4-year-olds love to spend their saved up cash on fun toys to play with, but Jaxton Betschart had something more important in mind.
Jaxton decided to spend his money from his birthday and Christmas on helping two pit bulls from the shelter find their forever homes!
Elyse Betschart, Jaxton's mom, brought Jaxton to the Charleston Animal Society shelter to pick out two dogs to sponsor. This means using money to help pay the adoption fees for two dogs in need!
First, Jaxton saw a black and white pit bull mix with beautiful black patches around her eyes. While her name was Penelope, her features had Jaxton calling her "Spot". This was the first dog he chose to sponsor.
While heading to the desk to work on sponsoring Penelope, Jaxton saw another cute pit bull. This pit bull was known as Tank!
“Mommy! He’s big and chunky just like me!” Jaxton yelled out, running over to the cage door and petting Tank’s head through the bars.
While Jaxton wanted to adopt Tank, he was unable to. Instead, he chose to sponsor Tank, just like he was going to sponsor Penelope! Jaxton was helping the two dogs get adopted and find loving homes.
Jaxton was very proud and excited about sponsoring Tank, and the Charleston Animal Society captured the cute moment and posted it to their Facebook. To no surprise, the photo went viral very quickly! The post got over 6,000 reactions with around 200 comments.
The attention Jaxton brought to sponsorship had many people wondering how they could do the same for the shelter! This brought in a ton of new interested donors and new sponsors. It was amazing how quickly Jaxton's compassionate decision ended up helping many other dogs at the shelter.
Kay Hyman, the Director of Community Engagement at the Charleston Animal Society, said that the post ended up getting to around 200,000 Facebook users. Of course the image was cute, but it also helped spread awareness about sponsorship like never before.
Many people did not know that by sponsoring a pet's adoption, you pay for the spaying or neutering surgery, vaccines, microchip, heartworm protection, and flea prevention for a dog at the shelter! By having these costs taken care of, new owners can come to the shelter, adopt the dog, and use their money getting necessary supplies for their new furry friend. By making things more affordable, more dogs can be adopted!
The Betscharts are a military family, moving to new places every three years (with 2 kids, 4 rescue dogs, and 2 rescue cats!). Because of the breed bans associated with military housing, pit bulls are not an option for the family to rescue. In the future, however, they wish to begin their own dog rescue.
Elyse knows that pit bulls struggle to find loving homes and often end up trapped in shelters. She is thrilled to know her son has such a loving heart, and cares to spread his kindness to animals in need.
“Animals are a huge part of our lives,” Elyse explained to iHeartDogs. “Knowing that my son was the catalyst for the community coming together to give shelter dogs a voice makes me feel incredibly blessed.”
“I feel like I’ve done my job – like I can retire as a mom!” she later said with a laugh.
If Jaxton's actions have inspired you, head to your local shelter and sponsor a dog in need! You can also check out the CAS Adoption Sponsor page.