After Children Allegedly Burn Dog Alive, PETA Offers Humane Education

Animal Rights Group Stresses Need to Teach Anti-Bullying and Compassion in the Classroom—for Whole Community's Sake

For Immediate Release:
April 25, 2017

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Charleston County, S.C. – After reports emerged on Friday that three boys, ages 12 and 13, have been charged with felony cruelty to animals for allegedly setting a dog on fire earlier this month in Awendaw, TeachKind—PETA’s humane-education division—sent letters this afternoon to Charleston County schools urging them to implement humane education. The dog was reportedly discovered dead, still burning and wrapped in chains, and his or her eyes were bulging.

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has asked the district superintendent to ensure that students know to report cruelty to animals when they see it and always take action when an animal is injured or in distress. The group has also offered the schools free “Bullies Are Just Cowards: Report Abuse When You See It!” posters and sent elementary schools its Share the World curriculum kits, which are appropriate for even the youngest learners.

“We’re facing a bullying epidemic, and if reports are true, three young people deliberately set a dog ablaze in a hideous act of animal abuse,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Outreach and Campaigns Marta Holmberg. “TeachKind is urging schools to implement humane education and to adopt an official policy against cruelty to animals that will hopefully prevent a horrific act like this one from happening again.”

TeachKind notes that according to leading mental-health professionals and law-enforcement agencies, perpetrators of violent acts against animals are often repeat offenders who pose a serious threat to the community at large. Its staff is available to send materials to schools, suggest lesson plans, and even host classroom presentations for students via Skype—all for free.

The group’s letters are available upon request. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind