Kids Hurting Animals

As mental-health and law-enforcement experts well know, cruelty to animals and violence against humans are inextricably linked. Many educators are aware that serial killers and school shooters—including alleged killers Salvador Ramos, Payton Gendron, Nikolas Cruz, and Ethan Crumbley—tend to have a history of cruelty to animals, and Sandy Hook Promise has cruelty to animals on its “10 Critical Warning Signs of Violence” list.

Forty-three percent of perpetrators of schoolyard massacres commit acts of cruelty to animals first. Educators can help prevent future tragedies by including kindness to animals in the curriculum. 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. Lives may depend on it.

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State Laws

IC 20-30-5-6 Good citizenship instruction

“Sec. 6. (b) As used in this section, ‘good citizenship instruction’ means integrating instruction into the current curriculum that stresses the nature and importance of the following: . . . (6) Possessing the skills (including methods of conflict resolution) necessary to live peaceably in society and not resorting to violence to settle disputes. . . . (9) Treating others the way the student would want to be treated.” (Source)

House Enrolled Act No. 1423

“(b) The department of education and the school corporation’s school safety specialist shall provide materials and guidelines to assist a safe school committee in developing a plan and policy for the school that addresses the following issues:

“(1) Unsafe conditions, crime prevention, school violence, bullying, and other issues that prevent the maintenance of a safe school. . . .

“(d) The guidelines developed under subsection (b) must include age appropriate, research based information that assists school corporations and safe school committees in:

“(1) developing and implementing bullying prevention programs; (2) establishing investigation and reporting procedures related to bullying” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

May 2023/Mishawaka, Indiana

wndu.com reported that a video emerged on social media allegedly showing a juvenile attacking a federally protected Canada goose with a bicycle. The video—which news outlets warned viewers may find difficult to watch—was recorded along the Mishawaka Riverwalk, and it remains unclear whether the goose survived the attack.

February 2021/Howard County, Indiana

FOX59.com reported that a 16-year-old had allegedly shot a caged dog multiple times and left him on the side of a road, apparently because he was no longer wanted.

January 2021/Lafayette, Indiana

JCOnline.com reported that a 17-year-old boy had been arrested after allegedly strangling his girlfriend’s kitten during an argument.

July 2020/Kokomo, Indiana

Idahostatesman.com reported that a 19-year-old female was arrested and charged with two felony charges of making and distributing animal crush videos after torturing and killing numerous animals on camera.

November 2018/Lafayette, Indiana

JCOnline.com reported that a 17-year-old boy kicked a caged cat into a pond to drown. The incident was recorded on video.

January 2017/Crawfordsville, Indiana

WishTV.com reported that a teenager had been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after he allegedly admitted that he tied up a cat and killed him by setting him on fire. The cat was reportedly found hogtied, attached to an M-80 firework, and covered with burning gasoline. According to reports, the suspect thought that it would be funny to set the cat on fire, and he and his girlfriend—a juvenile—decided to kill the animal because they don’t like cats. The pair reportedly received the cat as a gift from a friend.

November 2016/Bloomington, Indiana

Fox59.com reported that an Indiana University student had been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after he allegedly beat a skunk to death with a shovel. According to reports, the suspect initially hit and injured the skunk, then proceeded to beat and kill him on the sidewalk.

July 2015/South Bend, Indiana

WSBT.com reported that a group of juveniles had been accused of setting a cat on fire and beating him to death with a brick. Animal control was reportedly investigating.

March 2014/Merrillville, Indiana

NWITimes.com reported that a teenager had been charged with cruelty to animals for allegedly shooting a neighbor’s dog as well as other animals with a pump-action pellet gun. He was allegedly accompanied by a juvenile who wasn’t facing charges in connection with the shootings.

August 2013/Lake County, Indiana

ABCNews.go.com reported that a 17-year-old boy had been charged with cruelty to animals after he allegedly shot three kittens with a bow and arrow and then posted pictures of their mutilated bodies on Facebook. One kitten was reportedly speared through the head, and another was disemboweled. The suspect claimed that he shot the kittens because he was “bored.”