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

Michigan State Board of Education
Policy on Quality Character Education

“Qualities such as caring, responsibility, respect for oneself and others, fairness, trustworthiness, citizenship, and self-restraint promote a healthy, safe, and supportive learning environment that promotes the primary mission of the school, which is to educate. With effective character development programs, schools can increase academic achievement and prosocial attitudes and behaviors and decrease negative behaviors such as truancy, violence, discipline problems, and bullying.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

November 2021/Oxford, Michigan

DeadlineDetroit.com reported that Ethan Crumbley—the 15-year-old who pleaded guilty to shooting and killing four of his classmates and injuring others in an attack in Oxford, Michigan, in October 2022—had allegedly recorded videos of himself torturing and killing animals and kept the severed head of a bird in a jar for months. He reportedly admitted to feeling “between good and pleasurable” while torturing a baby bird.

December 2019/Lansing, Michigan

WILX.com reported that that a group of boys was seen throwing a cat into the air and allowing her to fall to the ground. According to a neighbor who witnessed the alleged attack, this isn’t the first time animals have been abused in the neighborhood.

July 2019/Park Township, Michigan

WOODTV.com reported that a turkey was allegedly run over, beaten with a golf club, and decapitated by a group of teenagers.

May 2017/Flint, Michigan

MLive.com reported that a teenager had been convicted and sentenced to up to a year in jail for helping her sister’s 21-year-old boyfriend bind a dog’s face and legs with electrical tape and stomp on his neck until he died. This act of cruelty was allegedly done to punish the dog, who had urinated on clothing.

February 2017/Warren, Michigan

WXYZ.com reported that a high school student may have been responsible for a series of images shared on social media that appear to depict a dog who was hung up by his harness, with his mouth taped shut and legs bound. The case was reportedly under investigation.

July 2016/Redford, Michigan

DetroitFreePress.com reported that two 15-year-old boys had been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after beating a duck to death. One teen allegedly beat the duck with a stick while the other recorded video of the act on his phone.

May 2016/Grosse Ile Township, Michigan

FOX2Detroit.com reported that some students on the Grosse Ile High School lacrosse team had been accused of killing a guinea pig before a game and then painting themselves with the animal’s blood. At least 10 students were reportedly under investigation.

December 2015/Taylor, Michigan

WXYZ.com reported that a woman and her two teenage children had been accused of abusing and neglecting multiple animals, some of whom the police had found dead or injured on the property. Five dogs were taken from the residence, four of whom were signed over to the local shelter to be put up for adoption and one of whom was allegedly being treated for malnourishment.

September 2014/Alpena, Michigan

UpNorthLive.com reported that three young people had been seen dousing a neighbor’s cat with kerosene and then fleeing the scene. The cat reportedly had burns on his body from the kerosene and was believed to have ingested some of the substance but was expected to recover.

September 2014/Cedar Springs, Michigan

FOX17Online.com reported that a juvenile had allegedly uploaded a video to Facebook depicting herself and her brother slowly decapitating a live turtle using pliers and a hacksaw.