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

Maryland

State Laws

§7–424.1.

“(g) Each county board shall develop the following educational programs in its efforts to prevent bullying, harassment, and intimidation in schools:

“(1) An educational bullying, harassment, and intimidation prevention program for students, staff, volunteers, and parents” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

July 2022/Rockville, Maryland

WTOP.com reported that three juveniles were suspected of killing a goose at Lake New Mark. According to police reports, the goose’s family members were in distress as the suspects were seen running away.

May 2021/Frostburg, Maryland

Times-News.com reported that two 16-year-old boys had been arrested on felony cruelty-to-animals charges after allegedly killing a cat and leaving the animal’s body on a playground at Mount Pleasant Park.

May 2019/Allegany County, Maryland

BaltimoreSun.com reported that two teenagers had posted a video on Snapchat after hitting a deer with their car. They taunted and threw bottles at the animal, who had sustained two broken legs. The teenagers faced charges of cruelty to animals, littering, and underage possession of an alcoholic beverage.

January 2018/Baltimore, Maryland

WBALTV.com reported that five youths had been accused of viciously beating, stabbing, and setting a cat on fire, eventually killing her.

September 2016/Cecil County, Maryland

CecilDaily.com reported that two teenage girls had been suspected of abusing cats in a video that circulated on Facebook. According to reports, the video appears to show the two juveniles throwing cats into an above-ground pool full of green water and beating on the side of the pool where a cat was trying to escape. The case was reportedly under investigation.

May 2016/Princess Anne, Maryland

WBOC.com reported that two children had been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after allegedly throwing two kittens against a dumpster and attempting to drown them. The kittens were reportedly receiving veterinary care and recovering.

November 2014/Fort Meade, Maryland

EyeOnAnnapolis.net reported that a 17-year-old had been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals (among other offenses) after allegedly pointing a handgun at a dog and his guardian and forcing the guardian to drive him to a specified location. Reportedly, no one was harmed, and the suspect turned himself in.