Jax’s Fund raises money for domestic violence victims with a dog agility test and a lot of tutus

After Jax’s owner Michael was killed in a domestic violence incident in 2019, his community is raising awareness
Updated: Aug. 13, 2022 at 10:35 PM CDT
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - To most, it was just the first day of the weekend, but to those at the Bell County Expo Center, it was tutu Saturday.

From tiny to large, dogs showing off their best tutus were at every corner, all for a good cause.

“Chances are everybody knows somebody who’s been affected by domestic violence and studies shown it’s hard for people to leave even if it’s a bad situation,” said Terri Boedeker, with the Bell County Kennel Club.

The dog agility trial put on by the Bell County Kennel Club will benefit priceless beginnings, a non-profit working to raise awareness of and curb domestic violence.

The tutus were worn by both owners and dogs to benefit their newest fund, Jax’s fund.

“Money that goes towards Jax’s fund will be used to help people who have pets who would like to escape their situation and have that pet and want to take that pet with them,” Boedeker said.

Jax was the dog of Michael Swearingin, a Temple man who was slain in January of 2019 in connection with a domestic violence situation.

For every tutu worn, dog or human, $1 would be donated to Jax’s fund.

The funds can be used for dog boarding as well as shelters to house the owner and the dog together.

Many took to Facebook to offer their support with some offering to match donations as well.

For those in attendance, it was more than just an agility trial.

Letty McNulty made the tutu her dog wore, ensuring she did her part to raise money for Jax’s fund.

“A lot of people will stay in an abusive home because of their animals. They’re afraid of what might happen to them if they leave. They don’t have any place to put the dog, so they’re stuck,” said McNulty.

Anyone experiencing domestic violence should reach out to 9-1-1 first before seeking additional resources.

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