Barking man banned from owning pets after being filmed throwing dog from height in garden

Tessa was rescued by the RSPCA
Tessa was rescued by the RSPCA -Credit:RSPCA

A man, who was caught on camera abusing his pet dog in his garden, has been legally prohibited from owning animals. Javel Pilgrim, 23, currently residing at Saint Gregory's Crescent, Gravesend in Kent, but lived on the Essex border when the offence took place, admitted to causing unnecessary suffering through physical abuse and neglecting the welfare needs of his pet dog Tessa, in a case brought forward by the RSPCA.

The incident, which took place on January 25 last year, saw him lifting his dog in his Barking garden in Maybury Road, before hurling her from a height. A vet who witnessed the video after it was reported to the RSPCA commented: "The person does not drop the dog by accident but throws it with intent and force enough to propel it a considerable distance from him."

"The clip shows him positioning the dog behind him to enable him to throw the dog effectively. The energy required in my opinion and experience in handling dogs, was very large to throw the dog the distance seen, and the intent was to harm the dog. There is no sign in my opinion, having examined the clip, that the dog was trying to bite the person, or that the man was acting in self-defence. He is not seen attending to the dog immediately afterwards, suggesting that he failed to prevent further suffering by not checking for injuries."

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When RSPCA animal rescue officer Bryan Taylor visited the address of Pilgrim, he discovered Tessa living in the garden. She was removed from the property with consent and taken for a veterinary examination on January 26, 2023.

The vet found her to be underweight at 15.9kg, scoring three out of nine on the body condition scale. She had sustained injuries, staining, and calluses on her lower limbs, as well as fractured teeth, reports MyLondon.

A vet stated: "This injury could have occurred when the owner threw her onto the ground- it is common for injuries to the carpus (wrist) to be caused by falling from a height. The graze on her carpus could have occurred at the same time."

"The damage to Tessa's teeth could also have occurred when she was thrown. We treated Tessa with a painkiller and a diet plan to help her gain weight. On February 2, her weight had increased to 16.7kg. Her cough resolved with this treatment and she is not showing any signs of lameness."

"We also noted that while Tessa was very well behaved with female members of staff she showed signs of fear aggression (e.g. lunging when cornered) with some of our male staff members- suggesting that her previous mistreatment has made her fearful of men".

On April 9, Pilgrim received an indefinite ban on keeping animals at Barkingside Magistrates Court. Additionally, he was sentenced to a 12-month community order, which includes 15 days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, alongside an £80 fine and a victim surcharge of £114.

In mitigation, Pilgrim noted that he lost his temper, regrets harming his dog and acknowledges that his actions were entirely wrong. In response to the conclusion of the case, RSPCA inspector Shahnaz Ahmad, who was in charge of the investigation for the animal welfare charity, commented: "Pilgrim inflicted appalling and totally unnecessary violence on Tessa. There is never an excuse for treating an animal in this way."