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

Kentucky Statutes 156.095—Professional development programs

(3) . . . Professional development programs shall be made available to teachers based on their needs which shall include but not be limited to the following areas:

(l) Strategies to incorporate character education throughout the curriculum


“‘[C]haracter education’ means instructional strategies and curricula that: (1) Instill and promote core values and qualities of good character in students including altruism, citizenship, courtesy, honesty, human worth, justice, knowledge, respect, responsibility, and self-discipline; (2) Reflect the values of parents, teachers, and local communities; and (3) Improve the ability of students to make moral and ethical decisions in their lives.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

August 2019/Scott County, Kentucky

Lex18.com reported that a 16-year-old boy allegedly shot a dog.

August 2019/Laurel County, Kentucky

WKYT.com reported that a 17-year-old faces charges relating to the death of a stray dog. The animal was found reportedly “beaten and stabbed” after having been punched in the face, as shown in a widely circulated social media video.

January 2017/Franklin County, Kentucky

WKYT.com reported that two juveniles had been charged with cruelty to animals after allegedly letting a dog loose from her front porch and then attacking her. A video that appears to show the juveniles committing the abuse was shared on social media.

June 2013/McCracken County, Kentucky

WRCBTV.com reported that three teenagers had been arrested and charged with second-degree cruelty to animals after they were accused of killing two cats on the Lone Oak High School football field and then bragging about it on social media. According to reports, the cats’ cause of death was blunt force trauma—evidence suggests that the teens used an 11-pound rock as a weapon.