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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State Laws


SECTION 1. The local school boards of the public school districts, in their discretion, may develop and implement, at the beginning of the 1999–2000 school year, a comprehensive program for character education in Grades K-12. This program of character education shall focus on students’ development of the following character traits: courage, patriotism, citizenship, honesty, pride in quality work, fairness, respect for and obedience to the law, respect for others, kindness, cooperation, self-respect, self-control, courtesy, compassion, diligence, generosity, punctuality, cleanliness, cheerfulness, school pride, respect for the environment, patience, creativity, sportsmanship, loyalty, perseverance, friendship, responsibility and self-discipline. The program of character education shall include the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag as required in Section 37-13-7. The definition of the character traits chosen by the school district for implementation shall reflect and be in keeping with both the spirit and the letter of the following founding documents: the Mississippi Constitution of 1890; the Constitution of the United States of America; the Declaration of Independence; and state and federal law. A public school may not define or teach character or character traits in any manner that might promote or encourage students to participate in conduct that would violate any state or federal law.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

July 2022/Oxford, Mississippi

Fox13Memphis.com reported that a teen was accused of killing multiple kittens on video, reportedly by attacking one with a blade, smashing another with a folding chair, and dropping a car battery on the head of a third. The horrifying footage was then reportedly shared via social media, after which the teen was apparently arrested for allegedly “methodically and sadistically” killing the kittens “one at a time … in different ways for entertainment.”

May 2021/Tate County, Mississippi

People.com reported that that a 12-year-old had allegedly set the face of a stray dog on fire in Tate County.

March 2020/Perry County, Mississippi

WLBT.com reported that an investigation was ongoing after juveniles allegedly recorded themselves shooting and killing a dog. The video was shared on the social media platforms Snapchat and Facebook.

May 2017/Warren County, Mississippi

VicksburgPost.com reported that four teenagers had allegedly shot and killed a family’s dog while burglarizing their home. They were reportedly charged with cruelty to animals, among other charges.