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

§ 22-29-103

“Each school district, either individually or through a board of cooperative services, is strongly encouraged to establish a character education program designed to help students cultivate honesty, respect, responsibility, courtesy, respect for and compliance with the law, integrity, respect for parents, home, and community, and the dignity and necessity of a strong work ethic, conflict resolution, and other skills, habits, and qualities of character that will promote an upright, moral, and desirable citizenry and better prepare students to become positive contributors to society. The program may include information concerning this country’s founding documents and concerning religion in American history. Such character education program should be designed to stress the importance that each teacher model and promote the guidelines of behavior established in the character education program for youth to follow at all times, in every class.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

May 2022/Gypsum, Colorado

9News.com reported that a group of teens had filmed themselves flushing a live squirrel down a toilet and then posted the video to social media.

May 2020/Colorado Springs, Colorado

People.com reported that a 19-year-old Colorado resident who reportedly admitted killing his mother’s cat in September 2019 was accused of having stabbed to death a Colorado Springs woman. The victim’s 16-year-old daughter was allegedly an accomplice.

January 2018/Carbondale, Colorado

AspenTimes.com reported that a teen had been accused of shooting a 2-year-old Labrador retriever to death after allegedly breaking into another home and stealing a rifle.

March 2016/Berthoud, Colorado

KDVR.com reported that four teenagers had been seen running away from an 11-week-old puppy, named Bella, who had apparently been beaten, kicked, and/or stomped on in her own yard, leaving her with internal bleeding and broken bones. Reportedly, she survived the attack and received veterinary care, but the suspects had not yet been identified.