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AJs Best Friends Persian & Himalayan Rescue

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: Our specialty is rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming purebred/purebred look-a-like cats such as Persians, Himalayans, Selkirk Rex, Ragdolls, Exotics and other long haired purebred cats. When the need arises, and space permits, we will rescue other breeds of cats in need of a safe place to land.

Results: Since 2003 we have rescued and rehomed over 4000 cats from every conceivable situation locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. From sanctuaries, hurricanes, war torn countries, breeders, collectors, hoarders, owners, finders, pounds, humane societies, other rescues, large corporations, businesses, apartments, homes, dumpsters, rock quarries, rivers, lakes, canals, trees, roofs, inside walls, buried in mud slides, long haul trucks, wrapped in shrink wrap, drug dealers, and more.

Target demographics: Persians, Himalayans, Selkirk Rex, Exotic Shorthair, Ragdolls, Ragamuffins

Direct beneficiaries per year: 300 cats

Geographic areas served: Phoenix, AZ, and the surrounding states. We also provide assistance for cats caught up in disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, or from hoarders, collectors, breeders, puppy mills. We even took in a dozen Persian cats in 2012 from Cairo, Egypt when that country was in turmoil and the animals were being abandoned.

Programs: Every unaltered kitty will be spayed or neutered, be current on vaccination, and tested for FeLV/FIV prior to adoption. We want them to have a fresh healthy start to a new life.

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Nicole98

Client Served

Rating: 1

I feel somewhat bad leaving a review as negative as this, but I have felt the need to share this story for what I believe is a couple years by this point. Some time ago, I applied to adopt a young Persian (who I will not name, as I believe she now has a lovely family who is taking excellent care of her) and was approved! I filled out all of the paperwork and communicated with the person who I believe was the primary facilitator of adoptions at that point in time.

I was set to travel the hour and a half to Phoenix the next day, with my adoption fee withdrawn and in hand, when I was contacted and told that due to some medical reason, my cat-to-be needed to wait a few days before travelling. I communicated back that of course I was willing to wait until the cat was feeling better, and to please let me know when I could come pick her up. I literally never heard back from AJ's Best Friends again.

After a couple days of silence, I felt like something was wrong, and reached out to my point of contact on Facebook and by phone I was worried that something was wrong with the cat or, more likely, the person, as I figured any professional with the ability to do so would have informed me of an urgent problem with a being I had committed to caring for for the rest of her life.

After multiple unreturned calls and many days of non-responsiveness to online messages, my spouse called my contact at AJ's Best Friends with her phone on my behalf. The phone was promptly answered in a friendly manner. When my spouse explained the purpose of her call-- to check on the status of this cat, the contact herself, and the adoption plans that had been on pause for around a week by that point-- the contact told her that the cat was no longer up for adoption and to never call or contact them again.

Basically, for lack of any evidence to the contrary, what happened appears to be this: AJ's Best Friends reviewed and approved an adoption, asked to wait for a reason that may or may not have been fabricated, changed their mind, cut off all communication, and refused to offer an explanation to anyone. I have literally never been treated so poorly by any entity, for-profit or non-profit, at any point in my life.

I was heartbroken that this cat, this being, who I had emotionally committed to, whom I had told family and friends about, pored over pictures of, and for whom I had been preparing my home for, would never come home with me. I have put off posting about it because I don't want cast a shadow on an organization that does do good things for cats. That said, apart from discrimination of some sort, I can't think of why this would have happened. This may have happened to others. In fact, I find it unlikely that an organization or employee of said organization would treat someone so inconsiderately once and never again. Those others may have the same reservations that keep them from speaking up. And that is not okay. There is no way to describe this experience as anything other than "far below expectations."

Neekta H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love this organization! I adopted my cat butter here 9 years ago and am so happy I was able to bring her to a happy home where she is loved. I adopted another cat from her 2 years ago who was found abondoned with an eye infection and alopecia. Shery brought her back to good health over many months and let us adopt her. She is so happy and healthy now and I couldn’t recommend this organization enough!

