Mobility Worldwide is a faith-based, volunteer-driven, 501(c)(3) Non-profit organization. PET is an acronym for the Personal Energy Transportation vehicle that the group constructs and distributes at no cost to provide the gift of mobility to disabled children and adults worldwide. PET International, Inc. began doing business as Mobility Worldwide in August 2016 and began using the name Mobility Cart for the vehicle. Since 1994, over 57,000 Mobility carts have been built and distributed by over 50 distribution partners.
PET grew out of a 1994 trip by Methodist missionary Reverend Larry Hills to Zaire, where he first recognized the need for the device when he encountered survivors of polio and landmines who could not walk but could not use wheelchairs in their rural environments. Hills and his wife Laura spoke with Reverend Mel West about a modified wheelchair that might serve, hand-cranked with three wheels. During 1995, West involved product designer Earl Miner in producing a prototype built with an eye to sturdiness, simplicity and cost effectiveness. In 1996, four prototypes were put to the test in Zaire. Based on their performance, PETs went into production and shipped for distribution in Zaire.
The following year, PET production began to expand into other countries, beginning with Mozambique. In 2000, to meet growing demand, West opened a facility in Columbia, Missouri which serves to receive donated parts, to assemble PETs and ship them internationally. A second US facility was opened in Penney Farms, Florida USA (near Jacksonville, Florida) by the Hills that same year. In 2003, a third facility was established in Luling, Texas.
In 2004, to help manage the growth and production of PETs, Pet International was incorporated, with a Board of Trustees and staff to help manage all issues related to assembling and distributing PETs. The cost of the components for a PET is roughly $300.
PET carts have been shipped to Afghanistan, Argentina, Armenia, Angola, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Brasil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dem. Rep. of São Tomé and Príncipe, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Gaza, Ghana, Guatemala 1998, Guinea, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Congo, Republic of Georgia, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Republic of South, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad, Uzbekistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Bank, Western Sahara, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
- "September 2016: PET International transitions to DBA Mobility Worldwide". Retrieved 2016-10-01.
- "History" Mobility Worldwide Web site
- Howard, Kate: "From Penney Farms to the Third World: Wheelchairs and love" Florida Times-Union, April 13, 2010
- "PET Around the World" Mobility Worldwide Web site