Who We Are
Who We are
Our leadership team features compassionate individuals who love animals and aspire to make a life-saving impact within our community. We are a group of volunteers who commit our time and skills toward creating a no-kill Baytown, where at least 90% of the homeless pet population are saved. Keys to achieving this are a comprehensive adoption program, volunteer and foster programs, community development, cooperation with other rescue groups and shelters, a TSNR [trap, spay/neuter, return] community cat program, and a variety of other life-saving programs that revolve around the goal of saving lives and keeping pets and their people together.
Jay Garrett Jr, Founder and Executive Director
"I'm the founder and executive director of A Life to Live, a nonprofit organization born from passion and perseverance with the mission of bringing No Kill to the Baytown community, inevitably saving thousands of lives. A Life to Live was established in August of 2014. We obtained our 501(c)(3) in February of 2015. As of February of 2017, we've rescued over 135 cats and dogs, we've adopted out more than 100 pets into loving homes, we've provided over 150 free microchips to owned pets, we've prevented thousands of cats from being born on the streets through our Trap Spay/Neuter Return Program, Good Felines, and we've provided Baytown and surrounding cities with a No Kill community-based program that provides a plethora of charitable services at low to no cost, because we value the lives of pets within our community and we believe in the love shared between pets and their people. As you follow our path, I hope you see the passion, love and charity behind our cause. I hope you learn about the life-saving opportunities that are within our grasp. I hope that you get inspired by the lives of the people and the pets that we have forever changed. And if nothing else, I hope that our work encourages you to provide the best possible life for your pet at home! Because I, and our team, truly believe that every pet has a LIFE to LIVE. So, let's make their life one worth remembering!"
Magan gonzales, Cofounder and program director
"I love saving lives! I'd love to tell an awesome or shocking story about my experiences and how I chose to become a big part of A Life to Live, but there really isn't a defining moment in my life that led me to animal rescue. There weren't any profound events that forced me to love and care for cats and dogs in the way that I do. Instead, there were many, seemingly insignificant, yet, intricate moments and the ever-changing twists and turns of life that shaped me and allowed me to fully accept what I always believed I was made to do. I was made for loving animals! I didn't choose to save them; they chose me. Each and every one of them that knocked on my door with broken bodies and empty bellies, they chose just the right place to show up. As the Program Director of A Life to Live, and the Founder of Good Felines, I interact closely with the animals that enter our program and the volunteers and fosters that save their lives - that has changed my life for the better!"
PRESLIE COX, MARKETING COORDINATOR
"For as long as I can remember, I have always had a strong passion for animals, their wellbeing, and doing anything I can to help them. Growing up, my family's home was always filled with animals. To dogs, turtles, and guinea pigs, to cows and horses, we have had it all and I appreciate having so much experience caring for so many types of animals. Any animal my family and I saw that needed help, we took in as our own or did everything we could to get it the help it needed. As I got older, I really wanted to make a difference for the animals in Baytown and doing what I could to help them receive a better quality of life... the quality they deserve. With information and content becoming more accessible to people on the internet and social media, I wanted to make a difference in my community regarding homeless animals or animals in need with my photography. That's when the opportunity to be a partner photographer for A Life to Live presented itself to me. Having a passion for both photography and animals, I knew I could make an impact in this organization through the combination of the two. After being a part of A Life to Live for nearly three years now, I have advanced to becoming the organization's marketing coordinator and now implement my photography with my skills in graphic design. I strongly feel that if you are truly passionate about something, you have the ability to reach an audience more effectively and communicate the cause you believe in. Taking on the role of becoming the marketing coordinator is a new creative challenge I have been searching for and I cannot wait to see what myself and the rest of the organization can create in the near future to make a difference in the lives of the animals in our community."
Summer White, Administrative Coordinator
"I am an administrative coordinator for A Life to Live and am proud to be a part of such a passionate organization. I currently reside in Fort Worth, but will always consider Baytown as a home and will do what I can to impact the community. I have a special place in my heart for stray pets as I have had several throughout my life thus far. I am fortunate to have like-minded friends, one of which who started the Good Felines Trap Spay/Neuter Return Program. I wanted to help in any way I could, so anytime I was in Baytown I would work with the program doing what ever we could get done. It was natural to continue volunteering when A Life to Live and Good Felines combined forces. Their mission of No Kill is where my heart lies and I believe every person deserves a chance in life and the same should apply to our furry companions. Though, I am not able to be at every event or foster as I would like, I do what I can from afar. If what little I am able to do from such a distance can help save even one animal, then it is worth every minute!"
