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.

Browse the List


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.