A Napier resident has been forced to have his cat's leg amputated after it was shot with a slug gun.
Three-year-old Molly was fine on Friday morning, running to get her breakfast along with her brother Bowie.
But by Friday evening she was limping, lethargic, and didn't eat.
Her owner Corey Hogg said he thought she had been hit by a car.
"I took her to the vets on Saturday afternoon who examined her and she said, it looks like there's a pellet in there.
"She said if it's a clean break, we can fix it, if it's shattered, you've got to make those decisions about whether to put her down or they can amputate the leg."
The X-rays proved the vets' assumption right.
Despite the hefty $1200 price tag for amputation, he decided to scrape together the money to cover the cost.
"I love my animals, I love my cats."
He said if he could talk to the offender he would just asked them why they had done it.
"There's only one question, why did you shoot it?
"If it's on your garden, shoo it away, you don't have to shoot it."
The Centre Manager at SPCA Napier Bruce Wills said shooing away unwanted feline visitors was the proper thing to do.
Penalties for shooting a cat could include a jail sentence of up to five years, and a fine of up to $100,000.
Wills said the first step if you have an unwanted cat coming on to your property was to contact the owners if you know who they are.
"Let them know the cat is causing some sort of issue."
He said scaring the cat away with a loud noise or a quick blast from the hose was usually enough to deter them.
"Cats are naturally free roaming animals and there's no law against that."
He said the shooting of cats in Hawke's Bay was not common and there were no other recent cases he was aware of.
A spokesperson for Napier City council said keeping cats well-fed and indoors at night was the best way to keep them safe.
Hogg has set up a givealittle page to help cover Molly's vet care. Any extra money he raises will be donated to the SPCA. You can donate here.