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

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

158.005 Definition of “character education.”
As used in KRS Chapters 156 and 158, unless the context requires otherwise, “character 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

July 2023/Georgetown, Kentucky

WKYT.com reported on a surveillance video in which two juveniles were allegedly seen tormenting and ultimately killing a cat left unattended outdoors. The original video was reportedly too graphic to share publicly. Both individuals are reportedly in police custody and expected to face cruelty-to-animals charges.

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.