Epidemic:
Kids Hurting Animals

PETA keeps an updated list of reported incidents in which young people commit acts of cruelty to animals. These incidents are only the ones that have been reported in the media. The actual number of such abuse cases is likely much higher since many go unreported. This resource is meant to illustrate the prevalence of the problem and to provide educators with tools to help their students learn what it means to have compassion for all sentient beings.

43% of the perpetrators commit acts of cruelty to animals before schoolyard massacres (Source)—it’s time for educators to take action by implementing humane education.

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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

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.