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Rio Linda's feral cat trapper | NorCal Strong

One woman's quest to save kittens and fix the cat problem in her community.

RIO LINDA, Calif. — The people who make Northern California Strong are those who inspire us and make our communities a great place to live. ABC10 wants to highlight their strength by recognizing what they do. This week we want to introduce you to Sara Williams, founder of Rio Linda Feral help Group. A non-profit that aims to rescue feral kittens and spay and neuter feral cats.

Walk down the residential streets of Rio Linda and North Highlands and there’s a good chance you will see feral cats. Lots of them. It’s a problem that has gotten worse since the start of the pandemic. 

“We are in full-blown kitten season and it's worse this year because all the kittens we couldn’t get to, because of the COVID shutdowns, last year are now having babies,” said Williams.

One solution to the overpopulation problem is a technique called T-N-R or Trap Neuter Return. The technique is approved and encouraged by the Sacramento SPCA and Williams has been doing it for the past 3 years. 

“I used to only rescue the kittens but then the kittens kept coming and I realized we have to fix the problem,” said Williams.

On any given day, Williams can trap dozens of cats and kittens. Often, she finds them around drainage canals that run through neighborhoods. 

“Here in North Highlands, there is that cement canal which is a Cat Highway,” said Williams. 

The canals are fenced off and Williams says the canals allow feral cats to travel from neighborhood to neighborhood and multiply very easily. Trapping and Neutering in this area helps prevent feral cat pregnancies but returning is equally important. 

“If you remove all the cats from one area it's called the vacuum effect because there is nothing to keep other cats from moving in.”

Williams can get upwards of 30 to 40 TNR requests a week on The Rio Linda Feral Help Group Facebook page. It’s also a great place to see videos of her progress or donate to her cause. 

Sara Williams is NorCal strong. If you want to nominate a strong Northern Californian send a text (916) 321-3310 and put NorCal Strong in the text. Feel free to send pictures and or web links in the submission. 

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