By Lilou Baker
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The sunny Sunday of October 23, 2022 should have been a Sunday like any other. But not for Thibaut Teixeira, Aurore Pannier and their dog Zeus who live at 9, Bayle in Saint-Sève, near La Réole (Gironde).
It was 1:20 p.m. when Thibaut Teixeira heard a “poc” and saw one of his three dogs, a Malinois husky, named Zeus, come back squealing on three legs in the house.
A bullet stuck in the bone
At first, the couple notices that Zeus is bleeding slightly on his left paw. Aurore Pannier says:
We thought the dogs had bickered a bit too roughly.
They decide to take Zeus to the vet the next day.. What is the surprise when the couple discovers that their dog has a bullet in the femur. “It was when the vet did the X-ray that we saw the bullet stuck in his bone,” Thibaut intervenes.
The doctor’s report reads:
I was able to observe a fracture of the femur in the distal zone with the presence of a metallic object or projectile […] Looking at the injuries and the broken bone, I can assume it’s from a firearm.
Thibaut and Aurore remain speechless. “We wondered how it was possible. »
Did the dog receive a stray bullet during the hunt organized in the village that day? Hard to believe, given the layout of the house.
“It was not a hunting error”
The three dogs were at the front of the house, in the corner of the screened garden, with a hedge of trees which overlooks the main road of the locality and on a private field with horses.
Thibaut points out:
Our neighbor passed when the accident happened, but she didn’t see or hear anything.
Zeus had surgery four days later. A pin was installed in his paw.
According to the veterinarian who operated on the dog, the bullet was not removed so as not to further fracture the bone. “The bullet is a 22LR. » A bullet used primarily in target shooting.
Second bad surprise at the time of the new X-ray after the operation. Another bullet is identified inside the thighbut not of the same diameter.
We understood at that time that it was not a hunting error and that people allow themselves to settle their accounts on a poor dog.
The couple therefore lodged a complaint with the La Réole gendarmerie. The current reason is: involuntary attack on the life or the integrity of a domestic animal.
The shooter risks a third class fine. In other words, it amounts to a fine of €68.
But for the couple, this is not enough. For him, the gesture is voluntary.
As luck would have it, among my three dogs who were together in the same place, it was only Zeus who received two different bullets. I know he can sometimes disturb the neighborhood because he barks, well like all dogs… But he has a wolf’s bark which is easily recognizable.
The police opened an investigation. For the moment, a neighborhood survey has been carried out and the investigations are continuing.
The gendarmerie did not confirm that the first bullet was a 22LR, because “we don’t have the ball to identify it”. But on the other hand, the second, located at the top of the thigh, is indeed a compressed air bullet, also used for target shooting.
According to the police, what is certain is that it is not a hunting accident.
A gendarme from the La Réole brigade indicates:
22LRs are not used for hunting. And if it had been a bullet for a boar, the dog’s leg would have been blown off. If it had been shot from a rifle, the dog’s body would have been riddled with shots.
Was the dog intentionally targeted or not? This is what the investigation must reveal. The constable clarifies:
If we find evidence that can indict someone for the voluntary act, of course the offense will be requalified with the right reason, but currently we are starting from afar, because there are no witnesses, and no evidence…
Thibaut and Aurore want justice to be done for their dog, who today no longer wants to set foot in the garden out of fear.
Thibaut lets go:
We have already spent more than €1,500 on treatments for Zeus. If someone takes the liberty of shooting our dog today because he barks, what will it be tomorrow? We will shoot our children because they are having fun in the garden?
The couple want to feel safe on their property again. “We bought this house with this land in the countryside, a year ago to be quiet so that our children and dogs can enjoy it and in the end it is not the case”, is in despair Aurore.
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