Kay_2

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been a donor for years. Cheri takes wonderful care of the cats in her care.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We found Cheri and Ajs when we were looking for a cat to fill the void when our much loved Persian cat passed away. I wanted another Persian but wanted a rescue cat. And we found the perfect cat among the many that Cheri had rescued and cared for. Reggie had been with her for a few years waiting for the right placement and we were it. This nonprofit rescue provides a wonderful home for these homeless cats and Cheri works diligently to make a perfect match. She and the cats she cares for are amazing.
Karen, El Paso Tx.

Nikki P.1

Donor

Rating: 5

To be successful, you must have a passion for your mission... Cheri has passion for persian cats. She has made it her mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and place cats and kittens that need to be rehomed. I have personally adopted several of these little critters and in my opinion, Cheri is the best Persian Rescue that I have encountered. I have assisted and adopted from AJ's Best Friends. I believe in what Cheri is doing and she is one of the best. It would be a fantastic day is AJ's is selected to receive monetary grants to help her cause...

Client Served

Rating: 5

Cheri is the best, she is caring and informative. I can't imagine going through the adoption process without her. I recently adopted two fur babies from AJs, they are great companions, very loving and fit right in almost instantly. I would def recommend AJs to anyone.

Janet B.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Cheri is one of the Best! I have adopted Perry, Frankie, Duke and Harry from her. They have the best personalities . Please, please help fund this Rescue

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had rescued a family of kittens and was struggling with my resources to find them homes. After reaching out to several places, Cheri came through to help when it was needed most. She was very nice, offered great advice, and runs a tight ship. She goes well beyond the average to care for these cats and it's very appreciated. I was definitely impressed.

Michelle T.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We got Tiffany from AJ's about 2 years ago and she is the sweetest cat we've ever had. The process to adopt her was thorough but easy. She was meant for us. Looking forward to adopting here again!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We adopted a Balinese a few years ago - Tiffany. She is now my daughter's VERY best friend. The adoption process was smooth and the house we visited was well run and clean. I keep looking for another Balinese to adopt because we really love the breed. Thanks AJ's!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough great things about AJ’s Best Friends and Cheri in particular. Not only did she help me find my most perfect furry companion (GiGi) but also helps in GiGi’s grooming. Furthermore, she was willing to lend a hand in finding homes for a mother and her four kittens that were abandoned at a parking lot. This kindness is unmatched and I appreciate everything that AJ’s Best Friends does and stands for.

1 Starre T.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cheri absolutely the best. I was directed to her rescue by a CFA representative. The foster home is immaculate. The cats are all obviously well cared for.
Cheri is SO knowledgeable and willing to share.
I am so grateful I found her. Several times through the years and six AJBF cats later she has counseled me on more than just cat matters.
We will be life long friends.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

AJ's Best Friends is ALWAYS 'there' to aid with rescue or rehabilitation of cats in need, whether it be rehoming, veterinary care or guardian advice. The generous out pouring of time and attention to details keeps the cats in care there, safe, healthy, well groomed and happy.

3 drhaz

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found Cheri when I was still heartbroken over the loss of my beautiful snowshoe, Thai. Although I wasn't really looking for another feline companion, I fell in love with a picture of a little chubby faced Scottish Fold. Speaking with Cheri, I realized how much love, care, and heart she had for her rescues. I immediately knew that I just had to go and see this little fur baby. When I arrived, I knew right away that Noodles, now Phoebe...was my girl. She has been with me for just one week, and already knows that she has finally found her forever home with me, my three little dogs, and one mouthy Parrot!!. Phoebe follows me and "The Boys" around as if she has been here her whole life! Not only does she love my Boys, and wants to be a part of everything they do...they already adore her also. I can't thank Cheri enough, and am sure that Thai is looking down on us, with a smile on his beautiful face.

