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

Public Act 094-0187

“Every public school teacher shall teach character education, which includes the teaching of respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, trustworthiness, and citizenship, in order to raise pupils’ honesty, kindness, justice, discipline, respect for others, and moral courage for the purpose of lessening crime and raising the standard of good character.” (Source)

School Code. (105 ILCS 5/27-13.1) (from Ch. 122, par. 27-13.1)

“Sec. 27-13.1. In every public school there shall be instruction, study and discussion of current problems and needs in the conservation of natural resources, including but not limited to air pollution, water pollution, waste reduction and recycling, the effects of excessive use of pesticides, preservation of wilderness areas, forest management, protection of wildlife and humane care of domestic animals. (Source: P.A. 86-229.)” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

July 2017/Kewanee, Illinois

KWQC.com reported that a 17-year-old was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals after allegedly mutilating an 8-week-old puppy, who was found with lacerations on his neck and an abrasion on his back.

May 2016/Riverside, Illinois

Patch.com reported that a 15-year-old girl had been charged with cruelty to animals after allegedly flinging a baseball bat at her family’s dog. She reportedly claimed that she had tried to kill the dog because the animal had an accident on her bed.

February 2016/Chicago, Illinois

WashingtonPost.com reported that a teenager had been charged with felony cruelty to animals after dumping a pot of scalding-hot water onto a stray cat and then posting video of the act on social media. The cat reportedly ran from the scene screaming in pain but was rehabilitated.

April 2015/Eureka, Illinois

Pantagraph.com reported that a 17-year-old had been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after allegedly shooting a horse to death. The horse, named Chipper, had lived with his guardian for 16 years and was reportedly grazing in a field near his home when he was killed.