16-Year-Old Is Rescue Dogs’ Only Hope When Shelter Erupts In Flames

We can be as prepared as possible for an emergency, but there’s no telling how we will react in the moment. 16-year-old Grayson, son of Project Cecil Rescue Ranch’s co-founders, sure did step up and spring into action when a raging electrical fire sparked in their kennel building. 

Now, he’s being hailed as a hero for saving the life of every single pup. 


Project Cecil Rescue Ranch is a small, family-run animal rescue in Utica, Ohio that springs dogs from kill shelters and strives to find them forever homes. The project began in an elementary school classroom, and was inspired by and named after Cecil, the majestic lion Oxford University had been researching for over a decade. 

Sadly, Cecil was illegally lured from his protected reservation in Hwange, Zimbabwe and was killed by a trophy hunter. 

This devastated Lorna’s students, and made them want to inspire change. So they started an awareness campaign called Project Cecil: Save 1 for Me. The idea was, if each person saves just one animal, together, we can save them all. 

A year after that, Project Cecil became an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. And now, their rescue ranch has become a safe haven for animals.


But all of what they’d worked so hard to build was almost stripped away. Co-founders Lorna and Tom, were out getting supplies for puppies set to arrive from an out-of-state kill shelter when a fire erupted in their kennel building. 

Luckily, Grayson, their son, was home and immediately sprang into action to save the dogs that were trapped within the burning building.


The flames were so large that it prevented him from being able to get in the massive front doors. So he was forced to break two windows with a garden hose to get in. Once inside, Grayson was able to put-out the fire and single handedly saved every one of the rescue dogs.

“I am in tears imaging what would have happened had he not been there,” Lorna wrote in a Facebook post. 

But because of Grayson’s quick thinking, the fire was extinguished and every life was spared. While the kennel building may currently be in rough shape, Project Cecil Rescue Ranch plans to rebuild and continue to pursue their dreams of rescuing and rehabilitating dogs that need a second chance.


For more information about Project Cecil Rescue Ranch, or to make a donation to help them rebuild and rescue even more animals, you can check out their Facebook page, HERE. 

Featured Image: Facebook