Juvenile Charged After Eight Horses Shot, Prompting Humane Education Plea From PETA to Schools

For Immediate Release:
March 21, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Appomattox County, Va. – After a minor was charged for allegedly shooting eight horses, killing five of them, TeachKind—PETA’s humane education division—sent an urgent letter this morning to the superintendent of Appomattox County Public Schools along with kindness-to-animals curricula and Empathy Now, a guide to preventing violence by young people, for all educators in the district.

“A young person going on a shooting spree against horses shows how critical it is to be taught compassion from an early age,” says PETA Senior Director of Youth Programs Marta Holmberg. “Empathy can be developed, and TeachKind is on standby to help teach young people that violence is wrong, whether the victim is a horse or a human.” 

Research shows that approximately 43% of perpetrators of school shootings first committed acts of cruelty against animals—so animal abusers potentially pose a serious threat to the community at large.

TeachKind—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. Its other free resources include a high school social justice curriculum (Challenging Assumptions) and the Share the World program kit for young children, both of which it is sending to Appomattox County Public Schools.

For more information, please visit TeachKind.org or follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.

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