Betty and Tom Petway – 2019 Toast to the Animals Honorees

A Conversation with our Honorees – Betty and Tom Petway

For the first time ever at our premier event, Toast to the Animals, we are featuring honorees Betty and Tom Petway. The Petway’s generosity and dedication the Jacksonville Humane Society has helped our organization grow and flourish.

Betty and Tom Petway’s history with the Jacksonville Humane Society started with a fieldtrip taken by their son, Ty, when he was in elementary school. Betty was chaperoning the students when a white, fluffy dog caught her eye.

“As soon as I dropped the children back at school, I drove right back to the Humane Society and adopted that dog,” she laughed.

This year’s Toast to the Animals Honorees cannot remember a time in their lives without animals. Both grew up with pets and made sure that their children knew the joy of having pets in the home, too.

Betty’s daughters loved cats and the family had many – even though Betty is allergic. The Petway family has included everything from hamsters to horses, and the current resident is Champ, an eight-year-old Springer Spaniel who loves the water.

“He may not be the brightest dog,” Tom joked. “But he is smart enough to crawl in Betty’s lap every chance he gets.”

Like many of you, the Petways believe that pets are family. As loyal friends, they were not hesitant to share why they support JHS.

“The Jacksonville Humane Society has excellent leadership, both volunteer and executive. It makes Jacksonville a better place … to have a strong humane society,” Tom remarked. “I believe that education plays a strong role, and (JHS) has programs to reach children which is what matters for the long-term.”

Betty also remembers a time when stray dogs and cats were an everyday sight. “You hardly see them now, which means that what you do at JHS is working.”

Betty and Tom hope that sharing their love of pets will inspire others, not just to adopt, but also to support the mission.

“My hope is that one day there will not be any more homeless animals,” said Betty.

Please join us is raising a glass to our honorees, the Petways!