Dumped Again? — AJ and His Teddy Bear

AJ and his teddy bear at Castaic shelter

AJ and his teddy bear at the shelter

Well, isn’t this a royal mess! And who is the one suffering? Poor AJ who doesn’t have a clue why he is being shuttled all over Southern California. If you saw our story on September 10th, you know that 10-year-old AJ and his teddy bear were dumped at the Castaic shelter by his owners.

His story spread on Facebook like wildfire thanks to the rescue community and other animal lovers who saw his post. MeoowzResQ was contacted through the rescue network and stepped up to save him. They were in the process of sending a transporter to get him when they were informed that he had been adopted. Someone posted on MeoowzResQ’s Facebook page that the adopter had put a deposit to hold him but the shelter wouldn’t release him until Friday.

MeoowzResQ was given the following story on that Friday by a friend of the adopter. “When the adopter, Tam, got there to pick him up, there was an older lady who was sitting and playing with him, wanting to adopt him. She told them that she had just had to put her cat to sleep and her other cat was despondent. Tam also found out that AJ didn’t get along well with dogs (something the shelter hadn’t mentioned before and Tam has two dogs.) So, Tam let the 85-year-old lady take AJ and even paid the adoption fees for her. AJ has a good home with a lady who cried when she was told that she could take him.” What a lovely story, but it appears to be inaccurate.

After this update was posted, a THIRD person posted that AJ was actually adopted on Wednesday by someone else!!! Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any “getting to the bottom” of what happened on that Friday. Apparently two other kitties got adopted that day, neither of which were AJ. AJ was adopted on Wednesday by Melissa as reported and, that in itself was all that really mattered — until this past Friday. 

On Friday, after little more than a week, Dani Ryan, founder of MeoowzResQ, received an email from AJ’s adopter saying that he wasn’t working out and did she still have room for him! Melissa said that her two cats were not accepting of AJ and she was afraid for his safety. MeoowzResQ had pledged to help whoever adopted AJ with any medical needs he had at the time so, of course, agreed to take him as they had initially intended. 

Will there be a Happy Ending for AJ and His Teddy Bear?

Melissa brought AJ and his teddy bear to Dani this morning. She was very sad as she had grown attached to AJ but said one of her other cats kept attacking him. She had worked on the introduction several times over the past 10 days and it just didn’t work. She feels AJ deserves better and hopes that MeoowzResQ will be able to find him another loving home. Melissa also brought some of the food he likes and a nice carrier.

AJ in his foster home

AJ in his foster home

I was there when Melissa brought AJ. I had come to meet her and pick him up — I’m happy to say that I am AJ’s foster! I tried to get a good photo of him but he really just wants to hide right now. After he has had some time to settle in, I will introduce him to some of the cats at my house and see how he does. I will evaluate him to see what type of home might be best for him. He seems like such a sweet guy! I’ll keep you posted.

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  1. My cats took 10 months to co-habitate safely because the older girl had been so badly abused & neglected & bounced to so many shelters. I moved them from bedroom to bedroom, alternating sleeping, food, etc. until there was less & less anger & finally they were ok together. Not friends, just OK & no fighting. I work TWO jobs – one being a marketing director for a non-profit that I do for free, the other being a consultant which is often 10-11 hr days. If *I* can do it for 10 months, someone else can do it for 10 wks. I’m sorry but I’m so sick of ignorant, lazy people that can’t be bothered to sacrifice a little more time to help an already vulnerable animal. That chick makes me ill.

  2. I am an animal lover. And it’s amazing how people can treat animals like that. Makes me wonder how they treat their kids. When there no longer fun do they just drop theme off somewhere. I have had jealously my cat (aka the queen)for 16 years she knows me and I know her. That pain in the ass eats better than I do. (I know I’m the one that feeds her.) If you get an animal it’s just like having a child. You love them feed them and hope they don’t shit on your carpet. Please keep me posted. If he is an indoor cat and not violent and someone can get him to me in Reno. I’m willing to give him a home.

  3. I have followed AJ since day 1. I was going to jump in my car and drive from Las Vegas to adopt him myself! I’m glad to see that his original adopter realized that it wasn’t going to work and contacted you. As long as he is in safe hands, we can’t ask for much more….

  4. Is AJ safe? Not in any danger of euth is he? If he is please contact me- I can’t bear the thought of him being pts after all this.. poor little angel.

  5. If you look back over the comments when it was announced that AJ had been adopted because of all the publicity, you will find that I wrote I was happy for AJ but concerned. I added that I didn’t have a good feeling about this one and could the rescue please follow up. It is possible that AJ needs to be the only kitty in a house now — somewhere he can be the centre of attention and a slave’s entire world. It’s wonderful that he is in a place where he can be properly evaluated. I will rest easier knowing that the process has slowed down and that AJ is being put first.

  6. Hi…If it were me trying to integrate a new cat for cats that already rule the roost I honestly would have given it more time. I’ve had one of these cats that absolutely dominate. Still a little more time MIGHT have done it. But Melissa did the right thing as she saw it…the scum is the person(s) who really dumped this guy in the first place. Your animals (pets) are a lifetime commitment. I’ve an apt full of rescue kitties and if possible I would adopt AJ, but with MY cat situation it would be fair to him.
    Heres hoping AJ finds the right family!

