Gravesend man filmed beating pet dog in garden banned from keeping animals indefinitely

Tessa was mistreated by Javel Pilgrim in footage seen by the RSPCA
Tessa was mistreated by Javel Pilgrim in footage seen by the RSPCA -Credit:RSPCA

A man from Gravesend who was filmed beating a pet dog has been banned from keeping animals indefinitely. Javel Pilgrim, who is 25, was filmed beating his dog Tessa and throwing her across a garden.

Pilgrim, of Saint Gregory’s Crescent, Gravesend, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by physical abuse, and failing to meet the welfare needs of his pet dog. The prosecution was brought by the RSPCA, which began investigating him after video evidence emerged.

The clip showed him beating a black and white crossbreed dog in his garden in Barking on January 25, 2023. Pilgrim was seen picking the dog up and then throwing her from a height across a garden.

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A witness vet said of the video: “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.”

The RSPCA brought the prosecution after seeing footage of Pilgrim mistreating Tessa
The RSPCA brought the prosecution after seeing footage of Pilgrim mistreating Tessa -Credit:RSPCA

When RSPCA animal rescue officer Bryan Taylor attended Pilgrim’s address, Tessa was living in the garden. She was taken from the property with permission to be examined by a vet on January 26, 2023.

She was found to be underweight at 15.9kg, with a body score of three out of nine. She had injuries, staining and calluses on her lower limbs, and fractured teeth.

A vet concluded: “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 2 February 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”.

Pilgrim was sentenced to an indefinite animal ban on April 9 at Barkingside Magistrates Court. He was also given a 12-month community order, including 15 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days, an £80 fine and a victim surcharge of £114.

In mitigation, Pilgrim said he lost his temper and regrets harming his dog, and now realises that his actions were entirely unacceptable.

Speaking after the conclusion of the case, RSPCA inspector Shahnaz Ahmad, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “Pilgrim inflicted appalling and totally unnecessary violence on Tessa. There is never an excuse for treating an animal in this way.”