The Rennes Court of Appeal has upheld the conviction of a former serviceman from Pléchâtel, as reported by France 3. The 60-year-old sports shooting enthusiast had shot his neighbors' cats with a pellet rifle. As a result of the shooting, the animals suffered "severe abuse". The former soldier, who had been sentenced in first instance to pay a €1,000 fine in August 2018, had his conviction upheld by the Rennes Court of Appeal.
The case began when a neighbor lodged a complaint with the gendarmerie after discovering her wounded and bloodied cat in her garden in August 2017. The animal had to be euthanized due to its worsening condition and the presence of lead in its rib cage. A month earlier, another cat in the commune had also been injured by a lead shot to the head. The wound was "suggestive of a firearm injury", according to statements made at the hearing.
The vet who treated the second cat told the owners that their pet had been the victim of "deliberate, targeted shooting". The owners suspected their neighbor, the former soldier, without lodging a complaint, but reported the matter to the town hall. One of them contacted the suspect's ex-wife, who confirmed that her ex-husband was capable of harming animals, as he didn't like cats. In the end, the court upheld the former soldier's conviction and fined him €1,000.