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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New Jersey

State Laws

2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 18A–EDUCATION
Section 18A:35-4.1–Course of study in principles of humanity

“Each board of education may teach, by special courses or by emphasis in appropriate places of the curriculum, in a manner adapted to the ages and capabilities of the pupils in the several grades and departments, the principles of humanity as the same apply to kindness and avoidance of cruelty to animals and birds, both wild and domesticated. L.1967, c.271.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

August 2020/Bergen County, New Jersey

NewYork.CBSLocal.com reported that a group of teens had been charged with trespassing, criminal mischief, and overloading animals in connection with a local farm break-in.

June 2019/Newark, New Jersey

NewJersey.News12.com reported that a 17-year-old boy had been charged with cruelty to animals after allegedly setting a dog on fire, killing the animal.

December 2016/Newark, New Jersey

ClickOnDetroit.com reported that a teenager had thrown a cat off a third-story balcony and posted a video of the act on social media. The cat reportedly survived and received veterinary care, and the suspect was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals.

July 2015/Woodbridge, New Jersey

NJ.com reported that two high school students had conspired to kill at least one goose and her goslings by running them down with an SUV. A video of the act had allegedly been uploaded to Snapchat and spread among students. At least one goose had reportedly been found dead, and the vehicle used to run down the animals had reportedly been found with goose feathers stuck to the license plate, grille, and front bumper.

May 2014/Paterson, New Jersey

ABC7NY.com reported that a group of elementary school children had fatally tortured a cat named Quattro by beating him with bricks. He reportedly sustained two fractured legs, a fractured jaw, and a broken eye socket, among other injuries, and died as a result.