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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North Carolina

State Laws

Session Law 2001-363
House Bill 195

“Each local board of education shall develop and implement character education instruction with input from the local community. The instruction shall be incorporated into the standard curriculum and should address the following traits: (1) Courage.—Having the determination to do the right thing even when others don’t and the strength to follow your conscience rather than the crowd; and attempting difficult things that are worthwhile. . . . (4) Kindness.—Being considerate, courteous, helpful, and understanding of others; showing care, compassion, friendship, and generosity; and treating others as you would like to be treated.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

October 2022/Winston-Salem, North Carolina

WFMYNews2.com reported that a Winston-Salem resident pleaded guilty to 10 felony counts of cruelty to animals for his years-long killing spree, during which he tortured to death multiple wild animals of various species, many on camera. The Winston-Salem Journal reported that he had drowned, bludgeoned, mutilated, and burned animals when he was between the ages of 15 and 19.

October 2021/Indian Trail, North Carolina

WCCBCharlotte.com reported that teenagers had allegedly stolen a dog from her owners’ yard; tethered her outside for several days in the elements with no access to food, water, or her medicine; and threatened to “cut her up and eat her.” One of the boys also allegedly told rescuers that they had done this to a family’s cat, too. The dog reportedly died shortly after being reunited with her family.

May 2020/Winston-Salem, North Carolina

USNews.com reported that an 18-year-old male from North Carolina accused of dropping a dog from a balcony and posting a video of it on social media had been charged with cruelty to animals.

April 2019/Randolph County, North Carolina

WQAD.com reported that a Randolph County teenager apparently faces five counts of felony cruelty to animals after police allegedly uncovered horrific videos of multiple animals, both domestic and wild, being tortured to death.

February 2018/Lenoir, North Carolina

WCTI12.com reported that two teens had been accused of breaking into a home, stealing personal property, setting a car on fire, and killing two parakeets before smearing the birds’ blood on the family’s furniture.

August 2017/Guilford County, North Carolina

MyFox8.com reported that two juveniles, ages 13 and 14, had allegedly filmed a Snapchat video captioned “she burnt the dog” that appears to show one of the teens using an aerosol can and a lighter to point flames at the canine. The animal, whose fur was singed, was reportedly seized from the home. The case was allegedly still under investigation.

May 2017/Wilmington, North Carolina

WECT.com reported that a teenager had allegedly admitted to strangling to death two kittens, who were later found in a shallow grave. They reportedly belonged to a member of the suspect’s family, and he was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals.

January 2016/Bayboro, North Carolina

WNCT.com reported that two teens had been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after allegedly shooting and killing three donkeys with a small-caliber firearm.

June 2015/High Point, North Carolina

MyFOX8.com reported that a group of five young boys had tortured and killed a pregnant opossum. They had allegedly beaten her to death with sticks and bricks and then doused her with lighter fluid and set her on fire while she was trying to give birth—and the police report indicates that as the opossum was burning, several newborn babies began to come out of her pouch and also died.

April 2014/Lexington, North Carolina

MyFOX8.com reported that an 18-year-old student had been accused of beating a nesting duck to death with a baseball bat while his 16-year-old friend filmed the incident, which was subsequently posted on social media sites. Both the suspect and his accomplice had been charged—the suspect with felony cruelty to animals—for this violent crime.