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Shelter Tales: Cooper's Journey from Rescue to Redemption

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

A collection of shelter stories that share the most heartwarming stories that are forged right here in Corpus Christi, Texas.


Every year we receive thousands of dogs and place as many as we can into their new homes. While all our residents are special to us, it is not often that we find ourselves captivated by a dog that changes our perspective. Today’s story will be highlighting Cooper and his journey at Gulf Coast Humane Society.

Cooper is a hound-mix that came to us towards the end of October 2022. He was transferred in from Mathis Texas Animal Shelter and spent the next 5 months waiting for his family to arrive but was constantly overlooked by visitors due to his reactivity with other dogs. He was beloved by all the staff members and his personality shined in all his daily interaction. Cooper’s future did not look promising, and he needed a spark if there was any hope for him in finding a home. Jackie McCollough, Director of Marketing & Development, took Cooper to HotZ95 to feature him in our weekly segment “Pet of The Week”. This is the start of Cooper and Will’s story.

Will has been working for HotZ95 for years and even shared that he had been present to greet most of the dogs that come to the station each week. Most of his interactions were very brief, but with Cooper, he immediately realized that there was something different. Perhaps a spark that was never there before because Will remembers his love for Cooper being “instant”. After this interaction, Jackie took notice of Will’s immediate love for Cooper and in the following weeks continued to encourage him to go forward with adoption. However, Will needed time to make sure he could go forward with this decision.

A week following this first interaction, Cooper participated in our special event “Doggy Day Out”. Doggy Day Out consists of a select number of dogs being paired with different volunteers who take our dogs out of the shelter for a few hours to enjoy a full day of fun. Volunteers are encouraged to take the dogs to different locations, long walks, and more in order to give them proper exercise and release any pent-up energy they may have from being in their kennel. We received many pictures and videos of Cooper enjoying his day and to our surprise, Cooper was recorded walking alongside another dog on the beach without any aggressive behavior being shown. This showed us that Cooper was more than capable of befriending other dogs.

Jackie and our staff recall being absolutely shocked by this revelation and were eager to tell Will of our new discovery with Cooper. In the days following, Will decided he couldn’t go one more day without Cooper in his life. In March 2023, Cooper found his forever home with Will and the rest was history.

Now, a year after Cooper's arrival, Will was asked to share his story to inspire potential adopters not to overlook any shelter dogs they might fall in love with. In less than a year from his adoption date, Cooper has flourished during his time at home and has made plenty of friends at the dog park! Cooper’s story is important to share, especially since it eases concerns many adopters may have about dogs that are labeled as “reactive”. We want to continue to share these success stories with all of you because with the assistance of the community, we are capable of accomplishing much more.

If you would like to make a difference in our community, please visit our volunteer and donation sections on our website!

Watch Cooper's Story here!

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