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.

Browse the List


State Laws

The first step toward protecting students and animals alike in your community is lobbying for their legal right to safety. Contact your local elected officials and demand that humane education be required in all schools. Here’s how.

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

May 2023/Kansas City, Missouri

KCTV5.com reported that two sophomores from St. Teresa’s Academy allegedly killed a duckling, whose body other students discovered in a bathroom trash can with a string around the neck.

June 2017/Branson, Missouri

KY3.com reported that two teenagers had been arrested for allegedly torturing and killing a cat after a video surfaced on social media that showed the cat being tied by the neck with rope to the back of a vehicle and then dragged from the moving vehicle’s bumper.

February 2014/St. Louis, Missouri

Fox2Now.com reported that two juveniles had been arrested and charged with animal abuse after allegedly mistreating a dog and sharing a video of the act on Facebook. According to reports, the video appears to show one teenager body-slamming and repeatedly punching the 6- to 7-month-old dog while another teen can be heard laughing off camera.