Ian Halstead thought he was doing a good thing and protecting Northland's wildlife when he caught a stray cat and her five kittens.
But it seems catching the hissing, biting wild felines was the easy part - finding someone who can help him dispose of them was the hard part.
He approached the SPCA, Whangārei District Council and the Northland Regional Council without any luck. Now the cats are living in his laundry until he can find a solution.
"I don't know what I'll do if I don't get any help, I'll have to let them go. All I wanted to do was keep the wild cat population from growing."
The pensioner, living in Raumanga, said he was sick of seeing the cat continuously breeding after watching her raise at least three litters and decided it was time to capture the cat and protect native birds and insects.
So on Thursday he borrowed a cage from a neighbour and set about catching the kittens and mother cat.
The kittens were relatively easy to corral and put in the cage. The mother cat not so much.
"I had to throw a towel over her and she was hissing and biting. I managed to get her in the cage."
Once he had contained the feline family he took them to the Whangārei SPCA where staff said they were unable to help and referred him to the Northland Regional Council.
On his way he stopped at the council pound and animal control offices, hoping they might be able to help. They too could not provide a solution.
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At the Northland Regional Council he was asked by a staff member if he had a gun licence and a gun and was told to shoot them. He said he had neither and then it was suggested if he had a friend with a gun they could shoot the cats.
Frustrated, he took the cats home.
"I can't afford to take them to the vets and have them put down," he said.
SPCA Northern Region area manager Colleen McLea said the centre had a managed entry policy and with increased pressure on services, they could only take in animals that had been abused, neglected or injured.
She said in this case SPCA completed a vulnerability check on the cats and found them all to be in a healthy condition and therefore the case was referred to the NRC.
"Our advice remains that if a member of the public finds a cat they believe to be stray, check for a microchip and call SPCA before taking any further action."
Manager of Health and Bylaws for Whangārei District Council Reiner Mussle said the council enforced the Dog Control Act but there was no legislation relating to cats. And there were not bylaws relating to cats.
NRC's biosecurity manager, Don McKenzie, said if people were going to trap a cat they advised they make a plan first.
"We ask people to check the cat's not a pet, and ensure they have the ability to deal with the cat once it's caught – re-homing it, seeing if there's an organisation that'll take it, or humanely euthanising it," McKenzie said.
"Occasionally people do turn up with cats they've already trapped hoping that NRC can take them. If it happens we generally suggest that they check with a vet to see whether they can take it, or see whether they or someone they know can humanely euthanise the animals. We're simply not set up to do it, and we don't intend to become a centre for stray and abandoned cats."
Predator Free 2050 is a plan put forth by the New Zealand government with the goal of eradicating all marsupial and mammalian introduced predators from New Zealand by 2050. However, cats are not one of the target species for Predator Free 2050.