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Baytown

We have a no-kill mission to save the lives of homeless cats and dogs abandoned and/or placed in kill shelters, while also providing life-saving programs and services to keep pets and their people together. Through outreach, education and service, we provide cats and dogs with an opportunity to live their full lives. 

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"Pursuing No Kill" is our active blog that highlights the work that we do as we continue to live out our no-kill mission to save the lives of homeless pets within our community! 

Friends and Artists Behind the Logo

Jay Garrett

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.

Chris and Jay, best friends throughout elementary and junior high school, at a birthday party.

Chris and Jay, best friends throughout elementary and junior high school, at a birthday party.

“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.”

A comic drawn by Chris and Jay. 

A comic drawn by Chris and Jay. 

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.

Original logo sketch by Jay Garrett Jr., founder and executive director of A Life to Live. 

Original logo sketch by Jay Garrett Jr., founder and executive director of A Life to Live. 

“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.”

Conceptualizing the sketch and converting it to a digital graphic design. 

Conceptualizing the sketch and converting it to a digital graphic design. 

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.

Final logo, concluded through hours of manipulation and critique between the two artists. 

Final logo, concluded through hours of manipulation and critique between the two artists. 

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.