Richelle Dallas, Foster Coordinator
"Animals have held a special place in my heart all my life. Growing up, we had quite a few pets (including cats, dogs, horses, and rabbits) and I considered each one of them a beloved member of the family. My mom always had a hard time turning away an animal in need of a loving home, and I believe that is a big part of where my passion for rescuing comes from. Throughout my adult life, I have taken in several furry companions. Some of them were adopted from rescue organizations or animal shelters, and others were pulled off the street where they surely would have otherwise perished. It only seems fitting that I came to be a part of A Life to Live after adopting a cat rescued by the organization. I was so impressed by their professionalism and inspired by their dedication and sincerity that I realized I had found a wonderful opportunity to join a team of individuals with a shared passion for saving lives. Although I had always done what I could to help animals in need, I knew I wanted to do even more. And now, working alongside the amazing group at A Life to Live, I can make a greater impact than I ever would have been capable of on my own!"
TERRI FITCH, Outreach COORDINATOR
"With growing up in Blue Ridge, GA, among the Appalachian Mountains, I have always been around animals. I remember as a child looking into my cat Midnight’s eyes and knowing in my heart how much she adored me. There’s never been a time that I didn’t stop to help or feed a homeless animal. I’d usually bring it home and find a home for it, or keep it myself! I’ve personally owned several large snakes, lizards, ferrets, pigs, cats and dogs. Yes, I LOVE animals! To serve those that cannot help themselves is vital to me. I believe God breaks all of our hearts for something, and mine is for our furry friends. I can say from my life experiences that animals can be the most therapeutic aspect for healing. As a cancer survivor, my dog Gemma never left my side, and I believe if not for her I wouldn’t be here. A Life to Live is an amazing organization; it gives animals a second chance (often their last) at a happy and full life. It is the most rewarding blessing to see one of our babies go from horrible conditions to a happy, loving home. To me, this is one of my services to God and I am honored to work alongside others with the same goal and compassion!"
LINDSEY REYES, ADOPTION COORDINATOR
"My love for animals started at a very young age; I’ve always been passionate about them and had a strong relationship with every animal I came across. I find it very hard to walk by any animal without touching or meeting them! I have always felt drawn to them because they are the most selfless and pure-hearted creatures on this earth. They never judge, and only ask for love and affection in return. I wanted to join A Life to Live because helping save animals makes my heart so full. Their lives are so short lived and I want to be a part of making sure they receive every ounce of happiness they deserve. I wish for all these sweet animals to have a home where they are safe and cared for. I’m thankful that every day I get to come home to my four-legged love, Enzo, who is always there for me on the good and bad days to put an instant smile on my face and fill my heart. The unconditional love that he shows me day in and day out inspires me to help others find their fur-ever friend!"
EMILY SANDERS, COMMUNITY CAT COORDINATOR
"My family has always had pets while I was growing up. We had ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, cockatiels, cats and dogs. I've always loved having pets at home to care for and play with. When my sister became involved in animal rescue, that's when I realized how many animals are in need of a loving home, and I became aware of the work that needed to be done in our community. Working with A Life to Live gives me the opportunity to have the best of both worlds; as a foster, I get to invite homeless pets into my home and save their lives, and as the Community Cat Coordinator, I get to be an advocate for feral cats by educating the community and assisting with ending the continued reproduction of homeless community cats through TS/NR."
David berkowitz, public relations coordinator
“Growing up in Illinois we had only one family pet, a small dog that my sister brought home from college. It wasn’t until my wife and I settled in Baytown in the early 1980s that I started making up for lost time. Besides the Miniature Schnauzer we received as a gift, all of our pets have been rescues. There was the mama cat and her baby with only one good eye that we took in after finding them roaming the neighborhood. There was the dog my wife and kids got from the local shelter and surprised me with on my 50th birthday. And then there was the homeless kitty that clawed her way up my pant leg and into my arms while I was visiting with a neighbor. Something just feels right about taking in animals that nobody else seems to want. They’re looking for a little food, shelter and love, which is easy enough to provide. Thinking about our pets made me consider all the other dogs and cats in Baytown that might lose their lives if someone doesn’t help. That’s when A Life to Live’s call for volunteers hit me right between the eyes. I thought, ‘I’m retired. I have time to help. I need to do this.’ So I hope my background as a communicator will help share A Life to Live’s important story and mission with many others so that they, too, will step up to help save lives.”
