Neighbor speaks out after catching animal abuse on camera

Crime

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A neighbor of the Henrico County man arrested Monday after a video revealed an animal abuse incident is speaking out about why he captured the cruelty on camera.

“It’s just difficult to record,” Kennon Joyner told 8News. “But it needed to be done.”

According to a release, on Nov. 15, Henrico Animal Protection Police responded to the 1900 block of Airy Circle regarding an animal abuse video posted on social media the day before. The video, taken by Joyner, depicted a German Shepherd being smacked and kicked multiple times by a man. The dog can also be heard yelping repeatedly.

Animal Protection Police investigated, and after consultation with the Commonwealth Attorney’s office, police charged Thomas Edward Grant, 59, with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty.

“We’ve been trying to get footage of Tom abusing Ginger for a long time,” Joyner said. “[I] saw him outside, went out, recorded him, and that’s when I got that video footage.”

Police confirmed to 8News that authorities were previously called to the area on several different occasions.

Joyner, a dog owner himself, said that the neighborhood is very dog-friendly. Many residents were concerned about the treatment of Grant’s pets; the dog, Ginger, and a cat. A Facebook group was even started at the end of October, called Save Ginger from Abuse.

“When you have a puppy and a dog, I don’t even understand how people can do that,” Joyner said. “It broke everyone’s heart to see and hear him do that.”

According to authorities, a dog and cat were removed from the home at Airy Circle and evaluated for injuries. The pets are being cared for by the Henrico County Police Animal Shelter, pending a status hearing and outcome of this criminal case.

Lieutenant Matthew Pecka with the Henrico County Police Division said that both animals are doing well after being checked out.

“We really hope that Tom gets the help that he needs,” Joyner said. “But at the same time, too, he is obviously not ready to have any kind of ownership over animals at all. And so that’s what we’re really focusing on, is making sure that he doesn’t continue to hurt any other animals.”

According to a release, Grant is in custody without bond. Records show that he was booked at Henrico County Jail on Monday and is due back in court on Friday.

If convicted on the cruelty to animals charges, he could face more time in jail and a fine.

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