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


State Laws

Utah Code Part 6: Bullying and Hazing

“(2) To the extent that state or federal funding is available for this purpose, school boards are encouraged to implement programs or initiatives, in addition to the training described in Subsection (1), to provide for training and education regarding, and the prevention of, bullying, hazing, abusive conduct, and retaliation.” (Source)

R277-475-7. Civic Engagement.

“B. Civic and character education shall be achieved through an integrated school curriculum and in the regular course of school work.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

November 2022/Orem, Utah

ABC4.com reported that three teens allegedly dumped dish soap or a similar substance into a family’s koi pond, killing about a dozen adult fish and many juvenile fish.

June 2014/St. George, Utah

Fox13Now.com reported that a 16-year-old boy had been arrested for allegedly shooting and killing a kitten with a blow-dart gun. The cat was reportedly shot twice through the skull.

February 2014/Washington City, Utah

StGeorgeUtah.com reported that a teenage boy had been suspected of shooting a cat with a bow and arrow. The cat was reportedly found with an arrow shot through his face and coming out of his shoulder blade. He received veterinary care and survived the attack.