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Meet Angie Grams and Karen Dickey of Sun Cities 4 Paws Rescue in West Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angie Grams and Karen Dickey.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Sun Cities 4 Paws (we call ourselves 4 Paws), was established over 22 years ago in a couple ladies homes for abandoned cats in Sun City. Whether the cats were feral or part domesticated, they were given shelter and medical care if needed. Word got out, and with the increased following of these dedicated ladies, donations started coming in and an older manufacturing building was bought and slowly converted into a shelter in Peoria. In the early 2000’s, volunteers opened a thrift store with the purpose of supporting the shelter, called 4 Paws Thrift Store. With the dedication of many volunteers through the years, 4 Paws now has 2 locations, one in Youngtown (next to Thrift store) and the original shelter in Peoria. We have 18 employees and over 40 volunteers who care for the felines daily.

We are a no kill shelter, taking in over 700 injured, abandoned, surrendered cats and kittens yearly and adopt out more than 80%. We house the cats that have not found their ‘forever homes’ and have special areas for semi ferals and FeLV + cats and kittens.

We are fortunate to have fosters who care for the kittens without their mothers, and bottle feed every 2 hours along with other responsibilities to ensure the lives of the kittens. The same with some of the older cats that have been surrendered due to their owners being unable to care for, we have senior fosters, so these cats may live their lives out in comfort of a home.

Has it been a smooth road?
Being a non for profit and a cat only shelter, it is harder to get funding to keep up with operational costs. Most people don’t realize the cost of running a shelter, as maintenance, medical costs of the cats and kittens, emergency care and their upkeep. At times, as with many small-medium sized shelters, you go day by day not knowing where that necessary funding will come from. Fundraisers are held with hopes of good attendance, and sometimes they are and sometimes not. The Board of Directors are constantly creating and staffing these fundraisers and working on ways to increase memberships. Most shelters are dependent on their volunteers and when the numbers have decreased for various reasons, many have worked more than their share of hours because of their belief in our shelters. You have no government funding, so everything is reliant on kindness of people who donate.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Sun Cities 4 Paws Rescue – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are a 501(c) 3 non for profit, no kill cat shelter. We are known for our compassion and care of all cats and kittens brought to us. We go the ‘extra mile’ to save a feline and will have special fundraising for some that have needed expensive surgeries.

I think 4 Paws managers and staff, and volunteers are above reproach. If everyone could see the extra hours, the care given to these felines. They come in when there is kittens or cats having stressful times, when we have to euthanize one of the cats, we stay and hold them through the process, day or night. We are so proud as to our size and we took part of Best Friends distribution of cats from Hurricane Harvey, without disrupting our normal intake of cats and emergencies brought in. Though it wasn’t a lot of cats, our staff and volunteers understood the magnitude of devastation to the animals over there and were in agreement if we could help, do so.
So, I would say, we are very proud of 4 Paws.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Our location encompasses Peoria, Surprise, Youngtown, El Mirage, and Glendale. So, most of these areas are great for wildlife attractions, hiking areas, shopping, to name a few.

One of the shelters as mentioned, is in Peoria in a ‘manufacturing area’ so it is hard to get advertising to where it is and the other shelter is in Youngtown, which is small and more of a retirement area, so once again, getting the ‘news’ out there of who and where we are is sometimes a challenge.

The plus side to both is most all in the area knows us (the shelters) and if they can, support us, or bring us cats/kittens needing help.


  • Kittens usually adopt or $125.00, but we have specials all the time.
  • Cats are $50.00 and up.
  • All cats and kittens are vaccinated, spayed/neutered, examined by vet, and treated for known ailment before adopting out

Contact Info:

  • Address: Sun Cities 4 Paws Rescue
    11129 W. Michigan Ave
    Youngtown, AZ 85363
  • Website:
  • Phone: 623-876-8778
  • Email:
  • Facebook: Sun cities 4 paws cat shelter


Image Credit:
Thanks Karen and Tanya for your expertise.

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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