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.

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Massachusetts

State Laws

Section 30: Moral education

“Section 30. The president, professors and tutors of the university at Cambridge and of the several colleges, all preceptors and teachers of academies and all other instructors of youth shall exert their best endeavors to impress on the minds of children and youth committed to their care and instruction the principles of piety and justice and a sacred regard for truth, love of their country, humanity and universal benevolence, sobriety, industry and frugality, chastity, moderation and temperance, and those other virtues which are the ornament of human society and the basis upon which a republican constitution is founded; and they shall endeavor to lead their pupils, as their ages and capacities will admit, into a clear understanding of the tendency of the above mentioned virtues to preserve and perfect a republican constitution and secure the blessings of liberty as well as to promote their future happiness, and also to point out to them the evil tendency of the opposite vices.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

August 2019/Blackstone, Massachusetts

Boston25News.com reported that a Blackstone teen faced felony charges for allegedly killing a cat with an arrow.

April 2017/Ludlow, Massachusetts

MassLive.com reported that two Ludlow High School students were facing cruelty-to-animals charges after allegedly mutilating a mouse they had bought at Petco, then posting images on social media. According to reports, the teens claimed that they wanted to dissect the mouse “like in a biology class.”

November 2016/New Bedford, Massachusetts

SouthCoastToday.com reported that two teenagers, ages 15 and 16, had severely injured a squirrel by throwing rocks at him or her in a park. The animal was allegedly seen running from the suspects, bleeding and with an eye injury.