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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New Jersey

State Laws

2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes
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

March 2023/Freehold, New Jersey

The Office of the Monmouth County Prosecutor reported that an Asbury Park teen was arrested and charged with multiple counts of cruelty to animals after an investigation uncovered that he had performed sexual acts on a cat, inflicting serious injury, before restraining and torturing the animal to death.

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.