Jaxton Betschart, 4, has always had a strong affinity towards animals. At any given moment since he was born, his family has had at least three rescue dogs, and Jaxton has loved and respected each of them.
Jaxton and his family have four rescue dogs and two rescue cats at the moment. He gets along with all of their pets, but Jaxton is particularly drawn to Geo, one of their dogs, due of the dog’s calm nature.
Their canines come in a variety of breeds and personalities, but Jaxton has yet to possess one of his favorites: pit bulls.
Elyse Betschart, Jaxton’s mom, told The Dodo: “Over the past year he has really become aware of what his favorite type of dog is, pit bulls, and about animal rescues.”
“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.”
Jaxton has paid multiple visits to animal shelters, which he refers to as “Cute Factories.”
When Jaxton and Elyse have free time, they visit local animal shelters to make all of the cats and dogs feel loved as they wait to be adopted by their future families.
“He likes to visit with the dogs and cats and ask them how they’re doing and to wish them good luck on finding their new family. 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.”, Elyse said.
While driving around one day, Elyse had the idea of taking Jaxton to the Charleston Animal Society (CAS), a shelter he had never visited before.
A pit bull called Penelope captured the boy’s interest as he was greeting all of the animals. Jaxton fell in love with the puppy right away and wanted to adopt her, giving her the name “Spot” because of the spots on her head.
Unfortunately, they were unable to adopt Penelope since Jaxton’s father is a marine, and pit bulls are prohibited from being housed on base.
Instead, Elyse informed Jaxton that they could assist Penelope by supporting her adoption.
A person can support all or part of an animal’s adoption fee through the CAS Guardian Angel program. When Jaxton realized that he was capable of doing so, he quickly agreed and expressed his desire to participate.
Elyse said: “Once I told Jax we could do that, he said it was ‘a good deal’ and told me he had money at home to pay for Penelope/Spot. I told him that I would be happy to ‘loan’ him the money for Penelope/Spot, so we started walking out of the dog room and right before we left, Jax saw Tank.”
Tank, a large gray pit bull, is another pit bull in the shelter. Jaxton fell in love with the dog once more, but this time for the sweetest of reasons.
“He could not believe there was a puppy ‘big and chunky’ just like him. Jax begged me to adopt Tank so the two of them could play Incredible Hulk together and he wanted me to know that Tank was his new best friend in the whole wide world.”
Elyse explained to her son that while they couldn’t adopt Tank, he could fund him. Jaxton went confidently out of the dog room after learning the news, telling the shelter employees that he would be an angel for Penelope and Tank.
Jaxton was photographed with the two dogs by the staff, and he was named their official guardian angel.
A member of staff shared the photos on Facebook, and the story quickly went viral, with a flood of individuals asking how they could help find homes for the animals.
Tank and Penelope were promptly adopted as a result of Jaxton’s kind gesture! The 4-year-compassion old’s inspired so many others that the shelter was inundated with sponsorships and even many adoptions as a result of what he accomplished.
It’s wonderful that Jaxton has already been taught with a love and sympathy for animals at such a young age.
Kudos to Elyse for raising his son to be empathic towards other living creatures, and for teaching him that animals deserve a family and home just like humans.