Kids Hurting Animals

PETA keeps an updated list of reported incidents in which young people commit acts of cruelty to animals. These incidents are only the ones that have been reported in the media. The actual number of such abuse cases is likely much higher since many go unreported. This resource is meant to illustrate the prevalence of the problem and to provide educators with tools to help their students learn what it means to have compassion for all sentient beings.

43% of the perpetrators commit acts of cruelty to animals before schoolyard massacres (Source)—it’s time for educators to take action by implementing humane education.

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State Laws


“(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

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.