I would encourage anyone wanting to adopt from this exceptional rescue...not to hesitate. Thank you Cheri, for helping to heal our hearts, and for putting smiles back in our lives!!!

drhopkins

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently lost my best friend of 11 years, my pal Tigger. I decided I wanted a fancy cat and went to look at a Ragdoll at this facility. He was a nice cat, just not the cat for me. I went to see other kitties there in the foster home and one little orange kitty was literally jumping up and down to get me to notice him. He got a home that day and immediately became my new little friend. It has been a week now and I couldn't be happier. Please support this shelter however, possible. The lady there has a huge heart.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Cherri has been so helpful and answered all of my questions. What lucky cats to have ended up with her. She takes such good care of them and gives them a great place to stay during their transition to a new home. The Himalayan that I picked out is so perfect in every way. I adore him and he adores me too. I couldn't be happier. Thank you so much for my new friend.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was very impressed with the service, care and attention I received. I emailed and called several times and was always met with patience and understanding. Cheri, who fosters the cats while they await adoption, was there when I had questions or concerns. She knows so much about cats, their behavior, their personalities, and what will work/won't work with bringing a cat into a household of existing pets. While I was smitten with one cat, Cheri just gently reminded me of what she thought would work the best in terms of which cat to adopt (who was also gorgeous but one that I missed at first). She was spot on. It's great to have someone like Cheri to call and who knows so much. With the larger shelter & adoption organization, you simply won't get the amount of individualized attention that you get at Ajs Best Friends. Thank you so much.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Very knowledgeable about cats and cat breeds. Very clean house and kitties are well cared for.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I first met Cheri Minauri at AJ’s Best Friends, I was filled with wonder. I will always remember my first visit to adopt a Persian cat. I named her Melodie, and she needed a friend and the friend needed a friend and so on.

It is now over ten years of adopting from this wonderful Forever Home. What touched me is that Cheri will always be there for adoptees in the event one is unable to care for them.

Cheri Minauri has a touch like no other. It is a heavenly place. The rescued cats run to greet you and are the happiest I have ever seen. Cheri personally takes care of minor medical issues, personal feline care, and tends to their daily meows.

She designed a portion of her home exclusively for the cats—it’s simply magical with curtained windows, cat furniture, toys, and just a happy catty place—with a pet door to walk in the kitchen to munch, sleep on the couch, or watch TV with other felines.

I have witnessed Cheri’s devotion providing transportation in and out of state for adopted cats, accepting dozens of Persians from house fires and hoarders, cats on the brink of death from abuse.

Cheri Minauri is devoted, loving, and is living her dream. One has to witness the serenity to believe the goodness that emanates from her soul. Happiness is reflected in the eyes of her rescues.

Reach out and adopt from this Forever Home.

Saundra Ann Palmer

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They do an awesome job in finding forever homes/ families

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I got my beautiful persian here and was so happy to find her.

1 Debi14

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've adopted four cats and a puppy all heaven sent angel from AJs.... Her facility is impeccable, she takes wonderful care of the cats and is sure to find them a home for life! Best rescue!

Previous Stories
4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've rescued 4 cats and a puppy from AJ's. This group devotes life to helping animals!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with AJ's was so great. Cheri is clearly passionate about what she does and was kind and patient with me in teaching me the things I needed to know to continue to help Red. I am grateful for people like Cheri who take on the hard part of rescuing animals and helping them get better so people like me can just pick them up and love them the rest of their lives. I also appreciate that she tries to find the right owner for each of her rescues. What a blessing to these sweet cats. I would recommend adopting from AJ's to all who love Persians. My sweet boy is in his forever home now and my family loves him.
Happy Ending. :)

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Five of my six cats have been adopted from AJs, between 2008 and 2014 - it's worth 200 mile round trip to know I will be coming home with just the right cat for me, even if they wail they whole way home! Even when cats have come from horrendous situations, AJs always works to ensure you are adopting a well-groomed, healthy cat that fits your personality and lifestyle. Rudy - rescued from a hoarding situation along with another 75 cats - understandably took a while to become social, and many other organizations would have given up on him. AJs goes above and beyond, even when the situation looks hopeless.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I recently was fortunate enough to visit Ajs Best Friends Rescue. What a remarkable place!

