Every dog and cat deserves an opportunity to live a full life.
It’s a simple statement that is at the heart of A Life to Live. And if you look closely, you will see that mission displayed in our logo.
From a playful puppy to an adult dog; from an energetic kitten to a mature cat — we work every day to help as many animals as possible realize that right.
The story of how our logo was conceived is one of friendship and artistic collaboration.
Jay Garrett Jr., founder and executive director of A Life to Live, was childhood friends with Chris Castaneda. They were next door neighbors throughout elementary and junior high school.
“Growing up, we taught each other how to draw,” Jay said. “Chris was the cartoonist and I was the artist who excelled in realism. He taught me about creativity and imagination, while I taught him about detail and drawing a mirror image of what you see in front of you.”
They did everything from whittling chess pieces to creating custom Pokémon trading cards. They loved video games, and would play through the night into the next morning without sleeping.
Chris moved to Crosby in high school, while Jay remained in Baytown. The pair lost touch at that time, but they reconnected in college.
When Jay founded A Life to Live in 2014 and began to design the logo on a sketching program on his iPad, he knew that his friend, Chris, was just the guy to help turn that original sketch to life. Chris studied graphic design and digital media in college.
“He took what I drew and threw it on the computer. We spent hours critiquing each animal figure, ensuring that they were as realistic as possible,” Jay said. “The final result is a perfect combination of both of our skills and our combined love for animals and art.”
There is a dog with three legs playing with a ball, representing Laney, the first animal A Life to Live ever saved. She had internal parasites and ringworm, and she was malnourished. Worst of all, she had an injured leg that needed to be amputated. We made sure she got the help she needed, and she has gone on to enjoy a full, healthy life.
The adult cat with a tipped ear signifies that the animal was spayed or neutered. Our Good Felines program works with feral cats in the community to humanely and effectively limit their reproduction through trap-neuter-return and shelter-neuter-return.
From the young kitten playing with a ball of yarn to the adult dog enjoying his senior years, A Life to Live aims to save the lives of all animals abandoned or placed in kill shelters — young or old, big or small, healthy or in need of medical attention.
Despite their hectic work and family lives, Jay and Chris remain friends. Jay served as a groomsman in Chris’ wedding, and Chris and his wife were fosters to help save several kittens in our program.
While they don’t see each other as often these days, they continue to treasure their special bond that helped to create the living embodiment of A Life to Live’s mission.
Written by David Berkowitz, public relations coordinator.