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Peewee’s in Corpus Christi places animals in loving homes

Peewee’s Pet Adoption World & Sanctuary Shelter Director Ernie Cochran with her shelter mascot dog, Jafar. Photo by Dayna Worchel

Visitors stepping inside Peewee’s Pet Adoption World & Sanctuary in Corpus Christi are quickly greeted by an adorable terrier mix named Jafar.

“He’s our mascot,” explained shelter Director Ernie Cochran as she scooped the dog up in her arms.

Located at 1307 Saratoga Blvd., the facility is a 501(c)3 nonprofit no-kill animal shelter that survives on donations as it receives no local or federal funding.

The photos she shows of Jafar when he was first found as a stray are brutal. Most of his hair is missing, and he has bright red marks on his feet, which could be from cigarette burns, Cochran said. Now healthy and happy, Jafar bears no resemblance to the dog in the photos as he plays and scampers on the clean, wooden floor in the shelter’s office area.

Although Jafar is not up for adoption, the other 299 dogs that live with him at Peewee’s are looking for loving, forever homes. Along with the canines, 100 cats and an assortment of pigs, rabbits, horses, and sheep are also available.

“Finding homes for them costs a hundred dollars,” Cochran said. “This includes shots, checking for heartworms, and spaying and neutering, unless there is something else wrong with them, which would add to that cost.”

Donations of any size are appreciated. For example, a $100 contribution will spay or neuter two adult dogs. A $20 contribution will provide vaccinations and neutering for a male cat. And $10 will vaccinate two puppies as well as worm them and treat them for external parasites.

Peewee’s places seven animals per day and has found homes for 1,400 animals since its founding in 1995 through July of this year.

“We are pulling dogs from eight counties to save them from euthanasia and from kill shelters,” Cochran said. “We place animals all over the U.S.”

Besides Lucky Lodge, where adoptable dogs are housed, and Harley’s Cat Sanctuary for the felines, Peewee’s is also home to Madison’s Clinic, which offers low-cost spay and neuter services for pets. All of the buildings sit on the shelter’s 113 acres on Saratoga Boulevard.

Cochran, whose background includes working as a registered nurse, a Realtor, and a retail business owner, said she founded Peewee’s for two reasons.

First was a near-death experience in 1982. Working as a nurse in South Texas, she was involved in a major car accident traveling between ranches to care for patients.

“God showed me the light, and I asked him not to let me go through the light yet,” Cochran said.

Shortly after that accident, she found a stray dog and her new life’s calling. She contacted the Lost Pet Hotline in Corpus Christi to report the stray then began volunteering with the organization. She was in charge of the Lost Pet Hotline from 1989 to 1993 then founded Peewee’s in 1995.

Another reason for creating the organization was to thank America for the opportunities the country has afforded her.

“I was an immigrant from Mexico,” she told Corpus Christi Business News. “My mom worked for the Mexican Foreign Service.”

Cochran came to the U.S. as a teenager in the 1960s.

“I decided I wanted to give back to society,” she said, so she worked hard to learn English and become a U.S. citizen.


To volunteer, call the shelter at (361) 888-4141. No special training is required other than a love for animals, Cochran said.

Volunteers don't have to donate a certain number of hours, but Cochran does ask for workers to stay at least a couple of hours at a time.

Help is needed to walk, socialize, and bathe dogs as well as clean their living spaces. Volunteers can also walk the dogs on a leash and help with Saturday adoption events at Petsmart and Petco.

“The biggest need is for people to pet the animals and show them affection,” Cochran said, adding that nothing strenuous is required. “Anyone who loves animals is welcome.”

One of the major fund raisers for the program happens each October. Find out more.

Peewee’s Pet Adoption World & Sanctuary Inc. is located at 1307 Saratoga Blvd. in Corpus Christi.The shelter is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, call (361) 888-4141 or visit

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