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

§1221. Teaching of virtue and morality

“Instructors of youth in public or private institutions shall use their best endeavors to impress on the minds of the children and youth committed to their care and instruction the principles of morality and justice and a sacred regard for truth; love of country, humanity and a universal benevolence; the great principles of humanity as illustrated by kindness to birds and animals and regard for all factors which contribute to the well-being of man; industry and frugality; chastity, moderation and temperance; and all other virtues which ornament human society; and to lead those under their care, as their ages and capacities admit, into a particular understanding of the tendency of such virtues to preserve and perfect a republican constitution, secure the blessings of liberty and to promote their future happiness.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

November 2022/Lewiston, Maine

NewsCenterMaine.com reported that a teen was facing felony cruelty-to-animals charges after video footage reportedly showed them swinging a kitten named Harlow by the tail several times and then slamming the animal against the pavement. As a result of the attack, Harlow sustained severe head trauma and may lose an eye.

December 2018/Augusta, Maine

WGME.com reported that a teenager convicted of stabbing and killing her parents and their dog at the family’s home received a sentence with a maximum of 55 years.

September 2013/South Portland, Maine

PressHerald.com reported that two 15-year-old girls had allegedly microwaved an 8-week-old kitten, later posting video footage of the incident on social media sites. The teens were charged with cruelty to animals, and the kitten was reportedly expected to recover and be put up for adoption.