Kids Hurting Animals

PETA keeps an updated list of reported incidents in which young people commit acts of cruelty to animals. These incidents are only the ones that have been reported in the media. The actual number of such abuse cases is likely much higher since many go unreported. This resource is meant to illustrate the prevalence of the problem and to provide educators with tools to help their students learn what it means to have compassion for all sentient beings.

43% of the perpetrators commit acts of cruelty to animals before schoolyard massacres (Source)—it’s time for educators to take action by implementing humane education.

Browse the List


State Laws

2016 Iowa Code
Section 256.18–Character education policy.

“Schools should make every effort, formally and informally, to stress character qualities that will maintain a safe and orderly learning environment, and that will ultimately equip students to be model citizens. These qualities may include caring, civic virtue and citizenship, justice and fairness, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, giving, honesty, self-discipline, respect for and obedience to the law, citizenship, courage, initiative, commitment, perseverance, kindness, compassion, service, loyalty, patience, the dignity and necessity of hard work, and any other qualities deemed appropriate by a school.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

July 2020/Des Moines, Iowa

DesMoinesRegister.com reported that a juvenile had been charged with two counts of animal torture after allegedly disemboweling a living dog and killing a kitten.

July 2018/Rhodes, Iowa

KCRG.com reported that an 11-year-old boy had been accused of injecting lethal amounts of insulin into his family’s cat and two dogs. Authorities expected charges to be filed against him.

May 2017/Lee County, Iowa

KHQA.com reported that a Facebook Live video depicting what appeared to be juveniles torturing an opossum was being investigated. The video was said to show the animal being swung by the tail, beaten, and smashed with a large rock.