Being the child of someone in the military can be challenging. Your family moves often, sometimes every three years. You have to go through the process of making friends and saying goodbye to them. And you can’t take everything with you.
But acts of kindness and compassion go much further than possessions ever can. Sometimes it takes the tiny people in our lives to show us that!
Little Jaxton Betschart was all of 4 years old at the time his family was living near Charleston, South Carolina. He comes from a family of animal lovers and rescuers. Despite having to pick up everything and change bases so often, they have managed to make room in their home for two rescue cats and and four rescue dogs!
Jax, as he’s known in the family, has always loved their animals, especially their rescue dog Caroline. As his mom, Elyse Betschart, told The Dodo: “animal advocacy is a huge part of my life, from adopting, volunteering, sponsorship and education, and so it only made sense that Jax would become a (slightly) overzealous animal lover like me.”
As Jax learned about the cruel treatment of pit bulls, who are often bred for dogfighting and make up an enormous 40 percent of all shelter dogs euthanized each year, per Bark Post, he began to want to do something special to help these misunderstood dogs.
Elyse Betschart tries to take her kids to animal shelters so they can see firsthand how many wonderful animals there are who have been abandoned and forgotten and are in need of a forever home. As mom Elyse told The Dodo, “He is very cognizant that people give up their animals for many reasons, and he makes it his mission to tell each dog and cat he sees that he loves them.”
One day, the Betscharts went to visit the Charleston Animal Society. It just so happened that when Jax was walking through, giving all the animals love, he spotted a sweet pit bull named Penelope. Jax’s first thought was to use the money he’d been saving to bring this pup back home.
Unfortunately, army bases, like many cities and states across America, ban pit bulls and other breeds deemed “dangerous” in military housing. So for the Betscharts, adopting Penelope wasn’t an option.
Check this out!!! Sweet Jaxton Betschart became a Guardian Angel and paid the adoption fee for this sweet pup to help her find a home! #KidsRock #adoptatcas please give him a high five from all our FB Fans!
But the good people at the Charleston Animal Society created a great program for people like the Betscharts who want to support shelter animals but can’t bring them home with them. It’s called “Guardian Angels” and allows people to donate money to cover the adoption fees (including spay/neuter procedure, vaccines, and micro-chipping) for an animal, making them free to anyone who can adopt them.
“A lot of people don’t realize that sponsorship is an option, that you can actually tie that money to a face,” Elyse said to iHeartDogs. She told The Dodo, “once I told Jax we could do that, he said it was ‘a good deal’ and told me he had money at home.”
Jax was delighted that he could help this pittie find a new family, especially when the shelter gave him a cool certificate thanking him for being her angel.
But before the Betscharts left, Jax spotted yet another adorable pit bull who was just waiting for someone to give him a home. It was a stocky puppy named Tank, who Jax exclaimed “is big and chunky like me!” Mom Elyse shared with The Dodo that “he wanted me to know that Tank was his new best friend in the whole wide world.”
While Jax had already earmarked his savings for Penelope, his mom agreed to also cover the adoption fees for Tank. So in one day, Jax became an angel for two pit bulls! Both of them were quickly adopted after the attention they got from his adorable pictures.
Followers of the Charleston Animal Society saw the adorable picture of Jax with the dogs, and over 6,400 people liked it! People were so impressed that such a young kid could care more about the fate of shelter dogs than the toys or treats for himself he might be able to buy with his savings.
His kind act even inspired many people to either adopt or become “Guardian Angels” themselves. The Charleston Animals Society told iHeartDogs that the original post reached over 200,000 people! For Elyse Betschart, “knowing that my son was the catalyst for the community coming together to give shelter dogs a voice makes me feel incredibly blessed.”