Peterson honored for work with animals

Published 1:40 am Friday, April 26, 2013

There’s truth of the old adage that dog is man’s best friend. There’s much truth in this statement: Margaret Peterson is the best friend of animals in Beaufort County, particularly animals at the Betsy Bailey Nelson Animal Control Facility.

Peterson’s volunteer efforts at the animal shelter have earned her recognition as a North Carolina Volunteer of the Year. Peterson, a member of the Beaufort County Humane Society, was brought to tears Thursday when she was presented a plaque and letters from state officials recognizing those efforts.

“I do this because I love the animals. That’s all there is to it,” Peterson said about being presented the award. “I feel there are some many causes you can do volunteer work for, but the animals can’t speak. I guess I feel I need to do whatever I can to speak for them.”

Beaufort County Manager Randell Woodruff said Peterson’s honor reflects well on her and the county.

“I think it’s a great honor for us, especially with the success we’re having with our animal-control program and working together with the Humane Society of the county,” Woodruff said. “They really have a strong partnership. We are seeing just such drastic improvement in our interaction and in our programs and services to the community. … We’re just real proud of Margaret. She’s out here every day and really contributing and supporting the staff and doing a lot of great work. You couldn’t run a program like this without great volunteers like her. So, it’s really an honor for the county.”

Dottie Walker, former director of The Blind Center in Washington and no stranger to volunteer work herself, wrote the letter nominating Peterson, one of her neighbors, for the award.

“She’s been doing this since day one when she moved in. Her dedication to the animals, her love for the animals, it’s just outstanding. It’s not because of any other reason than she’s got this heart for the welfare of animals and that there’s such a need here, there’s such a need not just in our community, but let’s just stay focused on Beaufort County. Beaufort County has made strides in helping the animals,” Walker said. “Why did I (nominate) Margaret? Because she deserved it. She deserved it after so many faithful years of dedicated service and just getting in there and doing the job that had to be done.”

Beaufort County Commissioner Al Klemm presented the award to Peterson and read letters of congratulations to Peterson from Gov. Pat McCrory and other state officials. Beaufort County Humane Society members treated Peterson to a luncheon once the presentation ceremony was over.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

email author More by Mike