  7. Look folks, I had two cats who did NOT get along for ten years! I had to keep them separate and I did so, and they BOTH had GREAT LOVED lives — Adoption is a COMMITTMENT! You have a responsibility for that cat or dog for its LIFE. Are you PREPARED for this? This is not like getting a sofa that you can return on a whim!!!! This is a living being and YOU are all this cat or dog has! Don’t Adopt if you are not prepared for a LIFETIME of LOVE, committment and vet care ($$$$)

  8. Following the story…keep us informed. And thank you, I was looking for someone to pull him when you stepped up. And thank you for continuing to be his safety net as his story unfolds. Hugs, purrs and head bonks to you AJ…hang in there big guy, it will be okay, it just will take a little time for things to feel comfortable again. This rescue won’t let you fall through the slats!

  9. If I lived closer I would take that sweet sweet baby in a heartbeat. I am praying he finds the perfect forever family he deserves.

  10. I really don’t know what kind of human garbage could dump their pet in the first place! Hoping AJ and all abandoned pets find their forever home

  11. I wish you all weren’t so far away. I followed AJ’s story and know what it is like to be dumped and homeless.I would adopt him I’m in Toronto, Canada, and now have a new home with my daughter and our cats Fred & Shirley.

  12. I don’t think that his previous adopter was ‘throwing him to the wolves’. It sounds as though she may have a very territorial cat that may not like other cats-it happens. It doesn’t mean it can’t be worked out but at what cost to this sweet cat? She did the right thing! She found a way to find him the best home ever, which is kind and unselfish. She was a kind person, motivated by good!!!
    He is such a sweet cat, and I know he’s going to find the best home, ever.

  13. Will you be posting pics and updates on the MeoowzResQ Facebook page? Thank you for helping him on his journey to his real forever home. Destiny says his wasn’t the right one.

  14. Apparently his ‘adopter’ was clueless as to how to integrate a new cat into a household and just threw him to the proverbial wolves. A little education could go a long way here….

    • Melissa has the right idea and approach. Good luck to this beautiful boy!

    • I don’t think Melissa just threw him to the wolves. In an email to MeoowzResQ she wrote: “I have had cats all my life and have done introductions but I can tell that this is not going to end well am afraid AJ is going to get jumped and get hurt.” I think she was genuinely concerned for him and did the right thing.

    • I guess I need to be educated as well then. I have had cats all my life. Currently have 8 in my home. there always seems to be an alpha cat who will attack newcomers. My current alpha cats are the youngest. they came into the home as harmless kittens but they are big now and have tried chasing and attacking all other cats in the house. All it takes to discourage them is for the victim to stand up for himself and give them a swat but there are two very shy cats who just run away and spend their days hiding. The alpha cats will not attack in my presence now but when I’m out I put the victims in protective custody in a bedroom so they don’t have to hide under furniture. The other problem cat is a female who gets along with all the male cats but attacks the two other females. Cats are by nature not pack animals. Unless they are litter mates it can be difficult to have them get along. If anyone can tell me how to stop the aggressors from carrying on in my home I would appreciate any help, but I’m not hopeful of a solution. You can try all sorts of things to discourage behavior but as soon as your back is turned they are at it again.

      • Sandra , Hi ! I have the exact same problem as you do .. I have 10 rescues . I take it the ones who will not survive outdoors due to disabilities etc .. One day , 7 yrs ago , returning home from the hospital where my hubby eas having chemo treatments , lo and behold a fed ex box at myback door . Inside 2 kittens . 1 girl , 1 boy .. Of course , in they came . They have now grown to be the Alphas in the house . The girl attacks my 13 year old female who is blind in 1 eye , her litter (box) mate attacks my 12 year old male .. And in the same sneaky way , when I’m occupied or not looking . I use a spray bottle of water but as you so I worry so when I have to leave for a few days at a time because I know the 2 brats ! LOL ! will take full advantage . THe 2 cats being attacked are the sweetest non aggressive cats you could find … The brats leave the other 6 alone … SO if you get any advice PLEASE pass it on to me … Thanks so much , Ethel

  15. So happy that AJ is safe.

  16. I am so sorry to hear that! I was so sad for AJ after reading his original story. Please give it your best to foster AJ and to find him a “forever home”. I can’t understand why people abandon their animals to begin with. That is SO UNFAIR. Do keep us informed about AJ!

    I hope karma gets even with the original heartless owners.

    • Thanks for your comment, Teresa. He will be well cared for until the right home can be found.

      • Hello, my name is Kevin and I would love to have AJ in my home. He would have a wonderful place to live. I live in Spokane Washington and would send airfare for him to fly here. If this is something that can be done please let me know. Thanks, Kevin

        • Hi Kevin, I’ve been checking into this so that’s the reason for the delay. MeoowzResQ has a general policy of only adopting in the local area and at his age, flying in cargo is not a good idea. If we are unable to find an adopter for him here, I’ll contact you to see if you are still interested and if something can be worked out.

      • Thank you for what you’re doing for AJ. It make me feel A LOT better knowing that he will continue to be safe until a good, accomodating home can be found for him.

        Thanks Again for helping him!

        Rick Wilson

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