Kids Hurting Animals

If reports are true that Salvador Ramos (the alleged shooter in the deadly attack on Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas) posted videos of cruelty to animals online and bragged about throwing dead cats at people’s houses before he opened fire on defenseless children or that Payton Gendron (the alleged shooter in Buffalo, New York) wrote about stabbing and beheading a cat and posted photos of the dead animal online, it would come as no surprise to PETA. The FBI warns that harming animals is a sign of more carnage to come. Amid the current epidemic of youth violence, PETA urges everyone to report every act of cruelty against animals and calls on authorities to take each animal abuse claim seriously—for the sake of the animal victims and to help prevent future harm. More lives may depend on it.

PETA keeps an updated list of reported incidents in which young people commit acts of cruelty to animals. Many acts of cruelty go unreported. This resource is meant to illustrate how prevalent the problem is and provide educators with tools to educate students on what it means to have compassion for all living beings. If you aren’t an educator, please share this page with one you know and inform them about TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—and our empathy-building educational resources.

Forty-three percent of perpetrators of schoolyard massacres commit acts of cruelty to animals first (Source)—it’s time for educators to take action by implementing humane education.

Browse the List


State Laws

Act 95-313

“The State Board of Education and all local boards shall develop and implement a comprehensive character education program for all grades to consist of not less than ten minutes instruction per day focusing upon the students’ development of the following character traits: Courage, patriotism, citizenship, honesty, fairness, respect for others, kindness, cooperation, self-respect, self-control, courtesy, compassion, tolerance, diligence, generosity, punctuality, cleanliness, cheerfulness, school pride, respect for the environment, patience, creativity, sportsmanship, loyalty, and perseverance. Each plan of instruction shall include the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag” (1995 Accountability Law). (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

January 2022/Montgomery, Alabama

WSFA.com reported that a teenager had stolen a horse who was nursing a broken hip back to health. Yankey, the horse, was allegedly seen and filmed being ridden many times over the course of three days to the point where he couldn’t stand. The teen along with a 23-year-old allegedly loaded Yankey into a trailer and forced him out into a creek, causing the horse to drown.

September 2017/Fairhope, Alabama

Local15TV.com reported that three juveniles had been accused of ambushing a resident while she was walking her dogs on her property and then gunning down and killing one of the animals with repeated blasts from a shotgun before running off.

April 2015/Wilcox County, Alabama

WSFA.com reported that two teenagers, ages 17 and 18, had been arrested and charged with felony cruelty to animals for allegedly beheading three stray puppies with a machete and posting a video of the acts on social media. The charges were reportedly upgraded from misdemeanors to felonies because of the “horrific” nature of the crimes.