Becky Hamilton

By Julie Kerns Garmendia
Resident Community News

Becky Hamilton grew up on a North Carolina farm surrounded by critters and wildlife of every kind and can’t remember a time when she didn’t love caring for animals. She and her husband Curt, a U.S. Postal worker, have five children, but they are furry and all but one are rescues: three dogs and two cats. When her employer, Gate Petroleum, wanted to organize community service projects for employees, Hamilton, vice president of real estate, knew exactly what to do.

“We began to volunteer at Animal Care & Protective Services, which we call Jacksonville Family Pet Adoption Center, on a quarterly basis as one of our community service projects (others were Quigley House, Seamark Ranch and Dreams Come True). That’s how I became involved with Friends of Jacksonville Animals (FOJA). FOJA is an all-volunteer organization formed to work in partnership with the shelter to raise funds, assist with medical care, enrich the shelter environment, promote adoptions, train new volunteers and reduce euthanasia,” she said.


Curt and Becky Hamilton and rescue dog Harley

Curt and Becky Hamilton and rescue dog Harley

Through her volunteer time assisting these animal welfare groups, Hamilton saw firsthand the needs and limitations.

“FOJA is limited to assisting at or through the shelter and we see so many outside community needs where pet owners on limited incomes could not provide food or medical care for their pets. It’s an especially heartbreaking situation for poor and elderly people,” she said. “To help meet that need, I started an animal care ministry at my church, St. Philip Neri Ecumenical.”

On the church’s website, Hamilton is recognized for animal-related ministries inspired by the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. As members collect food for local food pantries, they also collect pet food, supplies and donations. They hold pet fair fundraisers and Father John Oliver annually conducts a Blessing of the Animals, which has included JSO officers and their K9 partners.

“We provide assistance to pet owners in need, or in cooperation with local San Marco non-profit vet St. Francis Animal Hospital. We cooperate for mutual aid,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton’s husband Curt has made her animal welfare activities his personal hobbies, too. He supports her projects and helps with off-site events. Every Saturday Becky is at the shelter to help wherever needed. Each month she teaches two free classes: play group training (socialization) and pet adoption counseling.

Becky has been Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for her neighborhood for the past 10 years. She was a founding board member for the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens, a position she held from 2004 to 2012. She continues to be active with the Arboretum and is eager to inform readers of the new pavilion with covered shelter that has just been built there.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

You must be logged in to post a comment Login