Epidemic:
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.

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Georgia

State Laws

Georgia Code Title 20–Education § 20-2-145

“The State Board of Education shall develop by the start of the 1997–1998 school year a comprehensive character education program for levels K-12. This comprehensive character education program shall be known as the ‘character curriculum’ and shall focus on 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, respect for the creator, patience, creativity, sportsmanship, loyalty, perseverance, and virtue. Such program shall also address, by the start of the 1999–2000 school year, methods of discouraging bullying and violent acts against fellow students. Local boards shall implement such a program in all grade levels at the beginning of the 2000–2001 school year and shall provide opportunities for parental involvement in establishing expected outcomes of the character education program.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

July 2022/Waycross, Georgia

FirstCoastNews.com reported that a 10-week-old puppy apparently died after a witness reportedly observed two children kicking the animal.

May 2018/Kennesaw, Georgia

11Alive.com reported the arrests of two North Cobb High School students who allegedly beat a mother opossum and one of her babies to death with a baseball bat, used a mixture of bleach and ammonia to kill three other babies, and posted the attack on Snapchat.

July 2016/Catoosa County, Georgia

NorthwestGeorgiaNews.com reported that two teenagers had been arrested and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals after they allegedly tortured and killed rabbits and posted videos of the acts on Snapchat. The videos are said to show the teens laughing as they stomp on the rabbits’ heads, cut their throats, and hit them with bats.

July 2015/Rockdale County, Georgia

RockdaleNewtonCitizen.com reported that a 16-year-old boy had thrown his family’s dog down a flight of stairs and then shot two puppies during an argument with his mother. The puppies reportedly received veterinary care for their injuries, but only one survived. The teenager was arrested and charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, among other offenses.