ANGIE SEATON-STANLEY, FOOD BANK COORDINATOR
"Serving pets and the community has been my passion for more than 6 years now, ever since I started a local nonprofit called Baytown Animal Food Pantry. For years, I've been committed to serving senior citizens that are a part of the Meals on Wheels program, most of which are on fixed incomes and homebound or disabled, and need our assistance with providing food to their furry friends. Seeing the smiles on the resident's face, knowing that their pets are going to be cared for in their home with a belly full of food for another month, and realizing the life-saving impact that we have on these families in need, is what drives me to do more. Through my involvement in animal welfare in Baytown, I came across A Life to Live and immediately resonated with one of their impact statements, "... life-saving programs that revolve around the goal of saving lives and keeping pets and their people together." For years, I've kept in contact with the team of leaders. Now, I'm one of those leaders. I had the opportunity to jump on board to run the Food Bank Program where I'll be able to significantly multiply the number of people and pets that we serve through monthly food disbursements to family's in need, ultimately saving the lives of hundreds of pets throughout our community and adding real value to people's lives, by keeping them and their pets together, for life."
ROCIO ARREOLA, MEDICAL COORDINATOR
"I have a passion for saving lives and advocating for those who cannot speak for themselves. Joining this organization and being able to help save lives in this community is exactly what I've always wanted to do. I am also a proud fur mom of a beautiful and very timid five year old cat named Tess. She teaches me everyday the importance of trust, love, and perseverance. She, and all the other amazing animals out there are the reason why I am so passionate about educating the community about the importance of no-kill communities. I am honored to work alongside the leaders of A Life to Live and make an impact by saving lives."
KATHY ZEAGLER, VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR
“I have had a love for animals for as long as I can remember. Growing up we had a Dachshund and she was the sweetest. I had a love for horses and riding growing up. Over the years we've had dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, fish, and an iguana. Most of my dogs and cats have been rescues. When Jay started A Life to Live in 2014, I became a supporter and started visiting most of the events. Two years ago, I lost two of my dogs within three months. Three days after the loss of the last one, the Baytown Animal Shelter was full and there was a little Chihuahua-mix that was going to be euthanized by the end of the day. It just so happened that it was birthday that day, so we went and picked him up. I feel very strongly that pets are a part of the family. They bring so much unconditional love. The bond with a pet is something special. A few months ago, I decided I wanted to be more involved with A Life to Live and the no-kill mission that I feel so strongly about. I began volunteering at events and then was offered and happily accepted the Volunteer Coordinator position. I believe that through education and community involvement we can make Baytown no-kill by 2025. I am so excited to be a part of this organization. Saving lives runs in my family genes as my sister is a Humane Education Director and past Volunteer Coordinator in South Carolina. Together, we will make a difference and lives will be saved.”
yan ortiz, marketing coordinator
"Animals are my passion. I cannot imagine my life without them and I appreciate all the positive things they bring to us and our lives. My passion for animals begun when my very first cat, Sylvester, helped me out of my depression. Sylvester found me on a busy street in Hong Kong. When I rescued him, the vet told me that he wouldn't have lived for more than a week if I had not found him. When I was going through the darkest time of my life, Sylvester was by my side and continued to bring joy into my life. He showed me the amount of love and comfort an animal can give towards humans and that every animal's life is worth being saved. I am honored to have the opportunity to work for A Life to Live to help rescue more homeless and abandoned animals within our community. I hope that my work for A Life to Live will allow me to help unite more people and pets so they can experience the same love that Sylvester has shown me."
Kaitlyn Mason, Administrative assistant
"All of my life, I've had a passion for saving animals. Most of the animals in my household have been taken off of the street. My belief is that animals are grateful to us for helping them when they are in need. No matter the circumstances, they love us unconditionally. I think it's perfect that I'm working with A Life to Live to help animals find their forever homes."
If you're interested in joining our team of volunteers, start by completing our volunteer application. We're always looking for passionate leaders within our community who are committed to our life-saving cause. The more people we can get to work toward a common goal, the more successful we'll be, and the more lives we'll save.
A Life to Live is an incorporated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Baytown, Texas. © 2017 A Life to Live. All rights reserved.