The cats are all friendly and content. It is very clean and organized. A feeling of warmth permeates the atmosphere. I highly recommend this great Rescue if you are looking for exotic breeds. They know the personality of each and every cat and take the time to provide a good match for families.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I found myself in a position to have to donate my Persian adult cats and found AJBF via online search. After reviewing the web site, I decided to fill out the online questionnaire. I was greeted promptly with a reply from Cheri. She was incredibly friendly and helpful and made the process as comfortable as it could possibly be. When donating the cats, I was extremely impressed with Cheri's knowledge and genuine love for the cats. A very difficult decision was made easier due to Cheri's professionalism and knowledge, in addition to maintaining a clean and comfortable place. Thank you Cheri!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I discovered AJ's when I first moved to Arizona. While I haven't adopted from them, I make sure I stay up to date on what they are doing to save kitties in need. The organization does so much for these special kitties and I've always thought if I ever needed help, AJ's would be my first call! I recently contacted Cheri for some advice on transporting my kitties across country and she was so quick to respond and offer her advice! Thank you AJ's for all you do!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Cheri at Ajs Best Friends Persian is remarkable. The professionalism and follow up regarding adoptions was superb for us. We were "vetted" and encouraged. She provided pictures and bio information that made the whole process warm and friendly.

We traveled a great distance to complete this adoption and Cheri was most helpful all along the way. 3 and 1/2 months later, Cheri even stopped by and ensured all was OK with us and our new household addition. Our new kitty even remembered Cheri, strongly suggesting to us that Cheri also does it right in caring for the kitties as they await their new forever home. She simply is and was "the best". Want a kitty, see Cheri. We love her.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have lovedAJ Best Friends. Recently I had my kitty coiffed by AJBF. They recommended before re-entering my home with my kitty and his new hair-do to rub catnip in my hands and on my two kitties. This allowed a peaceful meet up and the kitty that stayed home was not showing any hissing or jealousy. This was a great tip because I would have to separate them for at least a day to get use to each other smell again. Thanks, AJ Best Friends

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Over the last ten years, I have adopted three Siamese cats from AJ's. They have been the most wonderful, loving kitties, all due to the nurturing they received from this incredible rescue group after having been taken in from unpleasant circumstances elsewhere. I can't thank AJ's enough for these truly special gifts in my life.

4 Michael348

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing rescue group. I don't know how they get the energy and strength to do so much for all these exotic cats in need but volunteers have angel wings. The foster home is so professional, its set up in a genius way. Cats are well cared for and fantastic forever homes are found. There are very few if any Persian, Himalayan and Exotics in this region and I can't thank them enough.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

AJBF is a wonderful rescue primarily for Persian and Himalayan cats, but really for so many more. The animals in this shelter are loved and well cared for and the adoption process is rigorous. AJBF is an advocate and voice for homeless and abandoned cats. We adopted one of the rescue cats here 3 years ago, and he had already been in the shelter for several years--but we had to pass the 'he likes you test' before we could take him home. He is a wonderful cat.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

AJ's is a wonderful rescue organization! They have rescued Persians and Himalayan's from as far away as Cairo, Egypt! We have one of those beauties, the sweetest kitty ever. We also rescued another Ragdoll who is a joyous addition to our family. AJBF is a caring, professional organization to go the extra mile to save, care for, rehabilitate and re-home these precious pets in need. Fantastic organization.

2 Linda380

Client Served

Rating: 5

Not only does this rescue help Persians and Himalayans, but they also place other cats who need homes. We have a sweet, beautiful Scottish Fold named Sadie who came from AJBF. The adoption process was a great experience with all the help and support we needed to bring a new cat into our family. I love this rescue!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This rescue is great! They help so many helpless Persians and Himalayans. They are so giving and kind to their cats.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My rescue Persian, Max, is alive thanks to the amazing advice provided by Ajs Best Friends Persian & Himalayan Rescue! This is a very dedicated and amazingly supportive organization!

4 Toby R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

AJ's is a unique and tireless organization for Arizona. They are specialized in the unique needs of the Persian and Himalayan breeds and help find proper homes that will also make the extra time for these special animals. I have a beautiful calico, Sandanny, I adopted five years ago and they still remain connected and personal. A top organization!

3 Cayley S.

Donor

Rating: 5

After becoming a fur parent to a Persian and a Himalayan I quickly became very attached to these breeds. A friend recommended I follow AJ'S Best Friends Persian and Himalayan Rescue page on Facebook and I am so happy so I did. I have seen countless success stories and updates on new cats brought to the rescue and even once they have found their fur-ever home. These breeds at so beautiful and can be very challenging to maintain due to their long hair and flatter faces. I commend this rescue for truly going above and beyond to rescue these beautiful animals and making sure they are in optimal health (and primarily at their own expense) and adopting out to loving people.