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.

Browse the List

South Carolina

State Laws

SECTION 59-17-135. Character education.

“(B) Each local school board of trustees of the State must develop a policy addressing character education. Any character education program implemented by a district as a result of an adopted policy must, to the extent possible, incorporate character traits including, but not limited to, the following: respect for authority and respect for others, honesty, self-control, cleanliness, courtesy, good manners, cooperation, citizenship, patriotism, courage, fairness, kindness, self-respect, compassion, diligence, good work ethics, sound educational habits, generosity, punctuality, cheerfulness, patience, sportsmanship, loyalty, and virtue. Local school boards must include all sectors of the community, as referenced in subsection (A)(4), in the development of a policy and in the development of any program implemented as a result of the policy. As part of any policy and program developed by the local school board, an evaluation component must be included.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

January 2022/Clarendon County, South Carolina

FoxCarolina.com reported that a 19-year-old allegedly filmed himself shooting a dog several times after grabbing and throwing the animal in a hole. The 19-year-old was reportedly later arrested for Animal Cruelty by the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office.

October 2021/Kershaw County, South Carolina

GoodWordNews.com reported that a 16-year-old boy had allegedly shot and killed six pigs on a farm in Kershaw County.

September 2017/Dorchester County, South Carolina

JournalScene.com reported that multiple juveniles had been accused of repeatedly throwing an opossum into the air and beating the animal with a baseball bat inside their garage, an incident that was reportedly posted to Snapchat. The opossum later died from the injuries.

April 2017/Awendaw, South Carolina

Live5News.com reported that three juveniles, ages 12 and 13, had allegedly set fire to a dog, who was found dead. The kids were reportedly arrested and charged with ill treatment of animals.

February 2016/Rock Hill, South Carolina

MyFOX8.com reported that two teenagers—ages 14 and 17—had been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after allegedly throwing a knife at a 6-week-old puppy and shooting him 18 times with a BB gun. The puppy was reportedly recovering after receiving veterinary care.

January 2014/Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

PostAndCourier.com reported that a high school student had been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals for abusing animals and posting videos of the incidents on social media sites. Some videos appeared to depict the teen luring a cat toward him and then throwing the animal into the air. The suspect was later found guilty of cruelty to animals.

August 2013/Cordova, South Carolina

DailyMail.co.uk reported that a teenager had been arrested and charged with cruelty to animals after posting a video to social media of himself kicking a kitten off his porch. The cat and other animals were removed from the suspect’s home.