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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State Laws

RCW 28A.150.211 Values and traits recognized.

“The legislature also recognizes that certain basic values and character traits are essential to individual liberty, fulfillment, and happiness. However, these values and traits are not intended to be assessed or be standards for graduation. The legislature intends that local communities have the responsibility for determining how these values and character traits are learned as determined by consensus at the local level. These values and traits include the importance of:
(1) Honesty, integrity, and trust;
(2) Respect for self and others;
(3) Responsibility for personal actions and commitments;
(4) Self-discipline and moderation;
(5) Diligence and a positive work ethic;
(6) Respect for law and authority;
(7) Healthy and positive behavior; and
(8) Family as the basis of society.”

RCW 28A.230.020 Common school curriculum.

“All teachers shall stress the importance of the cultivation of manners, the fundamental principles of honesty, honor, industry and economy, the minimum requisites for good health including the beneficial effect of physical exercise and methods to prevent exposure to and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, and the worth of kindness to all living creatures and the land.” (Source)

Reported Animal Abuse Cases

May 2019/Pullman, Washington

Spokesman.com reported that a 17-year-old had been charged with arson, domestic violence, and two counts of cruelty to animals after allegedly setting fire to a mobile home, killing a dog and a cat.

October 2015/Bremerton, Washington

People.com reported that a 16-year-old boy had been arrested and charged with felony cruelty to animals after allegedly setting a cat on fire. The teen allegedly doused the cat with butane before setting him ablaze. Police arrived to find the animal “writhing in pain” with extensive burns on his back, tail, and head. The cat reportedly had to be euthanized because of the severity of his injuries.

November 2014/Longview, Washington

TDN.com reported that a teenager had pleaded guilty to cruelty to animals and been ordered to pay restitution for skinning and killing a neighbor’s companion goat. The animal’s mutilated body was reportedly discovered by neighborhood children.

September 2014/Bellingham, Washington

BellinghamHerald.com reported that a 16-year-old had been charged with felony cruelty to animals after torturing his family’s cat. The teen had allegedly been caught on video hitting the cat’s head against the wall and slamming him into a couch, among other acts of violence, as the animal screamed in pain.

June 2014/Asotin, Washington

Q13Fox.com reported that a 15-year-old boy had been charged with multiple counts of cruelty to animals after allegedly killing one dog and injuring two others.  According to reports, the boy broke the neck of one 5-week-old puppy, and his aunt’s two other dogs were found with significant bruising around their eyes and other parts of their bodies.