want to ride his bike to help us save these dogs brings tears to my eyes." Jill Stewart, president and founder of China Rescue Dogs, said in a statement.
Stewart added that China Rescue Dogs matched Rhys with Lola, a one-and-a-half-year-old Husky, to be his inspiration.
"The fees to transport Lola out of China are approximately $2,500. All the money Rhys generates with his bike ride fundraiser will go towards Lola's transport fees," she said.
According to China Rescue Dogs, Rhys is "very happy" his efforts will help Lola "get to her new home" because he "loves dogs so much."
Lola is scheduled to fly to the United States in April. The husky is just one of more than 240 canines that China Rescue Dogs is working to place with loving, forever families. The organization is hoping to transport all of the dogs to their new homes over the next few months, with the next flight scheduled for March 19.
"We really need the public's help to save and transport these dogs. The expense is enormous, so every donation helps save a pup!" Stewart added about why Rhys' fundraiser and all other donations are so important.
To learn more about China Rescue Dogs and support their efforts, visit the organization's website.