Dog Drowned by Minor; PETA Pleas for Empathy Lessons in Schools

For Immediate Release:
August 30, 2022

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Las Vegas – Following reports that a local teen is facing a felony cruelty-to-animals charge after allegedly drowning a dog in a community pool, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—rushed a letter today to Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus F. Jara providing the district with  kindness-to-animals curricula and “Empathy Now,” a guide to preventing all kinds of violence by young people.

As TeachKind notes in its letter, incorporating the lessons into the district’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports would help address the epidemic of harm that children have been doing to animals and reach susceptible kids before they engage in violent behavior.

“Drowning would be every bit as painful and terrifying for a dog as it would be for a human,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “Compassion and empathy can be learned, and TeachKind is on standby to help schools teach young people that violence is wrong, whether the victim is a canine or a classmate.”

TeachKind notes that research shows that 43% of perpetrators of school massacres first committed acts of cruelty against animals—so juvenile animal abusers potentially pose a serious threat to the community at large. The group’s resources include its free high school social justice curriculum, “Challenging Assumptions,” and its “Share the World” program kit for elementary school students.

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.

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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