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In an effort to give back to the community and help address the sizable and growing problem of stray and unwanted animals in the Houston area, International Quilt Festival and animal shelter/adoption agency Friends For Life are announcing “Festival’s Pet Project,” which will debut at this year’s Quilt Festival in Houston.

The Project will unfold in a three-year process. This year, a special exhibit will feature selected animal-themed quilts. In 2013, the exhibit will be by invitation only. And in 2014, it will be a judged show with prizes.

“We are honored to be involved with such a heartfelt and creative project! Just the initial response to the call for postcards has been amazing! It is especially touching that the responses are coming from all over the country,” says Salise Shuttlesworth, J.D., Executive Director of Friends For Life.

“One of the things we love about the project is that it so directly connects creative energy and talent with saving the lives of animals. These postcards truly are works of art, and will be available at a price that will make them accessible to people who might not normally get to collect pieces of original art.”

Pokey Bolton, Chief Creative Officer of Festival producer Quilts, Inc. and Pet Project Coordinator, adds “since I moved to Houston late last year, the first thing I did—even before I bought a couch—was get myself a dog. I got my adorable and goofy pooch, Clarence, from Friends For Life because I had heard such wonderful things about this no-kill shelter. I am hoping with the money raised, that we can help Friends for Life save even more animals' lives.”

The Pet Project will benefit the shelter’s operating costs and adoption programs, as well as their “Thinking Outside the Shelter” program. That program offers financially-strapped owners and foster “parents” support in the form of food and medicines for their current pets so that they may keep their animals in their homes and out of the shelter system altogether.

“I’m excited about the inaugural year of this extremely worthy program. It is very important to both our company and to me personally,” Festival Founder and Director Emeritus Karey Bresenhan sums up. “And I can’t wait to see the incredible works of art that will come from it!”

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International Quilt Festival & Friends for Life announce MULTI-YEAR PET PROJECT By Bob Ruggiero