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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State Laws

Character Education Policy

“The vitality and viability of our democratic way of life are dependent on all students developing into responsible and caring citizens who respect themselves, others, and the world in which they live. Character education is the process through which students are provided opportunities to learn and demonstrate democratic principles and core ethical values such as civic responsibility, compassion, honesty, integrity, and self-discipline. The Department shall identify a common core of ethical values which will be promoted throughout the public school system and serve as standards for student behavior and character development.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

September 2020/Haleiwa, Hawaii

KITV.com reported that surveillance cameras at Sunset Elementary School captured a female shooting a cat with a bow and arrow and a total of four trespassers, who appear to be juveniles, dragging the animal’s carcass.

December 2016/Kaena Point, Hawaii

CivilBeat.org reported that a 19-year-old and two juvenile suspects had been arrested and charged after allegedly killing 17 albatrosses. The birds—who are federally and internationally protected—were reportedly killed in a wildlife sanctuary. The suspects were also said to have smashed their eggs and cut the feet off some of the animals.

September 2013/Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

NYDailyNews.com reported that a teenager had posted footage online of himself torturing a tiger shark. His actions weren’t considered illegal because there were no signs in the harbor to indicate that fishing is prohibited.