The History of PET Austin and How it became Mobility Worldwide, TX-Austin


The founder of Personal Energy Transportation of Austin (PET® Austin), Mr. John Rudd, was inspired by the work being done by Personal Energy Transportation International (PET International) and its affiliates in a number of U.S. states and three foreign countries.  PET International and many of the other PET affiliates (including PET Austin) are 501.c.3 faith based charities.


Planning a new organization began in early 2008 modeling after existing PET affiliates in Luling and San Antonio Texas.  Because of our proximity to Mexico, the initial intention was to distribute the Austin made PET vehicles to Mexico and other Central American counties.  Over the years that has grown to numerous countries around the world.  The PET vehicles are provided at no cost to individuals who have lost the use of their legs due to birth defects, polio, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, landmines, or other war related injuries.


The first group of PETs were built in individual volunteers’ home garages and displayed at a church Summer Celebration with PET races.  As funds were raised more PETs were built. In 2009 the congregation of Bethany United Methodist Church was challenged by pastor Tom Deviney to fund the building of  40 PETs during Lent.  This was accomplished.  This challenge has now become and annual tradition for both Bethany and PET.


In 2009 the Northwest Fellowship Church had extra space and allowed PET Austin to establish a workshop there that was used until December of 2012.  Then it was back to home garages and a small rented space that we use for metal working and welding.


In 2012 John Bosch, Jr., founder and principal of the TyRex Group, Ltd., a family of technology and contract manufacturing companies launched in Austin over 19 years ago, reached out to PET Austin president John Rudd to discuss a partnership. The timing couldn’t have been better. Bosch had recently launched an intercompany bonding campaign called “2 Groups, 1 Family” within the iRex cable assembly and board design division, and believed that a community service project such as assembling PETs would provide the employees with a tangible experience in both volunteerism and team cooperation. Details were discussed, a plan was put into place and TyRex agreed to an initial goal of assembling 10 PETs per month.


Today, the partnership between PET Austin and TyRex is strong and continues to grow stronger. Sponsored by iRex’s “2 Groups, 1 Family” campaign, PET Austin has its own dedicated assembly and warehouse space, under the TyRex roof, where PETs are assembled and packed by TyRex business family volunteers. TyRex employees have also found other ways to help out, from finding vendors and cutting material costs to assisting with PET Austin’s marketing efforts.


It is PET Austin’s goal to build 20 pets per month and distribute them to provide the gift of mobility to individuals who have lost the use of their legs.  To date, PET Austin has built over 700 PETs and distributed into Mexico, Nicaragua, Haiti, Honduras, India, Peru, Ukraine, Uganda, Nigeria and others.


And the story goes on.  Starting in 2015, the board of directors of PET International (made up with members of a number of the existing PET shops) began discussing the name and how every time members made presentations, it was necessary to explain that our organization has nothing to do with animals.  After much discussion and the help of a marketing firm, the decision was made to change the name of the organization.  In September, 2017 PET® became Mobility Worldwide and PET Austin became Mobility Worldwide, TX-Austin.  The name has changed, but the organization, the ministry and the people we serve is still the same.