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.

Browse the List

Iowa

State Laws

2016 Iowa Code
Title VII–EDUCATION AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS
Chapter 256–DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
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.